An Esquimalt councillor wants the township to explore phasing out gas-powered landscaping tools to cut down on environmental and noise pollution.
Coun. Ken Armour’s notice of motion, submitted at the Dec. 20 council meeting, seeks to have staff look at the possibility of phasing out such equipment as gas-powered leaf blowers, lawnmowers and chainsaws.
Armour wants staff to explore phasing out gas-powered equipment use by the township, along with its residents and businesses.
“In terms of litre for litre of gasoline used, the small gasoline engines found in lawnmowers, leaf blowers and other landscaping equipment pollute at a higher rate than vehicles,” his motion said.
It adds that the two-stroke engines in yard tools produce noise levels ranging from 75 to 110 decibels and they emit a frequency that causes the sound to travel far distances. The province considers 85 decibels and above to be harmful levels of noise, according to HealthLink BC.
“Recent advances in battery technology have resulted in the development of competitive battery-powered landscaping equipment equivalent to most gas-powered landscaping equipment,” Armour’s motion stated. “Battery-powered equipment produces much less noise and vibration and has no direct emissions of GHGs or health-harming air contaminants.”
Esquimalt would not be alone in looking into phasing out gas-powered equipment. Victoria recently committed to looking into banning gas-powered leaf blowers by 2023. In early 2021, Oak Bay approved cutting out the district’s use of gas-run landscaping equipment within five years, but didn’t support phasing out resident and commercial use.
It’s currently unknown when the gas-powered phase-out could come before Esquimalt council.
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