By Barrett Seaman–
At their November 2 board meeting, Irvington trustees enacted a ban on the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers anywhere in the village. For the owners of such equipment—especially professional landscape firms, that’s the bad news.
The good news for them is that they may continue to use them under limited circumstances for another three years, that is, until December 16, 2023.
Why so long before implementing? The board’s hope is that technology will have improved enough by then that users will get much better performance than current electric models provide. It also gives time “to educate the public that [the gas-powered blowers] use isn’t necessary to maintain a yard properly,” said Village Administrator Larry Schopfer. “It forces a future Board to reconsider it and see what the world looks like then.”
Meanwhile, they may be used only in the following situations:
*During the spring and fall cleanup periods, i.e., March 15 through May 15 and October 1 through December 15, and then only during the following time periods: Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; and Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
*Golf and tennis clubs and municipal employees performing their regular duties, provided that any leaf blower may not be used within 100 feet of the nearest residence.
* To remove snow.
* Except in emergencies.
* Any gas-powered leaf blower must meet current EPA exhaust standards; and must be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications.
The new rules are in Local Law #8 of 2020 and full language can be found in Section 148-4.B(10) of the village code.