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Should Delta ban gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn equipment?

The regional district says the feedback gathered will assist the development of proposed approaches to reduce emissions from lawn and garden equipment
According to the motion approved by Vancouver’s council, small gasoline engines found in lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other garden equipment pollute at a higher rate than other equipment and vehicles.

Should gas-powered leaf blowers and other lawn and garden equipment be banned in Delta and throughout the region?

Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee recently received an update from regional district staff on several initiatives including what should be the approach on such garden equipment.

The report notes the region is currently considering actions to reduce air emissions from around 430,000 pieces of small gasoline and diesel equipment used for landscaping across the region, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and chainsaws.

An online questionnaire is targeting Metro Vancouver residents, particularly homeowners and owners of lawn and garden equipment, landscaping contractors, and municipal and regional parks and facilities operators.

Noting the majority of the hundreds of respondents, so far, identified themselves as homeowners or residential users, the report adds that the feedback form will be available to the public until July 31, 2023.

The questionnaire results will inform development of and engagement on proposed approaches to reduce emissions from lawn and garden equipment in the region, district staff explain.

The question whether the City of Delta should ban the use of gas-powered yard maintenance equipment was raised last fall by a resident in a letter to council, asking for the city to enact a bylaw to phase out such equipment, saying it seems tool manufacturers have ignored public perceptions about their tools and have done nothing to reduce the emissions or muffle the noise.

A civic staff response notes the city is currently researching the subject including how it is being addressed in other communities. Other considerations include local government authority and jurisdiction.

Gas-powered leaf blowers have long been banned in the West End of Vancouver.

Last year, council in Vancouver unanimously approved a motion to ban gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment throughout the city by 2024.

The municipal council of the District of Oak Bay on Vancouver Island last year also unanimously voted to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment. Users there will have three years to phase out the use of their gas-powered equipment.