Although I do not agree with the decision of the Board of Health to cede power to Hartford, I do respect their right to follow the science and reject the proposal from Quiet Yards Greenwich (QYG) regarding leaf blowers. The Board of Health from a health perspective as stated in the Greenwich Free Press rejected the proposals because they “found nothing to explain why there are human health risks to prompt a five-month ban as opposed to the rest of the year.” The board president went on to state that the board found “no conclusive well-grounded scientific data providing medical evidence of noise related health risks to the population specifically associated with gas powered leaf blowers alone.”
The Board of Health should have stuck by their decision that they would not, based on health reasons, change the regulations regarding leaf blowers.
That does not mean that for other reasons including quality of life issues the RTM could not pass a town ordinance banning them.
Since this affects all of the residents of the town and, no single interest group has the right to run the town, publicized public hearings should be conducted in all RTM districts so that all concerned citizens can learn more about the ordinance and express their opinion.
There are problems with the proposed ordinance. These include a short implementation date, the increased lawn maintenance costs associated with ending the use of gas powered blowers, the fact that other noise producing machines including lawnmowers, trimmers and chainsaws will still be operational and the unintended consequence of landscapers using gas-powered, noise-making, generators on their trucks to recharge the batteries.
The dates are too long because leaf cleanup continues in May and new leaves begin to fall in mid to late September.
The RTM needs to get it right and due its due diligence before enacting any noise ordinance.