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Happy Leaf Blower Season to all who celebrate. This time of year, leaf blowers are ubiquitous. But are they legal? It depends.
Electric leaf blowers, in most cases, are legal, though many cities have noise ordinances that only permit their use during certain times of day. But dozens of cities and states all over the country have passed laws banning gas-powered leaf blowers.
Illinois, for instance, enacted a law beginning January 1, 2022, making use of gas-powered leaf blowers illegal due to their noise and emissions. Fines for use could be up to $500. California is also banning the sale of all gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers by 2024.
Several cities in California, Colorado, Vermont, and New York, just to name a few also have local ordinances banning gas-powered leaf blowers. Some only ban in non-autumn seasons or at particular times of day (because of noise pollution). This site can help give you guidance on the status of gas-powered leaf blower bans in your city or state.
While of course it is crucial for facility managers to be familiar with the codes in their locales, these laws, however, are rarely enforced. Most enforcement is through tips to local authorities from people fed up with the noise or smell. Whether or not gas-powered leaf bans are enforced, however, facility managers, especially those in organizations with environmental goals, would be smart to transition to new strategies for groundskeeping.
Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine.
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