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a one year test Conservation Advisory Council believes that particles from leaf blowers are harmful to one's health
The Greenburgh Town Board will hold a public hearing this Wednesday night at 7:30 PM on a proposal initiated by the Greenburgh Conservation Advisory Council to ban all leaf blowers for a two month trial period (June 15th to August 14th). The CAC believes that the particles from leaf blowers (gas and electric) are harmful to residents health. They are advocating a two month test during the summer months. Leaves typically don't come down during the summer months. So leaf blowers may not be as necessary for landscapers. This test will only last for one year. It will be interesting for residents to have the opportunity to experience peace and quiet with no leaf blowing for two months during the summer.
Residents who can't attend the hearing but would like to comment can also e mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts. The hearing is being held at Greenburgh Town Hall but residents can also participate by zoom if they prefer.
This proposal is in addition to the noise ordinance amendments that we had a public hearing on recently. The noise ordinance recommendations will be voted on separately by the Town Board.
PAUL FEINERGreenburgh Town Supervisor
PROPOSED LEGISLATION IS BELOW
A local law creating a new Chapter 374 entitled "Leaf Blowers; Regulation of Yard and Leaf Blowers” of the Town Code of the Town of Greenburgh pursuant to New York State Constitution Article IX and New York Municipal Home Rule Law § 10 creating a new chapter for the purpose of regulating the use of leaf and garden blowers.
BE IT ENACTED by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh, Chapter 374 entitled, "Leaf Blowers; Regulation of Yard and Leaf Blowers"
§ 1. Title.
§ 2. Legislative Intent and Findings.
§ 3. Definition.
§ 4. Restriction on use of blowers.
§ 5. Exemptions.
§ 6. Suspension.
§ 7. Educational Information.
§ 8. Enforcement and Fines.
§ 9. Expiration.
§ 10. Severability.
§ 11. Effective Date.
§ 1. Title. This local law is entitled “Local law creating new Chapter 374 entitled, “Leaf Blowers; Regulation of Yard and Leaf Blowers”
A. Virtually all blowers, both gas and electric, emit hurricane force winds and annoying noise. They involuntarily expose residents to air-borne particulates and noise pollution, as well as disturbing the regeneration of soil.B. (1) The wind force from blowers is directed towards the ground, and lifts particulate matter from the ground and throws it into the air. From vegetated areas, these air-borne particulates can include animal waste (feces and urine), fungi, spores, mold, herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides and substances such as lead, mercury, copper and arsenic. From impervious surfaces, these air-borne particulates additionally can include petroleum distillates, metals from brake linings, and paint dust, which may include lead. These air-borne particulates can lodge in the lungs potentially creating harmful health effects, especially to children, the elderly, and individuals with asthma, who are particularly at risk.
(2) In addition to involuntarily exposing residents to air-borne particulates, blowers involuntarily expose residents to uncomfortable and annoying noise levels.
(3) A harmful effect of blowers' hurricane-level wind force is the disturbance and disruption of soil regeneration, which is beneficial and necessary for healthy vegetation as well as flood mitigation. C. The law does not regulate care of yards, only one means of doing so during the specified time period.
For purposes of this Chapter, the term “blower” shall mean: any equipment, tool or other device which propels air for the purpose of blowing leaves, grass, waste or other debris, regardless of how the equipment, tool or device is powered.
§ 4. Restriction on Use of Blowers.
Blowers may not be used at any time during the period beginning June 15th through, and including, August 14th. .
§ 5. Exemptions.A. The restriction provided by Section 4 shall not apply to use of blowers (i) for debris clean-up resulting from tree removals authorized under Chapter 260 Trees, Community Management and (ii) within 2 feet of outdoor equipment such as air conditioning compressors, generators and other outdoor machinery, and related piping and/or wiring exposed above ground.B. The restriction provided by Section 4 shall not apply to use of blowers for activities of the Department of Public Works affecting public safety on roadways, walkways and road islands and, upon the authorization of the Commissioner (recorded in a DPW log), for extenuating circumstances such as special events, equipment malfunctions, equipment shortages and personnel shortagesC. The restriction provided by Section 4 shall not apply to use of blowers for activities of the Department of Parks & Recreation affecting public safety on park roadways, park walkways and road islands and, upon the authorization of the Commissioner (recorded in a Parks Department log), for extenuating circumstances such as special events, equipment malfunctions, equipment shortages and personnel shortages.D. The restriction provided by Section 4 shall not apply to the use of blowers for activities of the Hartsdale Public Parking District affecting public safety in public parking lots and parking garages during the hours 9 am - 11 am, except to the extent such use outside of those hours is necessitated by equipment malfunctions, equipment shortages and personnel shortages.
§ 6. Suspension.Upon a weather emergency occurring or about to occur in the town, the Town Supervisor may issue a directive ordering the restriction provided by Section 4 to be suspended for the period of time specified in the directive. The Town Supervisor may, for cause, extend any suspension for a further specified period of time. Such directives shall be posted on the Town website and transmitted to the Police Department, Department of Community Development & Conservation, Department of Public Works, Department of Parks & Recreation, Building Department and Hartsdale Public Parking District.
The Town shall have educational information regarding the environmental and health impacts of blowers prepared for the Town to post on its website and distribute to residents.
§ 8. Enforcement and Fines.A. This law shall be enforced by the Greenburgh Police Department, the Department of Community Development & Conservation, the Building Department and such others as the Town Board may designate.B. Any person operating a blower in violation of this chapter shall be subject to fines per occurrence as follows:
1) For the first occurrence: A written warning shall be issued, but no monetary fine shall be imposed.2) For the second occurrence: $ 1003) For the third occurrence: $ 2504) For each subsequence occurrence: $ 500
If the owner or renter of the property on which the violation occurs is not the person operating the blower, such owner or renter shall also be subject to a separate fine in the same amount.
§ 9. Expiration.This law will automatically expire one year following from its effective date, unless the Town Board after notice and a public hearing extends, or extends with amendments, the law.
§ 10. Severability.If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such order or judgment shall be confined in its operation to the controversy in which it was rendered and shall not affect or invalidate the remainder or any part hereof to any other person or circumstance, and to this end the provisions of each section of this law are hereby declared to be severable.
§ 11. Effective Date.This law shall take effect upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State of New York.