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What? What? City bans use of loud, gas-powered leaf blowers

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's largest city is banning the use of loud, gas-powered leaf blowers. The City Council passed a phased-in ban this week, the Burlington Free Press reported. It mandates moving to quieter electric-powered leaf blowers, which will be required for all municipal departments in August.

All businesses and Burlington residents will be required to comply by the end of May 2022. Gas-powered blowers operate at 90 decibels, which can cause hearing damage after two hours of exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And gas engines contribute to air pollution in residential neighborhoods.

The ordinance restricts the noise of electric leaf blowers to 65 decibels, which, according to the CDC, is about as loud as a typical washing machine, the newspaper reported. The restrictions for businesses or landowners that service 10 or more city properties go into effect on Sept. 6. The rules take effect on Dec. 31 for smaller businesses.

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