This story was reported in major media outlets here today in NC. While I doubt it would ever pass it still is CRAZY! Blower ban stalls in Chapel Hill Council agrees to study leafy issue By ANNE BLYTHE, Staff Writer CHAPEL HILL, NC -- Town Council member Cam Hill's proposal to outlaw the use of gas-powered leaf blowers kicked up a good bit of dust Monday night, and it could be a while before it settles. Professional landscapers, manufacturers of the loud lawn equipment and some weekend gardeners urged the Town Council to blow off the proposed ban. "Raking and sweeping takes us about five times longer," Brad Williams, a Chapel Hill resident and owner of Williams Landscape Services, told the council. "If a company does that all the time, it really does increase the number of people I would have to hire. ... It really makes a drastic economic impact on my company." Others urged town officials to turn a deaf ear to such arguments and take a step that many communities in California and elsewhere already have, to restore a bit of peace and quiet and protect air quality. Ultimately, the council unanimously agreed Monday to forward Hill's petition to town staff for more study. "This is important to people in this community, young people who are really concerned about air quality," said Jane Hudson, co-chairwoman of the Student Environmental Action Coalition at UNC-Chapel Hill. As is typical procedure, the town manager and others will research the effects of such a ban and report back to the council. No date was set for when the officials would take up the topic again. "I think it's something the community should talk about," Hill said. The arguments for and against the proposal mirrored those across the country. A representative of ECHO, one of the leading producers of gas-powered blowers, told the council that manufacturers were developing new models that would be quieter and cut emissions drastically. New Environmental Protection Agency standards go into effect next year, they said. Several critics of a ban said that the town and university routinely use blowers for cleanup and landscaping. "I'm sure they use that for Kenan Stadium," said Sam Jordan, general manager of MidAtlantic Steel in Hillsborough, which manufactures leaf blowers. "I'm sure that it would be difficult to clean that with a broom." That people use the blowers as brooms is troubling to some. Diana Steele, a Chapel Hill resident who likes to walk, says she often encounters the noisy machines, particularly when she is close to the married-student housing on the southern edge of campus. "The idea of eight or 10 university workers with leaf blowers chasing a single leaf across Odum Village offends me," Steele said.