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