Noise News for Week of August 25, 1996

Chicago Suburb Bans Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

PUBLICATION: Conscious Choice
DATE: September 1996
SECTION: page 25
BYLINE: Walter Oleksy
DATELINE: Evanston, IL
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Greg Zak, noise advisor for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Conscious Choice reports that the Chicago suburb of Evanston has recently passed strict regulations against gas-powered leaf blowers. As of August 1, 1996, use of gas-powered leaf blowers is banned between May 15 and September 30. The blowers may be used only between April 1 and May 14 and between October 1 and December 15. Furthermore, the city council prohibits the blowers be used before 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. The blowers can reach a decibel reading as high as 90 or 100.

The article reports that Evanston adopted a total but seasonal ban on the blowers by learning from neighboring communities who passed hourly restrictions but had trouble enforcing them. Highland Park banned most summertime leaf blowing in 1991. Wilmette restricted the blower use to 30 minutes per three hours in 1993. According to a survey conducted by the Northwest Municipal Conference, none of its communities placed a total ban on the blowers.

According to Greg Zak, noise advisor for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, about ten formal complaints against the blowers are filed statewide each year, but none before have ever been taken to the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Zak states that the number of noise complaints statewide have increased from 300 in 1981 to about 1000 recently.

The article reports that the ban is a result of a council hearing that met in June. Alderwoman Emily Guthrie stated the battle began when many of her constituents were complaining about the noise and air pollution and the frequency with which the blowers are used. Both residents and professional landscapers attended the hearing to voice their opinions. Alderman Dennis Drummer reported the city received 35 complaints about the blowers before May 1. Landscapers estimate a 25% increase in lawn service time. One homeowner offered his own tip of removing the storage bag from his lawnmower and using the lawnmower as a quieter leaf blower.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Previous week: July 7, 1996
Next week: September 1, 1996



Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
Home Equipment and Appliances
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Civil Liberty Issues
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Chronological Index
Geographical Index

NPC Menu Bar NPC Home Page Ask NPC Support NPC Search the NPC Home Page NPC QuietNet NPC Resources NPC Hearing Loss and Occupational Noise Library NPC Noise News NPC Law Library NPC Library