Do you know anyone who enjoys the cacophony of leaf blowers as they sit on the deck, walk the dog, chat with neighbors or attempt to enjoy a beautiful Yountville day? A small group of concerned citizens want you to be aware that we've researched the environmental impact of gas-powered leaf blowers in our community.

According to the California Air Resources Board, a gas-powered leaf blower running for one hour produces as much carbon-based pollution as a Toyota Camry driven 1,000 miles. In the Bay Area alone, blowers produce 1.4 tons of smog compounds and 15 tons of carbon monoxide daily.

More cities across the country have banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers when the disturbing health and environmental facts have come to light:

-- Noise- higher than acceptable decibel limit for person using the blower, as well as neighbors, children, restaurant and hotel guests, pets and wildlife.

-- Health- pollen, animal feces, pesticides, mold, viral disease and dust containing lead and mercury are released into the air with blower use.

-- Environmental- release of greenhouse gasses, top-soil loss, air pollution, loss of beneficial bugs like bees and ladybugs.

We are encouraged to learn that there are alternative types of leaf blowers available. The Bardessono Hotel and Spa and The French Laundry already use battery-powered blowers or vacuums to maintain serenity and clean air for their guests.

Our goal is to see if there is community interest in Yountville to phase out and eventually ban gas-powered leaf blowers.

Doyaline Marchbanks

Sherry Breitigam

Janet Clare-Gotch

Marico Chigyo

Penny Proteau


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