Editor: It recently been reported by the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets that California will become the first state to ban the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers by 2024 under legislation just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
While I ordinarily disapprove of this type of overreach by California’s governor, I must admit that this makes sense but not only for the stated reasons given – emissions control – but the more intrusive and up to now fast-growing noise pollution in our neighborhoods in Arlington and other dense urban areas.
Noise pollution is a public “bad” – that is, one cannot do anything other than moving away to control it. You get it whether you like it or not. Many cannot move away and must suffer the consequences of being disturbed seven days a week at all hours of the day.
I realize that a ban in Arlington would have consequences for the providers of lawn-cutting and leaf-blowing services. These would have to shift to battery powered machines, and this would be costly and take time. Here is where county leadership should step up to provide support to providers to facilitate the transition period. It would be a win-win for Arlington residents.
Providers seem to be overwhelmingly from outside Arlington County, and these measures could be negotiated with Fairfax County. Providers have no right to inflict noise on residents of another county and should be encouraged to adopt noise-cancelling measures.
As a long-time resident of Arlington, I have been disturbed enough by noise pollution from airplanes taking off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The noise from gas-powered blowers and mowers is infinitely worse and more invasive.
Any county regulation would have to ban not only the sale but obviously the use of such noise-polluting machines.
R.P. Guerrero, Arlington