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!
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