A city in Michigan has banned gasoline-powered leaf blowers due to noise and health issues.
The decision was made unanimously by Ann Arbor's city council on Monday, according to Mlive.com.
The new law, sponsored by council members Jenn Cornell, Dharma Akmon and Jen Eyer was up for debate for weeks.
The 10 council members heard mixed feedback during a public hearing before the vote, including from a lawn care contractor who said transitioning to electric leaf blowers by 2028 would cost his business thousands of dollars.
A man uses a leaf blower to remove autumn leaves from a sidewalk. (Photo by Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The four-year, gradual phase out is meant to not cause economic hardship for small businesses, democratic member Cornell said, according to the local outlet.
The new law will fully ban gas blowers starting Jan. 1, 2028, but until then they will be allowed from October through May only.
Even when 2028 comes around, there are exceptions to the ordinance. Gas leaf blowers will still be able to be used by contractors who are doing street, sidewalk or paving construction work. They also reportedly may be used in emergency situations for health, safety and property protection purposes, or for post-emergency property restoration purposes like clearing debris from driveways, streets or walkways.
There will be exceptions to the gas-powered leaf blower ban that fully goes into effect in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2028. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A member of the city's environmental commission said the ban will "benefit workers, neighbors, wildlife and the community overall," as Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, joins other communities with similar ordinances. Ann Arbor has a population of about 124,000, according to 2020 U.S. Census numbers.
The penalty for first offenses is $100 and $250 for any additional offenses.
The ban on gas-powered leaf blowers is similar to a bill recently proposed by lawmakers in Washington state, which would land offenders in jail for up to 364 days per instance and carry fines of up to $10,000 if passed.