Dec 8, 2021 - News

Dallas considering leaf blower ban

Illustration of a no symbol with a leaf blower for a crossbar.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Dallas’ environment and sustainability committee is evaluating a possible ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in the city.

Why it matters: Last year, the Dallas City Council adopted a comprehensive environmental and climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% in the next eight years.

  • The ultimate goal is to make Dallas carbon neutral by 2050.

State of play: Passing a ban is a long way off. The environment committee was briefed on the effects of leaf blowers Tuesday but a full report isn’t expected until next September.

  • Committee members asked city staff to write a memo in January on the city’s own use of leaf blowers.

Yes, but: Enforcement of such a ban could be difficult. A ban itself is ineffective without an educational component to show residents how environmentally destructive are, several council members said during the briefing.

By the numbers: Leaf blowers are loud and the two-stroke engines that use both gas and oil put emissions directly into the air, according to the presentation.

  • The machines can blow up to 180 mph, meaning all that junk on the ground just gets pushed into the air.
  • One hour of leaf blower use equals the emissions of a drive from Dallas to Orlando, and the noise can exceed 100 decibels.

What they’re saying: “We can’t nibble around the edges. We have to actually look at something that changes what our air quality is in North Texas,” committee chair Paula Blackmon said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Our thought bubble: If you’ve ever been on a Zoom meeting when a lawn crew fires up a leaf blower, you know just how loud and obnoxious the machines can be.


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