by SC Reporter Reese Holiday
photo by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen
In December 2019, council passed an ordinance that restricted the commercial use of these leaf blowers to only be used during the time frame of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and completely restricting the use of the machinery during the nationally recognized holidays of New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
In April of this year, the Santiva Chronicle concluded a poll that saw two-thirds of the poll’s responders wanting more restrictions to gas-powered leaf blowers than those the ordinance had put in place.
Councilman Dr. Scott Crater, who advocated the ban of gas-powered leaf blowers during his city council campaign this year, explained the machinery causes both noise and air pollution, which can be detrimental to the environment and health of those who are using the leaf blowers.
Instead of gas-powered leaf blowers, Crater promoted the use of electric or battery-powered leaf blowers, supporting their ability to do the same job effectively.
With that, council approved to move forward with a new ordinance that will ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers all together. The original date for this ban was Aug. 31, 2022, but council agreed to change the date to Jan. 1, 2023 to allow more time for the islands’ landscapers to make the switch to electrical.
However, before the ordinance is fully in affect, it will have to go through a first reading in July, as well as a second reading in August by council.
While Vice Mayor Johnson is concerned with other gas-powered landscaping equipment causing problems, he believes this ordinance is a first step to eliminating all pollution caused by lawn maintenance machinery on the island.
“We’re focused on gas powered leaf blowers, and then we have all of these other pieces of lawn equipment that are just as polluting and just as noisy, in some cases,” Johnson said. “I have a concern there, but I also recognize that this may be a first step.”