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City of Encinitas passes leaf blower ordinance

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The Encinitas City Council on Aug. 21 approved a comprehensive Leaf Blower Ordinance to be effective Sept. 20, 2019 with implementation phased in over the next four months.

The new ordinance becomes law on Sept. 20, 2019 and will apply to all municipal operations on this date. All commercial operators (defined as “...any person who, for compensation or hire, engages in providing services or products...”) will have three months to comply from the effective date or by Dec. 20, 2019.

The ordinance becomes operative for any person defined as “...any person, business, corporation, or event organizer or promoter; public, nonprofit or private entity, agency or institution; or partnership, association or other organization or group, however organized...” four months from the effective date or by Jan. 20, 2020.

Along with the adoption of the ordinance, the City Council also approved a new City-funded rebate program designed to partially subsidize residents and business owners for the cost of purchasing a new electric or battery-powered leaf blower.

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“Eliminating the use of gas-powered leaf blowers reduces the emissions that pollute our environment and the level of noise that degrades Encinitas residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “This change is another step toward meeting the City’s ambitious Climate Action Plan goals.”

The goal of the City’s CAP is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 41% by 2030. It is estimated that the Leaf Blower Ordinance will reduce local GHG emissions by 128 metric tons of CO2 emissions (MTCO2E) by the end of 2020, and 142 MTCO2E by 2030.

Key elements of the ordinance are:

 Prohibits the use of all gas-powered leaf blowers citywide in January 2020;

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 Allows for the use of electric or battery-powered leaf blowers;

 Requires responsible use of blower equipment to control dust and noise;

 Restricts leaf blower hours of operation to between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and between noon and 5 p.m. on Sundays; and provides for a phased-in operative date schedule.

A copy of the ordinance along with key details about the ordinance and the electric or battery-powered leaf blower rebate program is posted on the City of Encinitas’ website at encinitasca.gov/climate.

— City of Encinitas news release


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