Local resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff is working to get leaf blowers banned in Saanich. (Photo courtesy Teale Phelps Bondaroff)

Saanich resident calls for gas leaf blower ban

Council asked to acknowledge the mental and physical health effects of noise pollution

Saanich resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff introduced a petition for a leaf blower ban in Saanich to council during the council meeting Monday.

He said there are several issues with gas-powered leaf blowers including the environmental damage from emissions, effects of the noise pollution on people’s physical and mental health and respiratory risks from the dust particles that get blown around.

Phelps Bondaroff’s plan is to use the petition to garner support for the cause and then formally present the petition to council along with three asks: ban gas-powered leaf blowers, create a program to recycle the gas-powered leaf blowers in the District and regulate the use of electric leaf blowers so that the noise created is in compliance with the noise pollution bylaws in the District.

The District bylaws on continuous noise do already technically prohibit the leaf blowers but it’s not enforced, said Phelps Bondaroff. The bylaw limits what loud machines are allowed, when they can be used and who can use them. It also states that continuous sound is only permitted for three minutes at a time.

Noise pollution has been one of Phelps Bondaroff’s research topics for many years. People’s well-being is affected by noise pollution and this is often overlooked, he explained. Leaf blowers are particularly bad for noise pollution because of the low frequency sound that can travel through walls. The constant revving sound is also problematic because is can be agitating. Phelps Bondaroff also pointed out that what makes leaf blower noise been more annoying is the fact that people can’t control it themselves or get away from the sound.

READ ALSO: Saanich council supports new bowling alley proposal for Uptown

Gas-powered leaf blowers also use a two-stroke engine which he said is ineffective. Phelps Bondaroff referenced a study by the California Air Resources Board which estimated that one hour of operating a leaf blower creates emissions that rivals driving a 2016 Toyota Camry for approximately 1,100 miles. Electric leaf blowers create significantly less emissions and less noise pollution, he explained. Other alternatives include rakes, brooms and battery powered leaf blowers.

The irritation and potentially disrupted sleep caused by continuous loud noises can lead to higher stress levels which has a physical toll on the body. Health studies have indicated that noise pollution can have negative effects on the heart, the immune system, on sleep and on cognitive function, Phelps Bondaroff noted.

“It’s not just about annoyance, it’s about keeping you and your neighbours safe,” he said. “This transcends political boundaries.”

Phelps Bondaroff acknowledges the need for a “balanced approach” to the ban because there are several industries that employ leaf blowers. He recommends that council work with the industries to ease the transition.

Phelps Bondaroff will meet with councillors to develop the policy and will eventually formally present the petition to council.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Maritime Museum makes bid to move back into Bastion Square

The museum pitched significant renovations to make its long-time home more accommodating

Six-storey, 102-unit residential complex proposed for main Esquimalt intersection

Praxis Architects Inc. wants to see the development at Lampson Road and Esquimalt Street

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Grumpy Taxpayer$ invite the public to its 2019 annual general meeting

CRD chair Colin Plant serves as guest speaker at Nov. 27 meeting

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Most Read