The Montgomery County Council passed a bill that would ban the use and sale of gas-powered leaf blowers in the Maryland county Tuesday.
It comes after the council were prepared to vote on the proposal in March, but it had been tabled after there were some lingering questions about the bill.
The council said that the ban on selling gas-powered leaf blowers will go into effect on July 1, 2024, while the ban of using those leaf blowers will start on July 1, 2025.
“Montgomery County is moving toward electric leaf blowers because it is an important step to address environmental, noise and health concerns in our community,” Council President Evan Glass said in a statement, adding that the legislation “is one example of the many steps we are taking to help combat climate change.”
The bill will allow for the development of a grant program to negate the cost of replacing gas-powered leaf blowers with electric leaf blowers.
“This legislation is a good step forward toward meeting our climate goals,” Council member Marilyn Balcombe said. “I’m glad that we took the time to discuss it thoroughly, so that we passed the best bill possible.”
The council said the bill will be beneficial to those, especially immigrants, who work in landscaping.
“As the only immigrant on the Montgomery County Council, I am particularly proud to represent the many immigrants who do these incredibly tough and dangerous jobs,” said Council member Fani-González, who serves as chair of the Economic Development Committee. “Today’s vote shows that we are taking action to improve the health of landscape workers, as electric leaf blowers eliminate emissions that heighten respiratory conditions like asthma.
Those who voted to pass the ball include Glass, Vice President Andrew Friedson, plus council members Will Jawando, Sidney Katz, Dawn Luedtke, Kristin Mink, Laurie-Anne Sayles, Kate Stewart, Balcombe and Fani-González.
Two years ago, thousands of Montgomery County residents signed a petition to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, citing air pollution and deafening noise.