Stop the ban on leaf blowers. Save jobs and help your economy.

Stop the ban on leaf blowers. Save jobs and help your economy.

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Finn Neilsen started this petition to County Executive Marc Elrich

The Landscaping industry in Montgomery County MD provides thousands of jobs for county residents. One of the key components or tools landscapers use to provide a service  for hundreds of thousands of county residents are the gas powered leaf blowers.  Taking this tool away from those providing the service will at best raise operating costs for small business owners who will have no option but to pass those escalating operating costs on to the clients, and at worst, the small business owner will no longer be able to provide a service for a competitive price, which will ultimately cause job losses. 

We have all heard the rhetoric from those who want these tools banned, so I’m not going to bore anyone with all the counter rhetoric why these arguments are baseless!  What I will say is this. Where does this stop- Gas powered lawn mowers?  What about string trimmers? Snowblowers? What about all the other noice making tools and machines we encounter on a daily basis?

The blowers are a tool, just like any other tool that is used by tradesman who help provide a service to county residents. Tools make noice, like saws and jackhammers and any other tool a carpenter or tradesman is using to build a house, a street, a building and retaining wall.  Why not target them and take their tools away as well?  What if someone were to come along and take the computer away from a Lawyer, a Journalist, a Real Estate Agent?

Maybe this has become a bigger issue now with Covid, because almost everyone who might have been working in the office 9-5 is now working from home and that’s when landscapers are tending to theirs and their neighbor’s property.  But what happens when life returns to normal and residents return to their offices and the blowers are not an issue? Life returns back to normal for these people, but if the law is passed, for those working in the landscape industry, we are now handicapped.  I think this proposal to ban gas powered leaf blowers is incredibly shortsighted, unfair and targets an industry that provides thousands of jobs for the local residents and pumps millions o fb dollars into the local economy. 

And as for battery powered blowers. (Because I know the question is festering) The technology isn’t there yet for commercial use.  I would ask legislators to focus on the manufacturers rather than the commercial landscape industry and private citizens. Work directly with the manufacturers, challenging them to make units that are quieter, and less polluting.  But targeting the landscapers and a tool that’s vitally important to our industry is the wrong answer to this dilemma. 

Maybe the legislative body can work with Elon Musk to develop a cost effective commercial grade battery powered backpack leaf blower?

 

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