Disclaimer: I’m not a legal authority, this article is merely a collection of the laws I have found online during my research. It should not be used as legal advice!
Leaf blowers are definitely some of the loudest equipment you can use for outdoor work. There are many different places throughout the USA where use of these devices is limited or restricted.
If you are planning on purchasing a new leaf blower soon, you should be fully aware of these restrictions. The last thing you want is to violate any local rules or ordinances without realizing it.
States that Regulate Leaf Blower Usage
There are a handful of states that have regulations pertaining specifically to leaf blowers, including:
California is pretty serious about regulating the use of leaf blowers, and it is clear by the sheer number of cities that have these rules in place.
Some smaller cities in this state have actually banned leaf blowers outright.
The cities in California that have banned these gas-powered devices include Belvedere, Berkley, Beverly Hills, Carmel, Claremont, Indian Wells, Lawndale, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Malibu, Mill Valley, Newport Beach, Ojai, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Santa Barbara, Solana Beach, Tiburon, and West Hollywood.
There are many other cities in California that simply have laws that restrict the decibels of leaf blowers and the time of day they can be used.
The only cities in Colorado that have laws about leaf blowers are Aspen, Carbondale, and Westminster. The use of gas-powered leaf blowers is completely banned in each of these cities.
The cities of Greenwich and Ridgefield both have laws restricting the use of leaf blowers from 9am to 5pm Monday through Sunday.
There are no cities in this state where leaf blowers are banned altogether.
The city of Palm Beach is the only place in Florida that has any laws relating to leaf blowers.
Those who want to use a leaf blower in this city can only do so during daylight hours, and it must be 70 decibels or less.
The state of Illinois has banned gas-powered leaf blowers altogether in the cities of Arlington, Evanston, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Wilmette, and Winnetka.
The only city in Maryland that has any laws about leaf blowers is Montgomery. In this city you can only use a leaf blower from the hours of 10am to 6pm.
The leaf blower must not exceed 65 decibels.
The city of Brookline, MA has banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers completely. The cities of Cambridge and Longport both have their own laws about when leaf blowers can be used and how loud they can be.
Cambridge allows for leaf blowers up to 70 decibels from 9am to 4pm, while Longport limits the decibel level to 65.
The cities in Michigan that have placed limitations on the use of leaf blowers include Blackman Township, Cassopolis, Kalamazoo, Oakland, Richland, and Roseville.
In most of these cities the noise level of leaf blowers cannot exceed 70 dB. Gas-powered leaf blowers can only be used from 8am to 3pm.
Portsmouth is the only city in New Hampshire to limit leaf blower usage. Residents and commercial workers in this city cannot use a gas-powered leaf blower that is louder than 75 dB.
Use of these tools is prohibited after dark.
The Township of Montclair has banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, and the city of Princeton limits usage of them to 65 decibels.
There are quite a few different cities in New York that have banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, including Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Great Neck Estates, Greenberg, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Russell Gardens, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Thomaston Village, Village of Tuckahoe, White Planes, and Yonkers.
There are some other cities in this state that simply have a number of restrictions placed on when leaf blowers can be used and their decibel levels.
The city of Chapel Hill is the only place in North Carolina where the use of leaf blowers is limited. Nobody can use gas-powered blowers that exceed 70 decibels.
Those who intend to use these devices must do so from 9am to 5pm only.
Portland has made it illegal for anyone in the city limits to use gas-powered leaf blowers that are louder than 65 dB.
Use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Houston, TX is limited to 70 decibels, and only from 9am to 5pm.
Seattle, WA implemented a law that makes it illegal to use any leaf blower that is louder than 65 decibels. Use of these tools is only allowed from 8am to 6pm.
Why do Leaf Blower Restrictions Exist?
Quite a few cities across numerous states in the U.S. have decided to implement laws regarding leaf blowers due to how noisy they can be. A lot of the places where these rules exist are quiet communities that want to keep noise pollution to a minimum.
Even a few larger cities have passed these laws in an effort to keep the peace among residents. Some of these rules are the result of petitions created and signed by a number of citizens.
Sometimes these restrictions only apply to residential areas, though other times it is a city wide rule.
These restrictions are important because they serve to keep the amount of excess noise to a minimum. Gas-powered leaf blowers are specifically targeted because they tend to be the loudest.
What is the Penalty for Violating Leaf Blower Restrictions?
Those who find themselves in violation of leaf blower restrictions will most likely need to pay a fine. The amount of the fine varies depending on the city and state you are in.
This fine can be as little as $20 or as much as $100. There are some places in the U.S. that take these rules and regulations more seriously than others.
Check with Your Local City Council
I am by no means some legal authority, and this article shouldn’t be used as legal advice! If you are unsure about whether or not there are leaf blower restrictions in your city, you should make a point of checking with the city council.
You should also try going on your city’s official website to see if you can get any helpful details.