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Mar 7, 2018 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Considers Regulations On Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Southampton Village officials are looking at restricting gas-powered leaf blowers in the village, instead, requiring alternative leaf blowers that work on electricity.
Mar 7, 2018 2:43 PM

Southampton Village Board members are considering restrictions on gas-powered leaf blowers used by landscapers, in a continuing push for a quieter community.

An alternative to gas-powered leaf blowers—which some criticize for creating air and noise pollution—is battery-powered leaf blowers, which the village currently uses on its own properties in the business district and around Lake Agawam.

But the problem is not in those areas as much as it is in residential areas.

“It’s clearly a public health issue, and I don’t think people recognize all of the impacts of this,” Village Board member Kimberly Allan said at a meeting on February 8.

Bonnie Sager, co-founder of Huntington CALM, an advocacy group dedicated to reducing the impact of gas-powered maintenance equipment and promoting sustainable landscaping, presented board members with information at the same meeting.

In particular, Ms. Sager told board members that noise pollution can result in hearing loss and even cause cardiovascular problems for people exposed to it long-term.

Ms. Sager said the sound of the leaf blowers “travels over a half mile,” and that the debris kicked up by the blowers mixes with volatile organic compounds—or VOCs—that are created by the burned and unburned fuel, posing a risk of respiratory problems and lung cancer.

Ms. Sager also suggested the leaf blowers contribute to ground pollution. “Every time a piece of gas equipment for lawn care is filled, approximately 4 ounces of gasoline is spilled,” Ms. Sager told board members, suggesting that the spilled gasoline contributes to ground- and surface-water pollution.

Ms. Sager recommended the board put restrictions in place that eventually ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the village.

“Obviously, this board is interested in creating some regulation of blowers and two-stroke gas engines,” said Southampton Village Mayor Michael Irving. “But the landowner should consult with their landscaper.

“We have enough regulations and rules around that I would much prefer people reach out to their landscaper … and say, ‘Hey, we have neighbors—let’s use quiet machines,’” he added.

Ms. Sager told the mayor that in a perfect world the landscaper would take the initiative, but she reiterated that the village needs to put measures in place for landscapers to comply with. She suggested fining homeowners so that they themselves push landscapers to convert from gasoline to electricity.

She also suggested the possibility of the village looking into grants to help landscapers pay for new equipment and phasing in the restrictions over time, to lessen the financial burden on the landscape companies.

“Our neighborhoods are turning into industrial zones,” Ms. Sager said. “We’re not asking them to take their mowers, their trimmers, their pole saws, all their other equipment. We’re asking for one piece of equipment, which is highly polluting and highly disrupting to their quality of life. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Nicholas Palumbo, the executive director of sustainability programs at Suffolk County Community College, told board members the college is in the process of transitioning its landscaping practices, including the use of electric leaf blowers. He also noted that Southampton Town is in the process of converting parks into green zones where routine maintenance is completed using quiet and emission-free electric equipment or manual techniques.

“The perfect role for the village is to lead by example,” Mr. Palumbo said.

Board members suggested that they would consider further discussion of the issue at a future meeting.

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hard area to fight efficiency and $
By thepresssucks (20), watermill on Mar 7, 18 10:32 AM
" Every time a piece of gas equipment for lawn care is filled, approximately 4 ounces of gasoline is spilled". False Who is this woman and why is she here?
By bigfresh (3500), north sea on Mar 7, 18 12:12 PM
LOL...She's an Optometrist from Huntington.
By cmac (138), East Quogue on Mar 7, 18 12:42 PM
Gonna ban Range Rovers? How about horn honking? Ferrari engine revving? Close the helipad too. Gravel driveways are so noisy also.
By Mouthampton (390), Southampton on Mar 7, 18 12:39 PM
I agree, leaf blowers add to the quality of life out here. From 7 am to 7 pm it’s a steady drone Leaf blowers and weed wackers. They add zero to quality of life.
By Fred s (176), Southampton on Mar 7, 18 12:49 PM
Try living along 27 without the sound wall they promised us years ago!

Go ahead and tell Village Board member Kimberly Allan and Bonnie Sager, co-founder of Huntington CALM about the decibel reading they did years ago Mr Heaney and Mr Thiel and the public health issue about that droning of highway traffic 24 - 7

Skip ? Fred ? Are you listen to me, oh why change your tactics now, pass the buck again !
By Undocumented Democrat (1671), southampton on Mar 7, 18 1:08 PM
Absolutely insane.

So the idea is to institute another tax because people are using leafblowers that run on gasoline? Get out of here! The fact this is even considered is insanity at its highest.

Guess we can go ahead and ban everything that creates sound now. Completely ban the playing of all music in any situation. Ban the July 4th parade because the noise can lead to children crying and children crying has been show to cause early deafness in teens. Ban fireworks completely ...more
By TrueHamptons (24), Sag Harbor on Mar 7, 18 3:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Suck It Up !!!!!!
By pw herman (969), southampton on Mar 7, 18 8:20 PM
Village can bring back the RAKE, hire 45 summer hires. Mowers, wood chippers, nasty pay loaders, sweepers, maybe the snow will take 2 weeks to be removed.
Kimberly must be inhaling Ms Sagers fumes, makes you dizzy.
By knitter (1247), Southampton on Mar 8, 18 12:53 AM
If neighbors got together and agreed that their yard work would all be done on the same day, they would enjoy 6 days of peace.
By SlimeAlive (837), Southampton on Mar 8, 18 7:13 AM
Is the Village willing to provide replacements for the equipment they plan to ban? For each LEGAL business of course
By bigfresh (3500), north sea on Mar 8, 18 1:51 PM
Do businesses have immigration status?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (2995), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 8, 18 2:08 PM
Absolutely absurd !
Is Southampton getting as bad as East Hampton?
There's a reason why we didn't buy in East Hampton.
They're to restrictive and try to legislate everything.
Battery operated leaf blowers don't have the power capability of their gasoline powered cousins. They also don't have the run time to accomplish what is needed.
I remember when as a kid, my local community forbid the use of model airplanes that used miniature gas engines. We kids got together and bought ...more
By jediscuba (36), Suthampton on Mar 8, 18 7:38 PM
2 members liked this comment
Jet skis create just as much emissions as the two stroke leaf blower an serve no purpose. Will a jet ski ban follow the gas powered leaf blower ban ? It would only make sense to do so. Offer incentives on 4 stroke blowers as they are more expensive than 2stroke an create less pollution.

By toes in the water (635), southampton on Mar 9, 18 7:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/109428.html
By HuntingtonCALM (1), HUNTINGTON on Mar 10, 18 5:48 PM
Do you live in Southampton Village?
By Say What (4), southampton on Mar 12, 18 9:28 AM
It was a mere 50 or so years ago in the Village that our Dad's could just rake the leaves from our lawns to the edge of the road and burn them there. That was way cool back then.
By pw herman (969), southampton on Mar 10, 18 7:05 PM
Remember the days also. City folk tried to burn them also, remember wind direction. Now we recycle leaves to make compost, that turns to dust. Progress...
By knitter (1247), Southampton on Mar 10, 18 8:43 PM
when you still say "city folk" do you relize how you sound ?
By Erin 27 E (1031), hampton bays on Mar 11, 18 11:37 AM
I would really support a ban on gas powered leaf blowers. We live in a bucolic area; but we can't hear the birds sing, cannot enjoy a quiet afternoon reading on our own property, ............ Noise pollution. Gas and noxious odor assaults. Chemical dumping on lawns to keep them green but destroy wildlife and water.

Please take heart.
By Joanne Rosko (2), Southampton on Mar 11, 18 1:31 PM
Year round village resident in support of the gas powered blower ban. It seems that each crew has at least two going at once and you can hear them from at least a quarter mile away. Unless you live on a large estate, there is a near constant burden and nuisance caused by the blowers here there and everywhere.
By ArturoBandini (21), on Mar 11, 18 2:02 PM
BANNED!
By ibscharlie (5), Southampton on Mar 11, 18 2:25 PM
Ban them on Sunday, But altogether please get a grip. Who do you people think you are anyway. Move to the Catskills and stop with the restrictions already. The Johnson Administration was a long time ago
By Ditch Bum (478), Water Mill on Mar 11, 18 5:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Southampton Village put restrictions on leaf blowers overs ten years ago regarding the noise level, forcing landscapers to purchase quieter leaf blowers ? Those quieter leaf blowers ran longer due to lack of power.....An now the landscapers will be forced to buy new equiptment yet again, just for Village accounts. Hmmmm . Will a PRESSURE WASHER BAN be set into place after the Jet Ski ban , following the leaf blower ban ??? Gasoline powered pressure ...more
By toes in the water (635), southampton on Mar 12, 18 7:30 AM
Erin, people from NYC??? It's how You perceive it...
By knitter (1247), Southampton on Mar 12, 18 10:50 AM
I guess, its just that i don't think we are that different anymore. maybe i'm wrong.
By Erin 27 E (1031), hampton bays on Mar 12, 18 4:16 PM
Who is going to cut the grass and blow the leaves for the person that works monday thru saturday? Neighbors might do it?
By knitter (1247), Southampton on Mar 13, 18 10:00 AM
? So because you cant afford it you are going to spite the people who can ???

I do not follow you logic, It seems you want everyone to be equally miserable. If the neighborhood you live in has out grown you than you should move to Moriches or Mastic or Calverton. Don't try and hold back the rest of us who do not want to live lick this is Pre Edison
By Ditch Bum (478), Water Mill on Mar 13, 18 12:04 PM
I bought my house near the LIRR and close to a municipal highway facility. They all make noise, can't complain because I decided to move here.
The snow plows and loaders are making noise today, I moved here.
Ditch bum seems to want to rid the noise. There is mastic, moriches or calverton, may be they don't have leaf blowers.
What I am tired of is people moving here after they got theirs trying to change the rules...
By knitter (1247), Southampton on Mar 13, 18 1:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
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