Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet

For immediate release
March 30, 2023

Alice Orleans Jordon
[email protected]

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Chapel Hill: The Georgia state senate has won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for passing Senate Bill 145, which denies Georgia towns and counties the right to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. This legislation violates the principle of local control and prevents localities from protecting their citizens from the hazards of gas-powered leaf blowers. Also, all arguments in favor of this legislation are deeply flawed.


Alice Orleans Jordon, a resident of McDonough, Georgia, is very angry about this bill: “We live in a terribly noisy world and gas-powered leaf blowers are one of the worst offenders (not to mention the air pollution they create). In the past, we at least had the winter off from the ear-shattering noise–but no more.  Lawn service guys are now mowing and blowing all year round, even though it’s completely unnecessary.  My husband has to wear noise-canceling headphones in the house just to block out the irritating sound. There are times when we can hear leaf blowers in several different directions simultaneously.”

“Noise is detrimental to our health–both physical and emotional,” continued Jordon.  “Georgia state government needs to be encouraging quiet communities rather than passing legislation which ties the hands of municipalities which choose quiet over noisy, pollution-belching gas-powered leaf blowers!”

Georgia state senator Shawn Still is the author of the “Landscape Equipment and Agricultural Fairness (LEAF) Act,” which prohibits local governments from regulating gasoline-powered leaf blowers differently than other types of leaf blowers. The first supposed justification for this bill? Because, Still says, battery-operated leaf blowers do not last long enough to meet the needs of residents and landscape professionals.

“This is simply not true,” stated Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet. Rueter cited the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), which is committed to the “best practices in the landscape maintenance industry.” AGZA gives a “full-throated endorsement” to numerous brands: “They are the best in the cordless lawn and garden sector–capable of performing full-time commercial-grade grounds maintenance and sufficient to replace gas tools.”

Senator Still provides another supposed justification for prohibiting bans on gas-powered leaf blowers: “confusion” from varying laws. SB 145 states that “if individual political subdivisons of the state regulate gasoline-powered leaf blowers, there exists the potential for confusing and varying regulations, which could lead to unnecessary increased costs for urban agriculture, homeowners, and landscape service professionals to comply with such regulations.” This is a ridiculous argument, stated Rueter: “Municipalities and counties in Georgia should have the right to protect their citizens from the noise pollution and air pollution from gas-powered leaf blowers.  This right far exceeds any concerns about ‘confusion’ because of varying laws.”

On the Georgia state legislature’s “LegiScan” web site, the public is invited to comment on pending legislation.  At present, every comment opposes this terrible bill. Eileen O’Neill stated, “Please give your constituents the right to ban leaf blowers in your state.  The damage they do to people’s health and hearing is horrible.” Becky Lockard said, “Please don’t pass this bill!!! Communities should have the RIGHT to ban leaf blowers, as they are an extreme detriment to health and nature.” Betty Olsson-Mackowski noted that “leaf blowers are a nuisance and cause harm to people and the environment.  Please empower citizens to regulate leaf blowers locally.”  Brad Cooke argued that “this is an anti-democratic bill foisted on the legislature by a man who tried to overthrow the 2020 election by submitting a fraudulent slate of electors.  By that possibly criminal act, Still shows that he despises the people and is fundamentally anti-democracy.  No surprise here.  Communities should be free to choose which sort of leaf blowers are permitted.”

Supporters of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet are strongly encouraged to submit comments on the bill. Supporters are also strongly encouraged to contact Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, who has the power to kill SB 145 by not bringing it to the House floor for a vote. Burns may be reached at [email protected] and 404-656-5020.

Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Atlanta Falcons (for pumping in artificial noise during a game) and UPS (for creating non-stop noise in an Atlanta neighborhood).