Letter to the editor
Ban leaf blowers
Working at home over the past couple of years has made it clear we face a significant environmental hazard that's badly in need of action by the City of West Linn: use of gas-powered leaf blowers (GPLBs).
Many cities across the country have enacted varying degrees of bans or limits on the use of these machines, including Portland and over 20 cities in California. I'm sure more have tried.
House Bill 3350 died last June before it could be voted on. HB 3350 would have prohibited the sale or use of two-cycle gas-powered leaf blowers after 2023, statewide.
The two-cycles, engine of choice, are particularly nasty — dangerous to the environment, the operator, kids, dogs, neighbors. They burn 60 to 70% of the gas and oil mixture used as fuel, emitting noxious and carcinogenic fumes. Ahh, smells like fall.
Lots of studies are out there pointing to the dangers, here and abroad. An Edmunds study showed that a four-stroke Ryobi leaf blower emitted more pollutants in 30 minutes than a F-150 truck driving 3,887 miles. Two-strokes were worse, of course.
Germany's Ministry of the Environment warned that GPLBs were too loud, polluted the air, and were a threat to insects.
What? Sorry. Here, let me close the window on this gorgeous day. I said: they are painfully loud, and why we have not acted to ban these machines is beyond me.
Do we care less about the environment and our neighborhoods than Brookline, Massachusetts, or Dobbs Ferry, New York?
I think not. Let's look at how other cities have dealt with this and ban the blowers.
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