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!