Kudos to Multnomah County!

A big shout-out to Multnomah County for its collaborative leadership in the development of Portland’s equitable gas leaf blower phase-out policy!  And for committing to the successful implementation of that policy. Chair Jessica Vega Pederson deserves special credit for championing this policy since 2018 when she first began discussing the idea with former City Commissioner Nick Fish.

Here’s just a partial list of everything the County has done to help eliminate gas leaf blowers in the Portland region:

  • Supported Portland’s resolution in 2019 to transition all of the City’s leaf blowers from gas to electric as soon as possible.
  • Enacted a corresponding County resolution in 2021 to transition the county’s leaf blowers off gas.
  • Convened and led a joint, city-county work group that met for several months and produced a set of recommendations for an equitable, city-wide transition off gas leaf blowers.
  • Authorized the County Sustainability Director to work closely with a team in the City’s Bureau of Planning & Sustainability on the nuts & bolts of a draft leaf blower ordinance.
  • Agreed to handle enforcement of Portland’s ordinance, as specified by Title 8 of the city’s municipal code (Public Health & Sanitation).
  • Approved $210,000 in its FY 2025 budget to support implementation of the City ordinance, including a new county position focused on outreach & education, enforcement, and incentives.
  • Offered to help create and fund an incentives program for small businesses to purchase electric blowers.

Tremendous thanks to all County Commissioners for supporting the implementation of Portland’s leaf blower ordinance. We know the county has many people to consider beyond Portland’s boundaries, and we hope Commissioners can use the example of Portland’s ordinance to encourage other cities and unincorporated communities throughout the county to follow suit.

The Quiet Clean PDX Steering Committee:

Michael Hall, Albert Kaufman, Tamara Olcott, Stan Penkin, Brian Stewart, Judy Walton

Submit comments on proposed ordinance

Welcome. The main thing is to get to the City’s comment page and share your thoughts on this issue. Deadline: January 31st, 2024 – Take action now!

Our marketing “expert”, Albert Kaufman, sent this message out to his friends in the region. The gist is:

I think the current ordinance is way too weak. It should start immediately. There should be no carve-outs or exceptions for anyone.”

Brian Stewart, who also helps run Electrify Now shared these points that he is sending to his friends:

On the notice that I sent to my friends and colleagues, I included this to remind people about the problems with these tools….

Gas powered leaf blowers are not just a nuisance!

  • They create extreme levels of noise that can cause permanent hearing loss (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and disrupt schools, businesses, and our neighborhoods.
  • Just 1 hour of operating a gas leaf blower creates more air pollution than driving a car for 1,100 miles. (California Air Resources Board)
  • Leaf blowers and other lawn and garden equipment produce over 80,000 lbs of smog-forming pollutants on a summer day in the Portland-Vancouver area. (Oregon DEQ)
  • Operating and maintaining a gas blower produces a consistent stream of toxic solid waste from used air filters, gas filters, spark plugs, oil cans, and gasoline spills.
  • The exposure to noise, air pollution, and toxic waste is particularly dangerous to the low-wage workers using this equipment.
  • Transitioning to electric equipment would avoid all of these dangers.

And last, but definitely not least – Judy Walton who is our editor and previous academic penned this response to share with you:

  • This is a public comment period on a draft document.  So every argument should reference something in the draft – e.g., why it should start sooner, or why the fall exemption isn’t necessary, etc. For example:
    • The fall exemption period is completely unnecessary.  Dozens of other cities – even with heavy wet fall seasons – have year-round bans and they work just fine.  Contractors have continued to operate – no one went out of business.  They figured it out.
    • The start dates for the phase-in and year-round ban are much too late. The landscape industry has been dragging its feet on this for years.  They’ll never be ready. We’ve given them enough free passes.  We’re even paying for them to buy new tools.  Let’s put the public welfare first, not a flawed business model that harms our health.
    • Enforcement must be much stronger.  Large contractors and property managers should be held potentially responsible.  In the case of small contractors doing residential homes, homeowners could continue to be the responsible party.  But don’t give large contractors and the property managers who hire them a pass.  They should be on the hook for their behavior too.
    • This ordinance can’t come soon enough. The full ban should start in 2025.  Big commercial contractors will continue to bellyache about possibly going out of business if they have to switch tools. That’s B.S.  It’s being done all over the country thanks to ordinances.  The industry will fight change for as long as it can, but we can’t keep subsidizing their harmful activities.
    • Start the phase-out sooner and business will adjust. Bans are the mother of invention – they lead to more ecological practices like mulch mowing. That’s a win-win!
    • Start the full ban earlier. Contractors will never be ready – they’ve been saying “5 more years” for at least 20 years. But once they’re all on a level playing field, no one is being singled out. Clients will still get service at competitive prices with the tools available. Let’s put everyone’s health first for a change and get started sooner, with no fall carve-outs.

Your Next Step

Head to the Comment page and let your creativity and passion flow. Thank you!


Take Action

Door Hanger and Postcard Image Files

Below you’ll find our generic door hanger and postcard designs without the Quiet Clean PDX log0. Feel free to print them for your own campaign (they are PNG files).  We used Vistaprint, which charged $530 for 10,000 door hangers and about $300 for 5,000 postcards. Good luck!  Click on any image below to open and save it.

June 2019 Hearing before the House Energy and Environment Subcommitte on HB3350

We had a hearing on HB3350 on 6.18.19

here’s the video – enjoy! + Testimony!

Imagery free for your use – thank you for spreading the word

LINKS to Leaf Blower articles

Please share these images and documentation as you like.

Thank you for helping us clear the air.

Quiet Clean PDX

DEQ Air Quality Report Gas-Free Maintenance Brochure 3-12-19 LB Transition Team Slide Show 2019 leaf blower ban petition Leave-The-Leaves1 (1) Leave-The-Leaves1

Let’s Get Quiet and Clean PDX!


Hi everyone, We’re just getting started. Here are a few links for you to take a look at what we’ve done so far.  Thanks for your help!

Quiet Clean PDX Website: https://www.quietcleanpdx.org/
NO GLB newsletter sign-up – https://tinyurl.com/noGLBs-in-Oregon
Newsletter #1 https://conta.cc/2EWZfCx
Online Petition supporting HB 3350 http://chng.it/gwbM4VxWn2
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/quietcleanpdx/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/quietcleanpdx/

June 2019 – Recent video testimony before the Oregon House Energy and Environment Committee!

Poem by Kim Stafford, Oregon Poet Laureate 2020

The Devil’s Workshop


To torture your neighbors, some devil said,

I give you my multi-tool that hits so many irritants at once: 

it deafens workers so their ears ring, it kicks up killing dust to sicken children,

it spews more poisons to taint the sky in a mere half-hour than a truck driving

from the Texas plains to Alaska, and all to hustle leaves from yard to bin.


Have you seen one such contraption chase a single leaf to pirouette

in the blue plume that’s killing us? Have you gritted your teeth

and hated the neighbor you recently enjoyed? Have you missed

your meditative hour with rake and rain, as you walked your way

from summer into fall? My friend, the bar is low. We can do better.