We need Marblehead residents to vote NO on Article 47 and YES on Article 48
In 2022, a new bylaw was enacted that was passed at last year's town meeting. The bylaw prohibits gas-powered leaf blowers between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Electric leaf blowers are exempt from this bylaw. Gas-powered, as well as electric blowers, can be used the rest of the year. The bylaw had no mechanism for enforcement and Article 48 addresses that.
Unfortunately, Article 47, sponsored by a local landscaper, proposes to repeal the bylaw that was passed in 2022. Over 200 communities across the U.S. and one state have restrictions on gas-powered leaf blowers. That number continues to grow as more people and municipalities become aware of their significant health hazards from noise and pollution, especially from blowers with 2-stroke engines. Restricting gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer is a small, but vital step, in helping Marblehead achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
In 2017, the Massachusetts Medical Society passed a resolution against the use of gas leaf blowers, noting the harms to hearing and health. More and more medical associations have published papers in favor of restricting or banning gas-powered leaf blowers or all gas-powered lawn equipment, including:
• The American Academy of Pediatrics
• The American Public Health Association
• The American Lung Association
We need Marblehead residents to vote NO on Article 47 and YES on Article 48. If Article 48 does not pass there will be no way to enforce the existing bylaw. The proposed enforcement and fines are in line with those of other Massachusetts communities, and in many cases far more lenient. Both the Police and Health Departments are on board to enforce the bylaw. So, for the sake of the environment, for the health of the landscapers, for the health of you, and especially, your children, please vote yes on Article 48.
Beatrice Stahl - Sponsor of Article 48