January 1 marked more than just New Year’s Day. To landscapers in Washington, D.C. it also meant the death knell of their gas leaf blowers. It was the day the Leaf Blower Regulation Amendment Act of 2018 officially took effect. The Act prohibits the sale or use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in D.C. From now on, anyone that uses gas-powered blowers will be subject to fines of up to $500 for each offense. However, rebates of $75 per leaf blower are available for a limited time.
Complaints & Fines
Be aware that violations may be reported by any person who observes a gas-powered leaf blower in use and who has evidence to support the claim. The complaint must be submitted to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) within seven days and include: the name of the accused company or individual; location, date, and time of the alleged violation; and any additional identifying information. Complaints must be signed and while photos and videos may be submitted, they are not required for a complaint.
Investigations into use of a gas-powered leaf blower may take up to 30 business days to be completed and DCRA will not routinely conduct site visits to verify gas-powered leaf blower complaints.
Fortunately, if you have an active DC Business License, you can receive a rebate on the purchase of a commercial electric leaf blower through the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU). The current business rebate is $75 per blower and is valid for applications submitted by March 31, 2022. DCSEU will be offering a blower rebate until September 30, 2022, and though the same rebate amount is anticipated, DCSEU encourages businesses to take advantage of the offer as soon as possible. The rebate is valid on technologies purchased from October 1 of last year to to September 30, 2022. To qualify:
- Applicants must provide a copy of DC Business License or License Number and a signed W9 Form
- Limit to five products per business, per fiscal year. (At this time, the DCSEU is not able to process different models and manufacturers through one application. You must submit a separate application for each rebate with different manufacturers and model numbers.)
- Total DCSEU rebates are limited to $50,000 per businesses, per fiscal year
- Applicants must provide a dated sales receipt listing the product’s model number.
Currently, the DCSEU does not currently require businesses to turn in or exchange their old gas blowers. However, minority, female, or disabled-owned landscaping business in nearby Montgomery County, MD can take advantage of an exchange offering up to $150 toward an EGO battery-powered blower. Click here for more details.
For a round-up of battery powered landscaping equipment, click here.