Lead The Way - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1875470

Lead The Way

The residents of Southampton Village are justifiably proud that the village has been a leader in environmental action. Last May, the village adopted a Declaration of Climate Emergency, which, among other things, specifies that “the Village Board is committing to make climate mitigation and the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions a guiding principle and objective.”

Extending the seasonal ban on gas-powered leaf blowers to year round is an obvious first step in carrying out this mandate to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Hearings were held on this issue on January 22, March 14 and March 26 of 2019, prior to the seasonal ban enacted that April.

The deleterious effects of gas blowers were extensively discussed three years ago. The high-speed winds generated propel hazardous substances such as dirt, mold, pollen, animal feces and pesticides into the air, creating dust clouds that damage respiratory systems and can cause disease. The emissions are so great that “hydrocarbon emissions from a half hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor pickup” (New York Times). And, of course, the noise created exceeds the World Health Organization’s healthy limit of 55 dB, as well as our own village code maximum of 65 dB.

For the past three years, local landscapers have had to use electric blowers from May to September, giving them ample time to adjust to the changes required by a rapidly warming planet. There is currently a bill in the State Legislature (7462A) proposing the ban of the sale of any gas lawn care machines by 2027, because of the egregious nature of these emissions.

Southampton, as a leader in securing a healthy, peaceful and safe environment for its citizens, is on target in extending the current seasonal ban on gas leaf blowers to year round as the next step in emissions mitigation.

We urge the Village Board to respect the Declaration of Climate Emergency by banning all gas-powered leaf blowers, thereby honoring the heritage of peace, tranquility and forward-thinking associated with Southampton Village.

Sheila and Steven Peiffer