PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For nearly a decade, the group Quiet Clean PDX has worked to get a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. Now, both the City of Portland and Multnomah County are looking into how that ban would work.
Several cities and the state of California have already put this into law. Quiet Clean PDX finally feels they have some momentum on this issue. But some landscapers claim the switch is costly and could put some people out of business if it’s not done right.
“I think it’s a trend that’s coming,” said Albert Kaufman with Quiet Clean PDX. He and the group have pushed for the ban because of the noise, the pollution and the overall health impacts.
“Every day that these tools are being used the impact on worker’s lives, the impact on neighborhoods continues to be felt,” he told KOIN 6 News.
For the past year, the city and county have worked together to figure out how banning the gas-powered leaf blowers would actually work.
City Commissioner Carmen Rubio said they “have made plans to transition away from gas-powered to electric or battery-powered at the city and the county. So the next natural progression was for us to look city-wide.”
At the Nike Campus on Monday, the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and the National Association of Landscape Professionals were telling businesses what it takes to make the switch. One contractor told KOIN 6 News mandating a switch too quickly could blow away smaller businesses and contractors.
“We want to make sure we make a transition plan with avenues for incentives and rebates,” Rubio said, “and the county has graciously agreed to take on some of those pieces.”
Those avenues to a transition need to keep the streets clean and the neighborhood quiet.
“It takes everyone in the city to bring the city back,” Kaufman said. “This is one of them making the city less noisy, less polluted.”
Quiet Clean PDX also has a petition to ban the equipment statewide.
Rubio and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson have been working on this issue. Rubio said she expects to introduce something at the beginning of 2024.