Gas-powered leaf blowers facing ban in Seattle, pending council decision

Aug 8, 2022, 7:48 PM
gas-powered leaf blower...
(Photo by Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pedersen introduced a law to remove gas-powered leaf blowers for city government by 2025, and for businesses and residents by 2027, in favor of electric ones.

“Gas-powered leaf blowers cause air pollution, noise pollution that harms workers who use them as well as the people and animals nearby,” Pederson said.

Seattle is also weighing incentives for people and businesses to switch to electric leaf-blowers instead, such as a rebate program.

State lawmaker proposes bill to offer people money in exchange for gas-powered yard tools

Critics of this potential ban state that gas-powered leaf blowers are significantly stronger than electric and battery-powered ones for landscapers.

“Over 430 constituents took my informal survey on whether to phase out the leaf blowers and 82% said yes,” Pederson said.

Seattle is not the only city looking at a leaf blower ban. Gas-powered leaf blowers will be illegal in San Rafael, a town 30 minutes north of San Francisco, Calif., starting Oct. 1 and violators could eventually face fines of up to $500.

Dallas City Council committee members also appear ready to move forward with a gradual ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in the city, but have no definitive timeline for when a ban would take place.

Two weeks ago, the City Council said it wanted to act swiftly on the ordinance following public feedback that the prohibition should take effect as soon as possible. The council approved the new law Monday.

“Gas-powered leaf blowers are contrary to our values — they use fossil fuels and are unwelcoming with their excessive noise and toxic emissions,” said Nicole Grant, Executive Director of 350 Seattle, an environmental and climate justice organization. “We are pleased that Councilmember Pedersen is proposing a sound process for the city to transition away from these unnecessary machines.”

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Gas-powered leaf blowers facing ban in Seattle, pending council decision