EDITORIAL : BLOWING HOT AIR IF LEAF BLOWER BAN IS HEALTHY, THE CITY SHOULD NOT EXEMPT ITSELF.NOW that Congress has agreed to be bound by the same laws it passes for everyone else, the City Council should do the same.
The council, which is finalizing a ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers A leaf blower is gardening tool that propels air out of a nozzle to move yard debris such as leaves. Leaf blowers are usually powered by two-stroke engine or an electric motor, but four-stroke engines were recently introduced to partially address air pollution concerns. , should insist that city government conform explicitly to the spirit of the law.
But instead, the ordinance has a giant loophole An omission or Ambiguity in a legal document that allows the intent of the document to be evaded.
Loopholes come into being through the passage of statutes, the enactment of regulations, the drafting of contracts or the decisions of courts. that will let the city go on using the blowers long after most residents have put theirs in permanent storage.
You see, the ban applies only within 500 feet of a residence.
Proponents of the ban say it's justified from a health standpoint. Councilman Marvin Braude Marvin Braude (August 11, 1920—December 7, 2005)served as Los Angeles City Councilman for the 11th district from 1965 to 1997. At various times Mr. Braude (pronounced BROW-dee) served as chair of the Finance and Revenue Committee, the Environmental Quality and Waste , a chief advocate, contends that gas blowers emit 1,800 tons of carcinogenic carcinogenic
having a capacity for carcinogenesis. volatile organic compounds volatile organic compound Environment Any toxic cabon-based (organic) substance that easily become vapors or gases–eg, solvents–paint thinners, lacquer thinner, degreasers, dry cleaning fluids in the L.A. area each year. Braude has said the measure would ``improve our health, improve the health of gardeners and diminish the kind of noise we have in our city.''
But if the health claims are accurate, then why is the council exempting gardeners employed by the city? And why not ban the blowers citywide, or at least ban them on all city-owned property?
The city Recreation and Parks Department recently purchased 120 gasoline-powered leaf blowers, and some people say the department could suffer a $1.5 million loss if it cannot use them. Not to worry: The 500-foot rule means the ban will have little effect on the department, whose workers mostly use leaf blowers on golf courses and in large parks.
Meanwhile, the ordinance would make homeowners liable for a fine of up to $1,000 if their gardeners use gas blowers - even though many gardeners are independent contractors A person who contracts to do work for another person according to his or her own processes and methods; the contractor is not subject to another's control except for what is specified in a mutually binding agreement for a specific job. . If the council holds homeowners responsible for contractors, then how much greater is the council's own moral obligation - and potential legal liability - to protect city employees from working conditions that the council regards as inherently unhealthy?
The 500-foot rule also is a break for big private estates, business parks and other large corporate properties. After giving an escape hatch Noun 1. escape hatch - hatchway that provides a means of escape in an emergency
aeroplane, airplane, plane - an aircraft that has a fixed wing and is powered by propellers or jets; "the flight was delayed due to trouble with the airplane" for the rich and the powerful and City Hall, who's left? Only average folks and hard-working little people who, incredibly, will face prosecution and fines for doing what city government and many big businesses will be legally entitled to do.
The ban can't be justified by noise complaints since L.A. already has a noise ordinance Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
I got a noise ordinance fine a couple of years ago. I didnt go to court because I moved before the summons got there. , and it's possible to buy gas-powered leaf blowers that meet the city noise limit.
Bottom line: This ordinance is hot air and shouldn't be finalized.
If the council passes the measure, it will expose its utter disregard and contempt for the hard-working folks of this community. The council's only remaining choices are either to drop the whole idea or substantially rewrite the proposal so residents and small gardeners don't shoulder an unfair burden.