Quiet Montclair Applauds Montclair Council For Passing Gas Leaf Blower Ordinance

Montclair, NJ – Quiet Montclair, in a statement Wednesday, said it applauds the Township Council for enacting much-needed changes to Montclair’s gas leaf blower ordinance, last updated over 20 years ago.

Quiet Montclair writes:

The Council’s action will reduce the use of gas leaf blowers in Montclair neighborhoods, providing residents and workers with protection and relief from the extreme noise and pollution these outdated machines generate.

The updated law continues to allow use of electric leaf blowers at any time, and gas leaf blowers may still be used for two months in spring and two months in fall. Previously, gas leaf blowers could be used legally for more than half the year.

The updated law also requires landscape companies to ensure that their workers are using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating gas leaf blowers, and it sets a minimum fine of $100 for violations of the ordinance.

Quiet Montclair spokesperson and 2nd Ward homeowner Peter Holm said: “This is a significant and positive step in a longer-term transition toward quieter, healthier, and greener alternatives. These alternatives include battery-electric and manual tools as well as more eco-friendly and time-saving approaches to managing things like cut grass and fallen leaves. We are very glad to see Montclair joining other forward-looking communities around the region in taking action to accelerate this transition.”

We look forward to supporting the Township in efforts to educate the public and landscapers about the new law and about how they can reduce gas leaf blower use without great cost or burden. We also hope to see increased attention to effective enforcement of the law and a transition to more modern, zero-emissions equipment in the maintenance of Township facilities.

Quiet Montclair grew out of efforts begun in 2019 by residents frustrated by the noise and pollution created by gas leaf blowers.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, the worker safety comments of Mr Goldstein of NJ Landscaper Contractors Association were a real eye-opener…and scary.

    Having monitored factories for sweatshop conditions, I can say unequivocally that we must hold the employer accountable to require workers to wear the designated safety equipment. It is never up to the employee when there is a certain threshold of injury.

    I could go into all the reasons and supporting data, but let’s just chalk it up to Montclairions hiring landscape companies ensure low wage workers are not exploited. Not that landscapers would do this, but sometimes people get lax. And then things happen. And then, well, you get the idea.

    As a matter of fact, I would extract the worker safety provisions out of the leaf blowers ordinance. It is stupid there. It should be its own, stand-alone ordinance covering any workplace equipment that can cause various levels of disabilities. Chains saws. Snowblowers.
    Isn’t that why we have the landscaper permitting requirement?

    And I think OSHA, the State of NJ, insurance companies all support me on this one.

  2. I find this issue troubling. These are legal products, enforcement is unfunded and depends on neighbors ratting out neighbors and the rules exempt the township and county workers.

  3. Pot is going to be a legal product. C’mon, townie.

    This issue fits mostly under the pollution public policy. Light, air, water…and noise. All are legal to have. You see where this goes? Of course, the union guys didn’t stand up for worker safety, but that will be another day.

    This is my mantra, refined and focused: The Public Realm. I’m not saying what should be the policies, the priorities, the allowed, the disallowed, limited, etc. The funny part is most of the Township folk can’t wrap their brain around the concept because we are fundamentally materialistic to our core. This amuses me endlessly because many of these same people rant about sustainability, climate change, etc. The Public Realm! I don’t get why residents can’t take a holistic view of our local public realm. We can’t do it. Even the MEC can’t don it. It is truly amusing. Let’s have another Climate Strike…via Zoom! Of course, it will still be on Fridays starting at lunch period.

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