The District of West Vancouver is considering turning over a new leaf when it comes to two-stroke gas-powered leaf blowers.
The noisy machines could soon be a thing of the past in the district, after council unanimously supported a motion for staff to look into banning them at its Sept. 27 general meeting.
The motion, put forward by councillor Bill Soprovich, passed with little discussion from councillors.
Speaking at the meeting, Soprovich said it was, for the most part, self-explanatory that a lot of citizens were “quite objecting to the noise factor of leaf blowers and other gas-powered units,” with the motion also stating that councillors received a lot of complaints about them.
Soprovich continued on to say that research done by the California Air Resources Board found that just one hour of gas-powered leaf blower emissions, nitrogen oxide and other organic materials, is the equivalent of driving an automobile for 1,700km.
He added that from an environmental standpoint the district was “right on the money” when it came to considering a ban on the noisy machines.
“Gas-powered leaf blowers can operate in excess of 90 decibels, which can cause hearing damage after two hours of exposure, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,” Soprovich’s motion states.
“Gas-powered engines also produce emissions that contribute to air pollution in residential neighbourhoods.”
To address the issues, the motion directed staff to report back to council regarding the feasibility of banning two-stroke gas-powered leaf blowers and to explore options that would regulate the noise of electric leaf blowers to 65 dB or less.
Soprovich that the district would be following in the footsteps of the City of Vancouver, which had already brought the initiative forward.
He said that after speaking to people in the industry, he supported battery powered leaf blowers as an option for the future.
Staff will now investigate the options on how best to implement a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and return to council for consideration at a later date.