Michigan city bans gas leaf blowers in unanimous vote

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A city in Michigan has banned gasoline-powered leaf blowers due to noise and health issues.

The decision was made unanimously by Ann Arbor’s city council on Monday, according to Mlive.com. 

The new law, sponsored by council members Jenn Cornell, Dharma Akmon and Jen Eyer was up for debate for weeks. 

The 10 council members heard mixed feedback during a public hearing before the vote, including from a lawn care contractor who said transitioning to electric leaf blowers by 2028 would cost his business thousands of dollars. 

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The four-year, gradual phase out is meant to not cause economic hardship for small businesses, democratic member Cornell said, according to the local outlet.

The new law will fully ban gas blowers starting Jan. 1, 2028, but until then they will be allowed from October through May only.

Even when 2028 comes around, there are exceptions to the ordinance. Gas leaf blowers will still be able to be used by contractors who are doing street, sidewalk or paving construction work. They also reportedly may be used in emergency situations for health, safety and property protection purposes, or for post-emergency property restoration purposes like clearing debris from driveways, streets or walkways.

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Snow leaf blower

Ann Arbor, Michigan

  

A member of the city’s environmental commission said the ban will “benefit workers, neighbors, wildlife and the community overall,” as Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, joins other communities with similar ordinances. 

The penalty for first offenses is $100 and $250 for any additional offenses. 

Ann Arbor has a population of about 124,000, according to 2020 U.S. Census numbers. 

Read the full article here

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