WHO WE ARE
We are Montgomery County, Maryland residents
advocating for an urban-area phase-out of Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
to reduce noise that disrupts our lives,
clean our air,
and protect the health of community members and workers.
PHASE OUT GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (GPLBs):
have noise levels that are harmful to the health of residents and especially lawn-care workers
emit large quantities of harmful air pollutants
disrupt our work & schooling, while harming wildlife and plants
A Montgomery County phase-out of GPLBs will give us cleaner, quieter, and safer communities
Both District of Columbia and Chevy Chase Village (CCV) have enacted bans on GPLBs, effective January 1, 2022
The DC and CCV bans mean landscape companies working in those jurisdictions must switch to cleaner, quieter, safer electric leaf blowers, so the impact on most Montgomery County landscapers would be minimal
Contact your Council Members (see list below)
to urge them to take up this legislation without further delay.
(to our questionnaire)
March 22, 2023
Statement by Quiet Clean Montgomery County
on Recent MC Council Delay
of Phase-Out of Gas-Powered Leafblowers
The March 21, 2023 vote by the Montgomery County Council to once again delay implementation of the phase-out of polluting, disruptive, and unhealthy gas-powered leafblowers was deeply disappointing to thousands of County residents and workers. That it occurred less than 24 hours after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the Earth is near a tipping point requiring a drastic shift from fossil fuels thus calls into question those who campaigned for the Council as environmental champions.
Rapid changes in new quiet & clean technology – as well as successful transitions to such equipment in Washington DC, Somerset, Chevy Chase Village, the Town of Chevy Chase, and countless jurisdictions around the country – have paved the way for Montgomery County to do the same.
We call on the Council’s majority of Members who have expressed support for this bill to work with County Executive Elrich's Department of Environmental Protection to quickly resolve outstanding Council requests for adequate transition assistance for area landscapers (which we strongly support) and to then put the bill back on the Council agenda for a timely vote.
We urge Council Members to pass this critical legislation to protect our environment, to support vulnerable workers whose hearing and lungs are at risk from gas-powered leaf blowers, and to improve our neighborhoods’ quality of life.
[END OF STATEMENT]
Read Proposed MC Leafblower Phaseout Ordinance
Last year, on March 15, 2022, County Executive Elrich introduced amendments to MC Code Chapter 31B to "phase out the sale of handheld and backpack combustion engine-powered leaf blowers and vacuums beginning six months from enactment, and their use twelve months from enactment." Timeline of actions below:
February 13, 2023: Bill introduced and key committee met...now time for full Council vote. On the County Council Transportation and Environment Committee held an important worksession (watch it here) to discuss Bill 18-22 which would phase out the use of gas leafblowers in Montgomery County. The next step is to call up the legislation for a vote by the full Montgomery County Council.
September 20, 2022: Formal public hearing on the bill was held. Click here to learn more.
June 28, 2022: Very brief hearing held on MC Bill 18-22 to "prohibit the sale and use of combustion engine-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuums."
On February 13, 2023: Transportation and Environment Committee voted 3-0 to send the legislation with recommendations to the full County Council.
On March 7, 2023: County Council held a work session to discuss the legislation. Watch session video.
On March 21, 2023: County Council had the legislation on the agenda for a vote, but opted to table it for further consideration. Watch session video.
Read: Bill Language and Background Memo