EnvironmentThe White Plains Examiner

Landscapers Oppose Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban in WP

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Landscapers came out in force last week to implore the White Plains Common Council to reconsider an ordinance that eliminates the use of gas-powered leaf blower equipment as of May 14.

While gas-powered lawnmowers, chain saws, trimmers and other equipment are still permitted, experienced landscapers told councilmembers during the Citizens to Be Heard portion of the April 3 meeting the Noise Pollution Control Ordinance that prohibits gas-powered leaf blowers between March 15 and May 14 and between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15 will severely hurt their businesses.

“Gas powered equipment is critical to allow us to work efficiently and cost effectively,” said a landscaper who has been in business for 36 years. “The law is a hardship to lawn and landscapers professionally.”

Several members of the New York State Nursery and Landscaping Association urged the council to “rethink the law,” contending the alternatives of electrical or battery-powered equipment were not feasible.

Some speakers maintained batteries that are used in the industry were highly toxic, dangerous and flammable.

“The City of White Plains is taking away one of our serviced tools in our toolbox,” said Larry Wilson.

City officials have contended the phase-out of gas-powered leaf blowers was necessary to reduce noise and pollution and protect the environment.

But some homeowners, such as Hope Bogart, came to the defense of landscapers.

“In the fall and spring, you really need to stay with gas powered blowers. Batteries are not efficient,” she said. “Landscapers will have to raise prices and we will lose these businesses.”

Anyone who violates the ordinance is subject to a $250 fine for a first offense, a $500 fine for a second offense and a $1,000 fine for subsequent offenses.

In White Plains, no one can operate any landscaping machinery or equipment between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays.



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