Quiet, Healthy Arlington

May 9, 2022: Article 16 Passes Arlington Town Meeting 187-44 !

See this May 11 Your Arlington article for a detailed account of the meeting.

Transitioning to Electric Leaf Blowers for a Quiet, Healthy Arlington, Massachusetts

Gas-powered leaf blowers create extremely loud noise and emit highly toxic fumes. Here in Arlington, they are often used in violation of even the limited restrictions imposed by a 2013 noise abatement bylaw, and nine years later, residents continue to be exposed to the noise and pollution. Quieter, cleaner, electric leaf blowers have now become a viable alternative. In addition, as the climate crisis has escalated, the Town of Arlington has declared a Climate Emergency, adopted a Net Zero Action Plan with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions targeted for 2030, and is a state leader in the climate fight. In light of the many changes since 2013, it is time to reassess the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

Article 16 will :

        • establish seasonal limits on gas-powered leaf blowers as of May 31, 2022

        • limit days and hours of operation as of May 31, 2022

        • prohibit use as of March 15, 2025 for commercial landscapers and the Town

        • prohibit use as of March 15, 2026 for residents

        • restore the right of residents to a quiet, healthy environment

        • allow landscaping companies and residents time to adapt

        • improve conditions for landscape workers

        • create a simpler law that is easier to understand and enforce

        • support the town’s commitment to sustainability and reaching Net Zero by 2050

Text of Article 16: Proposal for Transitioning to Electric Powered Leaf Blowers in Arlington, MA (link)

Text of Article 16: Language approved by Town Meeting and the Attorney General (begins on p.38) (link), November 2022.