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Palm Springs bans gas-powered leaf blowers

The ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

| | Originally posted on

Palm Springs bans gas-powered leaf blowers

On June 19, the Palm Springs (Calif.) City Council voted 3-2 in favor of an ordinance to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in the city of Palm Springs. Mayor Robert Moon and council member Chris Mills voted against the ordinance, with council members Ginny Foat, Geoff Kors and J.R. Roberts voting in favor. The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, with fines starting on April 1, 2019.

Four golf courses, including the 36-hole Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort owned by the city, will be affected by the ordinance. The local golf industry (GCSAA, the Hi-Lo Desert GCSA and the Southern California Golf Association) provided written comments in opposition to the ordinance, and Southern California Golf Association director of government affairs Craig Kessler and I spoke at the meeting, providing testimony on the burdens that such a ban would place on the golf industry.

Hundreds of representatives and workers from the landscape industry also turned out to voice their concerns over the ban and the effect it would have on efficiency and the costs associated with residential landscaping.

As Palm Springs becomes part of the 47 percent of U.S. cities that have banned gasoline-powered blowers, the local golf industry is going to take the phase-in time to reopen dialogue with the City Council in the hope of carving out an exemption for golf courses and possibly other large landscapes, including hotels, parks and sports fields.

Neighboring Indian Wells, Calif., and several other cities throughout the state have exemptions for golf courses, and we will continue to pursue that avenue as well as provide council members with an on-course demonstration on the ineffectiveness of battery and electric blowers on large landscapes in one of the world’s harshest desert environments.

Get more information on the ordinance and television coverage of the meeting from KESQ News Channel 3.