Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lawmakers pull plug on leaf blower ban

The Georgia Senate has approved a bill to prevent local governments from passing ordinances to ban gas powered leaf blowers.

Senators approved the bill Monday over the objections of those who noted concerns about noise pollution and carbon emissions. The bill's sponsor, Norcross Republican Sean Still, also addressed another objection.

"I offer that this bill exactly gives local control to each individual homeowner to decide what they're going to do in their own yard," said Still.

Still said electric leaf blowers have a long way to go before they match the performance of gas-powered ones.

He and the Senate agreed, however, to sunset the law in 2031 to give the technology time to catch up.

A possible ban on gas-powered leaf blowers has been discussed by Athens-Clarke County commissioners for several years. Speaking to WUGA in 2020, then Commissioner Russell Edwards laid out his argument against the machines.

"You know, you'll often see dust clouds surrounding the operators and that dust contains mold spores, silica, pet feces, and so all of that is being inhaled along with the exhaust from these machines, " said Edwards.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.