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GLRPPR Sector Resource: VOC Emissions from Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in the Chicago Metropolitan Region

VOC Emissions from Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in the Chicago Metropolitan Region

The Waste Management & Research Center estimated emissions from leaf blowers under three different policy scenarios for the Chicago metropolitan region: (1) a baseline that assumes no local ordinances have been enacted, (2) the adoption of an aggressive ordinance, which prohibits the use of leaf blowers between May 1 and September 30 and (3) the adoption of a moderate ordinance, which accelerates the purchase of low emission, gasoline powered leaf blowers. Under an aggressive policy scenario, VOC emissions from leaf blowers can be cut by over 64% from the baseline scenario. Under the moderate scenario, VOC emission will be reduced, but with diminishing effectiveness. For example, VOC emissions would be reduced by 7.3% from baseline in 2008 and only by 3.7% from baseline in 2009. The villages of Lake Bluff, Wilmette and Oak Park have enacted leaf blower restrictions. Wilmette prohibits the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers between May 15 and September 30 and restricts their use to 30 minutes on ½ acre lots or smaller during the remainder of the year. The Wilmette ordinance closely resembles the aggressive policy. Oak Park prohibits the use of all gasoline powered leaf blowers from emanating more than 65 decibels or failing to satisfy the most stringent federal regulations between June 1 and October 1. The Oak Park ordinance closely resembles the moderate policy. The Lake Bluff ordinance prohibits the use of gasoline powered leaf blowers early in the evening and at night. The ordinance also prohibits the simultaneous use of more than one gasoline powered leaf blower on a lot during the summer.


Illinois Waste Management and Research Center

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
February 2008

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