Many Seattle residents could see their least favorite alarmclock eliminated by 2025.
A resolutionAlex Pederson, a Seattle City Councilmember, would eliminate gas-powered leaf broom use by the city by January 2025. Or sooner if necessary.
Businesses and residents of Seattle would be required by law to end their use by January 2027. If necessary, they could be phased out later.
Many Seattleites may be supportive of nuisance leaf blowers. However, the city council believes that this resolution would eliminate any other negative consequences of leaf blowers.
Leaf blowers can have adverse effects on the health of landscape service workers. Officials from the municipality also stated that gas-powered leafblowers are not a major source in greenhouse gases. Seattle residents are frequently exposed to fine particulate matter. This can have adverse cardiovascular and respiratory effects.
“We pride ourselves on being ahead on environmental, public health and worker protection issues, so I think this is in alignment with that and should be done expeditiously,” Pederson said in Friday’s Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee meeting.
Referred to by the City Council central staff 2018 StudyThe Washington, D.C. Arup consultancy compared noise levels and frequency made by two-stroke gas blowers and electric motors. The results showed that gas blowers produce more sound at lower frequencies, whereas electric leaf blowers are similar in volume.
The study showed that lower frequency sounds travel longer distances and through walls. This makes gas blowers more bothersome than electric blowers.
Diverse departments in Seattle had 418 gas-powered Leaf Brooms last year. This is 348 fewer than the 70 electric leaf brooms that the city owns.
Leaf blowers are prohibited in more than 170 jurisdictions across 31 US states. More than 40 jurisdictions have banned leaf blowers powered by gas.
Burlington (VT), Washington D.C. (Washington D.C.) and Portland, OR all have banned gas blowers or will do so in the next two-year.
Michael Porcello, the Committee director for the Washington D.C. Committee on Transportation and the Environment, spoke to councilmembers about the implementation of the ban. The District spent $55,000 to convert its electric blowers. This included IT upgrades for its 311 network, vehicle costs for its enforcement personnel, and other non-salary expenses.
Seattle City Central Staff reported it has started inquiries about the cost differential for electric leaf blowers. The information will become available in time to allow budget deliberations next year.
The Seattle Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee passed the resolution unanimously. It will be presented to the full city council at the Sept. 6 meeting.