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Gas Leaf Blower Ban

From: domainremoved <Rebecca>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2019 14:41:06 -0800

To the City Council:

Hello, my name is Rebecca and I've lived in Menlo Park for the past couple
of years. In light of the recent EPA report on climate change
<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/climate/us-climate-report.html> and the
terrible fires we had this past November, I've been thinking a lot about
how my community can be more environmentally-friendly. In order to reduce
carbon and other emissions, I'd like to suggest a ban on gas leaf blowers.

Last month I attended the Environmental Quality Commission's meeting and
proposed that a ban on gas leaf blowers be considered in Menlo Park. To me,
it seems like a relatively easy way to reduce our city's footprint. We had
a very productive discussion and they suggested that I also get in touch
with the city council.

To provide some background for my proposal,

   - According to a 2017 WSJ article
   <https://www.wsj.com/articles/that-ear-splitting-leaf-blower-it-also-emits-more-pollution-than-a-car-1513346400>
and
   an EPA report
   <https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad/sm_en_fs.pdf?mod=article_inline>,
   operating a gas leaf blower for one hour produces equivalent "smog forming
   emissions" as driving a car 1,000 miles
   - For more on the distinction between carbon emissions and other
   pollutants from leaf blowers: this Washington Post article
   <https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-bad-for-the-environment-are-gas-powered-leaf-blowers/2013/09/16/8eed7b9a-18bb-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7c6bbc1becd4>
   - The pollutants from gas leaf blowers are also awful for the health of
   the workers who use them on a daily basis, as noted in this NPR piece
   <https://www.npr.org/2017/02/28/517576431/california-weighs-tougher-emissions-rules-for-gas-powered-garden-equipment>on
   leaf blowers
   - Gas leaf blowers also contribute to CO2 emissions, as noted in this EPA
   report
   <https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/banks.pdf> and
   in this Quiet Communities report
   <https://www.quietcommunities.org/environmental-impact-qc/>

Moving forward, I hope that a gas leaf blower ban can be considered either
as a city ordinance or within the EQC's Climate Action Plan. My goal would
be for all gas leaf blower usage to be banned in Menlo Park, allowing
landscapers and residents to use either electric leaf blowers or (even
better) conventional rakes instead. To achieve this, perhaps landscaping
companies should be required to obtain a license to operate within Menlo
Park, and a fee could be imposed on anyone who violates the ordinance.

Thank you for your time and input on this issue! I look forward to
receiving more input.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Turley
Received on Wed Jan 09 2019 - 14:38:07 PST

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