The city of Sacramento already has several rules on the books regulating leaf blowers — and as many residents might attest, they often are not enforced.
For instance, it's illegal to use gas-powered leaf blowers near your home on Sundays before 10 a.m.
And using blowers louder than 65 to 70 decibels — that’s about the same level of noise a hair dryer makes —within 50 feet of a residence are prohibited, as well.
Council member Jeff Harris wants to add a new regulation that would target the air quality impacts of leaf blowers: banning them on bad-air days.
“Leaf blower dust entrained from streets can aggravate asthma and other upper respiratory conditions when inhaled,” states a city staff report on the proposed new rule. “The use of portable gasoline-powered blowers when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is high has created health concerns.”
Harris wants to disallow the use of all leaf blowers, including electric ones, on days when the AQI is at or more than 100. On average, the index has surpassed that number 34 days a year since 2014.
The city’s Law and Legislation committee is scheduled to look at the proposed ban on Tuesday.
A city staff report acknowledges that there might be a “negative economic impact” on gardeners and landscape companies if it requires them to use rakes or other tools on bad-air days. This could also have an “increased cost to the consumer,” the report states.
The city’s report does not yet include details on how to enforce the leaf blower rule, or how much the city would fine offenders.
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