Ban Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in the Village of Pelham

Ban Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in the Village of Pelham

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Xaira Ferrara started this petition to Mayor Chance Mullen

We ask Mayor Mullen and the Village of Pelham Board of Trustees to completely ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the Village. 

Gas-powered leaf blowers are obsolete and have a negative impact on our health and environment. The current pandemic has taken a toll on our community and the constant noise of these leaf blowers as we work and learn from home has become even more of an issue. 

The Village of Larchmont implemented a complete ban in September, after an emergency ban in April, setting an example for our Village to follow. 

Environmental data. The underlying technical problem with gas-powered leaf blowers is their reliance on technology so obsolete, so polluting, and so primitive that it has been outlawed or phased out in most other uses. These two-stroke engines burn a slurry of gasoline and oil—and burn it so inefficiently that some 30 percent of the fuel is sprayed straight out as polluting aerosols. The fuel that is burned is done so crudely that one little leaf blower can be vastly more polluting than a fleet of modern cars—as cars and trucks have gotten dramatically cleaner, and this old tech has stayed the same. One famous study found that running a leaf blower for half an hour was, in terms of certain kinds of pollution, the equivalent of driving a truck for thousands of miles. 

Public health data. The CDC says there is an incipient epidemic of hearing damage, for which nuisance noise like this is a major contributor. Acoustic studies have documented the unusually penetrating qualities of very loud and low-frequency noise from leaf blowers. Other studies have identified the carcinogenic, asthma-inducing, and other disease-causing elements in the engine emissions and the clouds of fine particulates the blowers produce. These effects extend across neighborhoods, but of course are most intensely concentrated, in much of the country, on hired lawn crews. Overall they are much more vulnerable than the people who are paying them and are far from guaranteed to have good health coverage a decade or so in the future when the pulmonary and auditory effects of their work take their toll.

Technological progress. All the major manufacturers know where technology and policy are leading them, and are featuring new battery-powered models. The revolution in price-and-performance for batteries that is being driven by Elon Musk’s Tesla and many other firms is affecting this business as well.

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