The most recent quarterly report from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute address changing leaf blower codes across the country. Here is an excerpt from the report:
Focused assaults on leaf blower use continues. Municipalities continue to introduce new restrictions and bans on leaf blowers including Sonoma and Ojai, Calif.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Newton, Mass., and Maplewood, N.J. Organized groups in several communities continue to press for new restrictions and bans including Carson, Oak Park, Long Beach, Santa Cruz, and Portola Valley, Calif.; Salem and Lincoln, Mass.; Greenburgh and New Hampsted, N.Y.; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.
OPEI continues to track ongoing issues, and research existing bans and restrictions across the country. With the latest series of bans and restrictions, OPEI has identified 25 municipalities with gas-powered blower bans (several of which include complete blower bans), and almost 100 municipalities that impose use restrictions on blower use, including limiting the use by time of the day, days of the week, and most recently for commercial use. OPEI research uncovered more than 100 outdoor power equipment-specific use restrictions in municipal codes.
OPEI teamed up with the National Assn. of Landscape Professionals (NALP) at the May 9 handheld committee meeting to organize new strategies and materials to combat new leaf blower code developments. OPEI is looking forward to working with NALP and Four Leaf Public Relations to develop a new toolkit for landscapers and leaf blower advocates to use when challenging proposed bans and restrictions.
Kris Kiser, president of OPEI, commented on the issue during a recent discussion with Rural Lifestyle Dealer at the recent GIE+Expo. "We're seeing genuine trends regarding leaf blower bans in communities. We need dealers, landscapers, users and others to to engage their city councils when these debates arise," Kiser says.