by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
WPDH reports that many towns in the mid-Hudson Valley have effectively banned gas-powered leaf blowers from use. Beacon, NY limits leaf blowers to those under 60 decibels, which effectively means that no gas-powered leaf blowers can be used. Rhinebeck NY has a similar law. New Paltz is considering a law that would only allow quieter electric leaf blower use.
We favor battery-powered leaf blowers, although some of these are too loud. We recommend that municipal ordinances specify sound level limits, and also allow citizen reporting of leaf blower violations, as is already done in Santa Monica, California.
Wherever you live, if gas-powered leaf blowers create a noise problem, become an activist. Talk to your elected representative. Tell them other cities and towns are becoming quieter, and yours can, too.