Thousands in Montgomery Co. sign petition for ban on gas-powered leaf blowers

With more people working from home, some residents of Montgomery County are backing a petition demanding a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, blaming them for air pollution and deafening noise.

As of Wednesday morning, nearly 3,000 people had signed a Change.org petition asking county officials for a complete ban on gas-powered leaf blowers from properties less than three-quarters of an acre.

The group behind it, Quiet Clean Montgomery, sees gas-powered leaf blowers as both nuisance and an environmental hazard.

“As residents are forced to spend more of our time at home, the noise from gas-powered Leaf blowers is increasingly disruptive and harmful to our families’ health and to our quality of life,” the group writes on its website.

An hour of yard cleaning with a gasoline-fueled blower amounts to the same air pollution as driving a 2016 Toyota Camry 1,100 miles, according to statistics from the California Air Resources Board.

“Some landscaping companies argue that going green and using electric power tools will slightly reduce their efficiency and make them less competitive,” the petition states on Change.org.

“This is precisely why a ban will be so beneficial, as it will level the playing field across all companies and not allow a small number of dissentients to profit from the good will of eco-friendly companies.”

Gas-powered leaf blowers are already banned in Chevy Chase Village and the Town of Chevy Chase.

D.C. passed a similar ban in 2018 set to take effect in 2022.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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