July 2, 2018 Testimony of Susan Orlins

From the D.C. Council Committee of the Whole Hearing on July 2, 2018. testimony from D.C. resident Susan Orlins:

Mendelson: Thank you. Miss Orlins?

Orlins: Thank you, Chairman Mendelson and Councilmembers for this opportunity to testify. My name is Susan Orlins, and I'm a longtime DC resident. I first joined Quiet Clean DC because of the stress-inducing noise from gas-powered leaf blowers. I became more engaged with the group once we learned the devastating health effects these machines have on the workers who operate them. Our group was convinced we had a compelling case for phasing out these outdated machines, and phasing in the quieter, battery-powered leaf blowers, the sounds of which are much less damaging to operators. And they do not penetrate inside homes, hospitals, schools, retirement homes, et cetera, which the gas-powered ones do. 

And, yes, we also researched and discovered that, indeed, battery-powered machines are effective, and are being used by a growing number of landscape companies in DC, as well as nationally and globally. There are countries that don't allow them at all in the whole country. I think Singapore is one. In fact, several municipalities have already taken the lead, ranging from the city of San Pasadena on the West Coast to the town of South Hampton on the East Coast. Los Angeles and other cities are also transitioning. These cities maintained hundreds of acres of land with battery-powered equipment. And, by the way, the Smithsonian uses battery-powered leaf blowers. All we needed was a hearing before the DC Committee of the Whole to share with you what our nearly three years and countless hours of scrutiny demonstrated. So, we posted a petition on change.org that asked Chairman Mendelson to bring this bill to a hearing. We were told not to expect more than a few hundred signatures, but in short order we had a thousand. Today our petition has over 2,000. 2,319 supporters, a vast number of whom are DC residents. Let's have our nation's capital take the lead on this important legislation. Thank you.