North Hempstead Town officials rally against gas-powered equipment

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Photo: HusqvarnaPhoto: Husqvarna

Officials in North Hempstead Town have decided to try cutting back on relying on gas-powered tools used by landscapers to maintain parks and public gardens.

Recently, town leaders purchased electric tree trimmers, string trimmers and leaf blowers. It is believed that these tools are cheaper, more eco-friendly and weigh less; parks department workers will use these tools for the year at Clark Botanic Gardens in Albertson, New York.

Town officials hope to one day use their experience with these electric blowers to enact a law that will limit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

“We’re in the exploratory stage and we want to make sure it is something we can make enforceable,” Judi Bosworth, supervisor, told Newsday. Bosworth also noted that there is no timetable for when the draft law will be presented. She said that, ultimately, the law would address not only what kind of leaf blowers could be used but also at what time of the day.

Jill Weber, North Hempstead Parks Commissioner, says that if the tools prove successful this year and can survive the work, she would be willing to look into more electric blowers to be used in parks all across the town.

Many in the town have complained more months about gas-powered leaf blowers polluting the air with emissions while creating unwanted noise. With the potential of this law coming into effect in the future, many of these residents are now seeing a possible light at the end of the tunnel.

From June 15 until Sept. 15, Great Neck Estates has already banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, and Oyster Bay is considering the same restriction.

“People are paying weeks after weeks to have their homes bathed in toxic pollutants,” Bonnie Sager, co-founder of Huntington CALM, told Newsday.

“And if you work from home, you’re constantly being interrupted and you have to close your windows.”

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