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Leaf Blower Ban Gets Hearing, But Bill Is Dead

Rachael McDonald

Gas-powered leaf blowers would be banned in Oregon under a bill that got a hearing Tuesday at the state capitol. But the measure is already dead this session.

House Bill 3350 would ban the sale and use of two-cycle gasoline-powered leaf blowers in Oregon starting in 2023. Supporters of the ban said the pollution and noise generated by the machines makes them unsuitable for use, especially in residential neighborhoods.

Credit Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Tyler Cohen testified that his dislike of leaf blowers dates back to when he would walk to school as a kid in Portland. “It was the noise and the smell. So I would try to cover my ears and put my nose and mouth under my shirt at the same time,” he said.

Lawmakers also heard from landscapers who said the ban would be costly and force them to buy new equipment. The bill would not prohibit other types of leaf blowers, such as battery-powered or plug-ins.

The committee hearing the bill can’t advance legislation at this point in the session, so the hearing was just a way to gauge support for the proposal, in case it re-appears in a future legislative session.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”