Gas leaf blowers were officially replaced with electric leaf blowers last night at a meeting of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees, with the full support of Superintendent Louann Carlomagno and Maintenance and Operations Officer Tony Albini. In addition, use of the electric leaf blowers will be limited on all campuses to non-student hours, in recognition of the detrimental effects leaf blowers cause to air quality and the consequent risks to student health.
In an additional decision, the school district reported that it has voluntarily discontinued the use of the herbicide Roundup on its property. Roundup has come under increased scrutiny lately and was recently identified by the World Health Organization as a likely carcinogen.
The decisiveness of the school district is in contrast to the recent deliberations of the Sonoma City Council, which has been unable to reach a decision about the use of leaf blowers, despite years of discussion. Most recently, the City Council indicated that the matter of leaf blowers might be placed on the ballot in 2016, but a final determination on that decision awaits yet further discussion.