image_pdf
Clay Banks via Unsplash

The Montclair Township Council introduced on Feb. 2 a revised, stronger ordinance on gas-powered leaf blower usage. It includes a new requirement of personal protection for workers who use these loud and polluting leaf blowers, as well as limits the gas-powered “internal combustion engine” equipment to just two months in the spring and two months in the fall.

The new schedule will limit usage to March 15 through May 15, then Oct. 15 through Dec. 15, allowing the residents of Montclair to enjoy the maximum freedom from the noise and pollution for an entire five months, running through half of the spring season, and all of summer into early fall.

We did not ban use on Sundays, as Maplewood has done, and we are not prohibiting the use of electric, battery-powered blowers, which can still be used by landscapers and residents on their own property, at any time. In fact, we are encouraging, as a matter of policy, a gradual transition by all landscapers, residents and government agencies to the newer, battery-powered, quieter and less-polluting equipment.

This ordinance is not new. A version has been in effect for over 25 years, since before I served once as mayor, and was its major advocate then in the mid-1990s. We are simply improving it in response to the many resident complaints and requests for a quieter environment during the pandemic, which has forced so many to work and learn from home. Let’s all work together to enjoy a healthier and more peaceful environment this year!

Bob Russo

Montclair Township councilman


Montclair Local’s Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.

Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@montclairlocal.news, or mail “Letters to the Editor,” 309 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer’s name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.

Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday to be eligible for potential publication in that week’s Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.

Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our “Town
Square” banner. “Town Square” essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to letters@montclairlocal.news at least seven days prior to publication.