Around New England

Cambridge Real Serious About Enforcing Leaf Blower Restrictions

September 16, 2023

The city of Cambridge enforces its current restrictions on leaf blowers stringently, a city official said earlier this week.

The city bans using leaf blowers during summer months. It also has a noise level limit on decibels.

“When necessary, we bring residents in for a meeting, and then we explain to them the ordinance and the limitations,” said Nicole Murati Ferrer, chairman of the Cambridge License Commission, during a meeting of a city council subcommittee on Wednesday, September 13.

She said enforcement officers patrol the city and also respond to complaints from residents.

“Permitted and non-permitted commercial leaf blowers who violate the ordinance have been brought before the board of license commissioners, and we issue fines of $300 per violation per day, per incident. So, you know, before we would think about the number, now we just go to the maximum that we’re allowed to fine, which has also been very effective in terms of bringing them in line,” Ferrer said.

More landscaping companies are applying for permits to operate in the city than did five years ago, she said. In 2018, the figure was 53; in 2023, the figure is 87.

Ferrer spoke during a meeting of the Health and Environment Committee, a subcommittee of the Cambridge City Council, which met Wednesday to discuss ways to ban gas-powered leaf blowers.


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