Palm Beach Looks to Ban Gas Blowers

Town officials say noise is intolerable, but some residents push back.

Leaf blower operators 552fe20ae4a15

As reported by WPTV in West Palm Beach, residents of Palm Beach, FL, are at odds with town leaders over the issue of leaf blower noise. The Town Council has crept to the brink of banning leaf blowers, only to pull back hearing citizens’ complaints.

One councilperson said the leaf blowers are so obnoxious that you can’t even hear yourself think.

Now the Council is looking to pass an ordinace that would ban only gas-powered blowers, restricting landscapers and others to the use of electric-powered models.

Once landscaper isn’t happy about that prospect. He said switching to electric blowers would be a huge financial burden since one electric blower can cost up to $4,000 (not sure where in the world that number comes from). That cost would have to be passed down to his customers.

A spokesperson for Stihl Southeast testified that gas-powered leaf blower technology has come a long way, and that many of today’s models are considerably safer and quieter than in the past—often well below EPA standards.

The Palm Beach Council will take a final vote at a meeting sometime in March.