Gas leafblowers ousted by School District

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Sonoma Valley Sun

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.

7 thoughts on “Gas leafblowers ousted by School District

  1. Even landscapers must be beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. The days of gas powered leaf blowers are numbered. The City Council, typically, will want to stay out of it.

    1. Darryl, please take a look at the Quiet Communities website– I’ve noticed your efforts in Cochella Valley in the past and would like to know more.

  2. Congratulations to the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board for their decision to ban gas-powered leaf blowers — and, to only use electric blowers when absolutely necessary. It is unfortunate that our city council couldn’t have made this decision first. They have had plenty of time to review the science that informed the school board’s decision. At this point, the Sonoma City Council needs to bring back the ordinance and amend it to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in the city of Sonoma. Lean on them to do this. Our health matters.

  3. I’m not sure this would but hopefully the decision to ban gas powered leaf blowers would also extend to all of the outlying communities such as El Verano, Boyes, Agua Caliente, Fetters, Schellville etc.

    1. Superintendent Louann Carlomagno deserves a big round of applause, as does the entire School Board. They carefully reviewed the science, they listened attentively, and they used their good judgement and common sense to courageously and swiftly come out in favor of ceasing the use of all gas blowers throughout the School District. The head of maintenance also deserves thanks for embracing this plan and retraining his staff. This is a huge victory for Sonoma’s kids. I hope the City Council will follow their example and break out of their indecisiveness. Once gas-powered blowers are no longer in use in the City limits* the members of SNALB will, I’m sure, help work for their elimination in the Springs, El Verano, Fetters, Agua Caliente, Schellville, etc. *A compromise ordinance is in the works, allowing electric and prohibiting gas in all zones, supported by many enlightened landscapers. Please urge the city to support it!

  4. The school district’s decision to discontinue the use of the herbicide Roundup (recently classified by California’s EPA as a carcinogen) should be applauded and will hopefully set a precedent for other governmental bodies in our region. Way to go!

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