Mail-Out #MSC 99-31

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING TO CONSIDER THE APPROVAL OF A REPORT TO THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE ON THE POTENTIAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF LEAF BLOWERS

The Air Resources Board (the "Board" or "ARB") will conduct a public meeting at the time and place noted below to consider the approval of a report on the potential health and environmental impacts of leaf blowers.

DATE: December 9, 1999
TIME: 9:30 A.M.
PLACE: Air Resources Board
Board Hearing Room, Lower Level
2020 L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

This item will be considered at a two-day meeting of the Board, which will commence at 9:30 a.m., December 9, 1999, and may continue to December 10, 1999, if necessary. Please consult the agenda for the meeting, which will be available at least 10 days before December 9, 1999, to determine the day on which this item will be considered.

The facility is accessible to persons with disabilities. If accommodation is needed, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (916) 322-5594; or, TDD (916) 324-9531, or (800) 700-8326 for TDD calls from outside the Sacramento area, by November 30, 1999.

Proposed Actions: ARB staff recommends the Board approve the report to the California Legislature on the potential health and environmental impacts of leaf blowers.

Background: Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 19 (SCR 19) requests ARB to prepare and submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2000, "summarizing the potential health and environmental impacts of leaf blowers and including recommendations for alternatives to the use of leaf blowers and alternative leaf blower technology if the state board determines that alternatives are necessary."

As per SCR 19, this report includes a comprehensive review of existing studies of the impacts of leaf blowers on leaf blower operators and on the public at large, and of the availability and actual use of protective equipment for leaf blowers. The receptors identified by the resolution are humans and the environment; sources of impacts are exhaust, noise, and dust. Because the Legislature specified that ARB use existing information, staff conducted no new studies.

Staff has found that there is not enough existing information to conclusively report on health and environmental impacts of leaf blowers or to make recommendations for alternatives. Information that does exist, however, suggests that there is the potential for health impacts on leaf blower operators from carbon monoxide, particulates, and noise. Staff recommends operators wear personal protective gear and that exposure to carbon monoxide emissions be further studied.

The public-at-large may be negatively impacted by noise, which causes a high level of annoyance, and some sensitive individuals may experience extreme physical reactions from exposure to emissions. Staff recommends that interested stakeholders work together to propose methods for leaf blower use that might reduce noise and dust emissions, and develop and promote codes of conduct by workers who operate leaf blowers.

AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS AND CONTACT PERSON

ARB staff has prepared a Staff Report entitled: "A Report to the California Legislature on the Potential Health and Environmental Impacts of Leaf Blowers." Copies of the Staff Report may be obtained from ARBís Public Information Office, 2020 L Street, Sacramento, California 95814, telephone (916) 322-2990; or downloaded from the website at: /msprog/leafblow/leafblow.htm.

Further inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to: Dr. Nancy L.C. Steele, Mobile Source Control Division, 9480 Telstar Avenue, Suite #4, El Monte, CA 91731, telephone (626) 459-4368, and email nsteele@arb.ca.gov.

SUBMITTAL OF COMMENTS

An oral report will be presented by staff at the meeting. Interested members of the public may present comments relating to this matter verbally or in writing to be considered by the Board. Written submissions must be filed with the Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, California 95812 no later than 12:00 noon, December 8, 1999, or, received by the Clerk of the Board at the meeting.

The Board requests, but does not require, that twenty copies of any written statement should be submitted and that all written statements be filed at least ten days prior to the meeting. ARB encourages members of the public to bring any suggestions for modification of the proposed action to the attention of staff in advance of the meeting.

CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD

 

Michael P. Kenny
Executive Officer

Date: November 15, 1999

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