Control the use of Gas Powered Equipment Utilized by Landscaping Companies In Old Tappan

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This town is greatly impacted by the noise and pollution created by the gas powered landscaping equipment utilized by Landscaping Companies (especially leaf blowers). This does impact the quality of life of our residents. Please modify the current ordinance or establish a new ordinance which will limit the noise and environmental issues created by the abundance of gas powered equipment being used within our town by Landscaping Companies.  We hope this change will be made so ALL residents of the town can enjoy their homes, peacefully and without health and environmental concerns.

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NOTE TO ALL: Our Environmental Commission, The Mayor, and Town Council have all been made aware of concerns regarding the heavy use of gas-powered landscaping equipment by landscaping companies within our town, especially gas powered leaf blowers. All were very receptive and will be looking into the issue.  The creation of this petition is to follow up on a request made during the Mayor and Town Council meeting of March 21, 2016, asking if there were other concerned citizens.

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PETITION:

We citizens of Old Tappan value and honor our environment, we greatly value the peace and quiet of our town, and we value and want to protect the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.

Gas powered landscaping equipment, specifically that which is greatly utilized by landscaping companies in our town, degrades our quality of life by negatively impacting that which we value.

Landscaping companies are categorized in our town as construction/repair workers, so as per Ordinance 170-2, they are permitted to work from 7:30am-8:00pm, Monday-Friday, and from 8:00am-6:00pm on Saturdays. They are also permitted to work in clear violation of the town's Noise Ordinance 170.1, which states: "It shall be unlawful for a person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which does or is likely to annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others."
 
Landscaping companies are permitted to work for any length of time between the hours specified in the town's ordinance. They are permitted to work using as many pieces of gas-powered equipment (especially leaf blowers) as they deem necessary. There is no limit to how many landscaping companies can be working within the same area at the same time.  They are permitted to work despite the impact their equipment will have on the peace of our neighborhoods, stability of environment, and quality of life of ALL residents of the town. 
 
We ask the Mayor and Town Council to address the concerns of it's citizens.  We ask that measures be established that will limit the noise pollution, air pollution, environmental hazards, health hazards, which are the result of the work conducted by landscaping companies utilizing gas powered equipment. We ask for these measure be established so that ALL residents of Old Tappan can enjoy their homes and outdoor space.

Thank you. 

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Below is specific information regarding the impact of gas-powered landscaping equipment:

Environmental Impact:

*An analysis of the US EPA’s national emissions inventory database shows that in 2011 gas-powered lawn and garden engines generated approximately 13 billion pounds of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants and 41 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. Lawn mowers emit 11 times the pollution of cars. The 2-stroke engines of leaf blowers, string trimmers, and edgers are far worse. These engines burn an oil-gas mixture and emit ozone-forming chemicals and fine particulate matter. 

Noise Impact:

*At point of use, gas-powered leaf blower and lawn mower noise levels exceed 100 decibels (dB). Those levels far exceed safe levels established by the World Health Organization, US Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Noise at these levels can affect our physical health, mental health, and ability to think and function. Potential health effects range from annoyance, sleep disruption, decreased school performance, to ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, and hearing loss.

Health Impact:

*Lawn and garden pollution consists of: 1) ozone-forming chemicals and 2) fine particulate matter. Ozone and particle pollution threaten the health of millions of Americans, according the  American Lung Association. Exposure to these forms of pollution is ESPECIALLY HAZARDOUS TO CHILDREN, seniors, people with chronic illness, and unprotected workers. Even short term exposure can be dangerous according the US Environmental Protection Agency.

 (*www.quietcommunities.org)

 



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