California, other places moving forward with bans or restrictions on gas-powered leaf blowers

More communities across the United States are banning or restricting gas-powered leaf blowers:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But addressing the noise pollution they cause wasn’t the main reason behind the legislation. Small off-road engines, or SOREs, are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, causing spikes in asthma in workers who operate them.

“Today, operating the best-selling commercial lawn mower for one hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as driving the best-selling 2017 passenger car, a Toyota Camry, about 300 miles — approximately the distance from Los Angeles to Las Vegas,” the California Air Resources Board said in a recent fact sheet. “For the best-selling commercial leaf blower, one hour of operation emits smog-forming pollution comparable to driving a 2017 Toyota Camry about 1,100 miles, or approximately the distance from Los Angeles to Denver.”…

Hundreds of cities and towns in the U.S., including Washington, D.C.; Burlington, Vt.; Houston; Palm Beach, Fla.; Aspen, Colo.; and Highland Park, Ill., have enacted restrictions on the use of leaf blowers. Among those restrictions: forbidding gas-powered units, imposing decibel limits and limiting what days one can use them…

On Wednesday, the Boston City Council agreed to consider a resolution that would outlaw gas-powered SOREs. Kenzie Block, a city councilor representing the Fenway, Mission Hill, Back Bay, Bay Village and Beacon Hill neighborhoods, said the main impetus for the ban was health-related.

Noise, health, pollution, and gas use and I could see why this shift toward equipment with other power sources would appeal to many places.

Where is the power equipment lobby with a response? As noted elsewhere in the article, gas-powered equipment could provide power and other opportunities. Or, do companies who manufacture equipment still see enough of a market in other communities and/or are excited to sell lots of people new equipment that they would not otherwise have to buy?

The ripple effects of this on American lawns are interesting to consider. Would battery or electricity powered equipment encourage people to tend to their yards more or not?

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