Rhode Island’s Proposed Blower Ban Could Affect Bay State Too
A bill before the Rhode Island General Assembly could have landscapers from several states up in arms.
Senate Bill 2168 was introduced less than two weeks ago, but already has many Rhode Islanders upset. That's because the bill is looking to ban all gas-powered leaf blowers from being sold or used across the Ocean State.
As a gas-powered leaf blower owner myself, I can see the downside to this bill. The idea of raking the massive amounts of leaves that fall in my yard every season seems completely overwhelming and shelling out again for an electric leaf blower isn't all that appealing either.
So I can only imagine how upsetting this bill can be for those in the landscape business, in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Perhaps even more so for Massachusetts.
The bill states that "Effective July 1, 2024, no person shall use a gasoline powered leaf blower in the State 7 of Rhode Island." That means Massachusetts landscapers with jobs across state lines will have to leave the leaf blowers behind.
Though there has been talk of some sort of assistance with changing to electric leaf blowers, it's not clear if the Bay State businesses will qualify. That could mean a costly changeover to the latest in leaf-blowing technology or the loss of out-of-state business. Not great either way.
The point of this ban is not to trouble small businesses or homeowners, however, it is actually aimed at preventing noise and air pollution caused by these landscape tools.
Senator Sam Zurier, who proposed the bill that has been co-sponsored by Senators Bridget Valverde, Dawn Euer and Susan Sosnowski, points to the high number of hydrocarbons leaf blowers emit and that their decibel levels are high enough to cause hearing damage after two hours. Both very good points for the pro-ban people.
If Reddit users are any indication, then this issue is pretty 50/50. While many would love to hear fewer leaf-blowers in the spring and summer months, homeowners with larger yards feel the cost of going electric is going to be too much to handle.
California is already on track for a similar ban, having passed its bill this past December. How Rhode Islanders vote, however, remains to be seen.