The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn to connect landscapers with monetary incentives to help them transition from using gas-powered leaf blowers to electric alternatives.
The motion approved Tuesday notes that state and local environmental districts are offering various grants, rebates, equipment exchange programs and vouchers that amount to millions of dollars.
“We have a responsibility to stand up and ensure all gardening and landscaping business owners are aware of the support that’s available to them,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose district includes the Santa Clarita Valley. “Our county has a responsibility to educate our smaller – often unlicensed – landscapers so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to protect the environment, improve public health and eliminate noise pollution. The more people we engage, the more change we can achieve.”
Supervisor Janice Hahn shared her perspective on the importance of the motion.
“These gas-powered leaf blowers produce a shocking amount of pollution that is hurting our air quality and is devastating to the health of the workers who inhale that exhaust for hours a day,” Hahn said. “Replacing these leaf blowers with electric ones can be expensive, but incentives and rebates exist, and we need to make sure that small businesses and workers are familiar with all the options available to them. Their work should not come at the expense of their health.”
Los Angeles County’s new Department of Economic Opportunity, along with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and their Office of Immigrant Affairs and several other county departments, will begin to implement their proposed communications plan and will report back with their progress to the Board of Supervisors in 60 days.