RESOLUTION SUPPORTING GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWER REGULATION
- Gas-powered leaf blowers with two-stroke engines emit pollutants that greatly exceed levels produced by automobiles operating for the same period. For instance, a 2011 test by Edmunds demonstrated that consumer-grade leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. . . [; Indeed,] ‘the hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor.’”
- Noise levels generated by gas-powered leaf blowers often exceed the upper limits of safe human exposure, as determined by federal health and workplace safety authorities.
- The populations most seriously threatened by gas-powered leaf blowers include individuals operating the equipment themselves, as well as those near such operation, especially children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions.
- Workers employed by lawn maintenance companies are frequently first-generation Americans facing language barriers, such that they may not fully comprehend the risk to their health from operation of gas-burning leaf blowers, and/or they lack sufficient job security to raise concerns about equipment that increases their risk of hypertension, cancer, heart disease, strokes, neurological impairment, and hearing loss.
- Operation of gas-powered leaf blowers creates noise pollution for residents and degrades quality of life.
- Effective alternatives exist for leaf management (such as battery-powered or electric leaf blowers) that do not generate the same harms to public health and the environment.
- Over 35 municipalities in the United States now prohibit the operation of gas-burning leaf blowers.
- Council Member Cheh introduced a bill (B22-0234) in the D.C. City Council, co-sponsored by Council Members Bonds, Grosso, McDuffie, and Allen, to phase out the sale and operation of gas-powered leaf blowers in the District of Columbia by the end of 2021, allowing adequate time for current owners and retailers of such equipment to amortize their inventories and transition to healthier and more environmentally-sustainable alternative.
- The Council has not yet scheduled a hearing on the bill.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- ANC 3E respectfully asks Council Chair Mendelson, in his capacity as Chair of the Council’s Committee of the Whole, to which B22-0234 has been referred, to schedule a hearing on the bill at the earliest practicable date, and be it further resolved,
- ANC 3E respectfully asks the Council to enact B2200234 and Mayor Bowser to sign the legislation.
The resolution passed by a vote of __-__-__ at a properly noticed meeting held on March 15, 2018, at which a quorum was present, with Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, Hall, McHugh, and Quinn in attendance.
by Jonathan Bender
 “Leaf Blower’s Emissions Dirtier than High-Performance Pick-Up Truck’s, Says Edmunds’ InsideLine.com,” Dec. 6, 2011 at https://www.edmunds.com/about/press/leaf-blowers-emissions-dirtier-than-high-performance-pick-up-trucks-says-edmunds-insidelinecom.html