Montgomery County’s Leafblower Law–What does it mean for Me?

Silhouette of a man with a leaf blower. October 4, 2023

Montgomery County’s New Leafblower Law–What does it mean for me?


Montgomery County recently amended the County’s Noise law to prohibit certain gas leaf blowers–here’s what you need to know!

I heard this was a “phase out”. When Does the Prohibition Begin?

Sales of gas-powered handheld, backpack and walk-behind leaf blowers and leave vacuums are prohibited starting July 1, 2024.

Use of gas-powered handheld, backpack and walk-behind leaf blowers and leave vacuums are prohibited starting July 1, 2025.

The only exemption for this law are agricultural producers working on agriculturally zoned properties. 

Why did the County pass this law?

Two-stroke engines like gas leaf blowers have an outsized impact on worker health, air quality, and the environment. Here’s just a few reasons why gas leaf blowers are problematic:

But what about the cost to my property or business?

Making the change from gas leaf blowers to electric can be an upfront cost, but the savings will pay back quickly in the costs of fuel and maintenance. Your health and the health of workers will be greatly improved working with electric machines. Not to mention, no more trips to the gas station, no hazardous fuel cleanups from spills, no concerns about the right oil/fuel mixture, no more air filter cleaning or spark plug replacements, and improved safety from less noise and cleaner air.

Aren’t lithium ion batteries bad for the environment? And can they do the job?

For those of us not willing to use a rake, battery technology is much cleaner than fossil fuels. 90% of battery components can be recycled and reused over and over–once gas is burned, it’s only a pollutant in our air. And electric machines can be powered from renewable energy sources, like solar and wind–something fossil fuels can never do.

It is important to invest in quality equipment, like machines that have been rigorously tested by AGZA, to ensure you are buying machines with well-built and long lasting batteries.

While you might have to break out a rake a day’s work of heavy, wet leaves, or mow leaves for properties with lots of trees, good electric leaf blowers have come a long way and can do most jobs. Landscapers might need to have extra batteries for heavy work, and modifications to their trailers or workshops to charge multiple batteries safely. Shop wisely and charge smartly!

Are there fines if I violate the law?

Yes, the County’s noise law has fines. Noise violations are $500 for the first violation. With 18 months to make the transition, we are confident that folks with be working with electric leaf blowers well before then. The County is working on development of a rebate program to help our community make the transition. Stay tuned!

3 comments on "Montgomery County’s Leafblower Law–What does it mean for Me?"

  1. Joel Teitelbaum says:

    I am an advocate FOR Electric Lawnblowers replacing Gas-powered ones in populated MOCO residential and business areas, including wired and battery-powered Lawnblowers – suburban, urban, and most rural zones – even the Agricultural Reserve.

    But, I am disappointed to see MOCO DEP publishing articles like this one in ‘My Green Montgomery’ as providing factual information on new Lawnblower laws and regulations enforced in near future ending sale and then use Gas-Lawnblowers. How can an article in an official MOCO government publication funded with federal and local tax dollars be posted On-Line so badly mis-edited (or not edited at all)? The year/month date ERROR clearly misstating timing when Gas Lawn Blowers become illegal for general use (as shown a full Year too early!) is the most ‘telling’ item of mis-information in this article., A careful review of the article’s sheer content, tone, and point-of-view shown in written text suggests it was produced using arbitrarily culled data linked to strong opinions from a non-governmental, overly-enthusiastic, naive Green Advocacy entity.

    Please assure that DEP scientists and legal experts EDIT such articles before publication. Try to avoid using propagandistic overstatement. Perceptions and responses from informed readers, residential/business owners of gas-powered Lawnblowers, lawn-care businesses and sellers are crucial to Green Montgomery program success, requiring accuracy in published content.

    A Montgomery County government Executive agency like DEP should publish useful information and sound conclusions on how Gas Lawnblowers (other fossil fuel equipment, pesticides, etc) impact impacting County level environmental health (air-pollution, noise exposures, etc.) and emissions of noxious gases/particles that pollute the ambient atmosphere, some of which contribute to global (and local) warming. Government-origin information can be in a format that is attractive to readers and encourages healthy behaviors without altering fact or making overstatements like this article does. One wonders if named author is by a private individual rather than a MOCO government employee (or DEP staff) paid to write articles On-Line.

    Please find ways to self-correct (and Edit) My Green Montgomery publications for factuality and

  2. Jon says:

    I am concerned about the facts listed in the new order reor Electric blowers–if such statements about human health related to the low frequency noise of the larger powerful mixed gas blowers–I would like to see the science/medical report from a reliable research instritute and factual study. Furthermore, the electric blowers have a higher pitch frequency that I personally feel is more irritation to the body and hearing, I can state this from first hand experience. And finally, the costs for the customers of landscape services are going to be higher due to the slower production output of the less powerful blowers, and subsequently, since the workers are going to have to run the electric blowers for longer periods of time to accomplish the cleanup tasks–there’s going to be a net increase in the overall amount of noise produced–it’s simple math and science.

  3. I am concerned about the new order requiring the Landscape companies as well as the public at large to use the electric blowers. First, let me say, I am totally a solar energy enthusiast and appreciate the move towards more electric devices, however, in the case of the leaf blower requirement, it’s going to cause a net increase in noise for 2 reasons according to sound reason. First, due to the electric blower not having as much power as the gas powered blowers, which have increased in their power over the past 10 years, the worker efficiency with the electric blower is not going to be as great as with gas powered–resulting in a net increase in the time it’s going to take to get work done. In fact, this increase in work time is going to exhaust our workers not to mention the fact that the higher pitched sound frequency of the electric blower is (in my experience) more annoying and debilitating than the lower frequency sound of the higher powered gas blowers. For these 2 reasons, this lawn is a bad call. Furthermore, the customers, both commercial and residential, are going to lose money due to increased time its going to take workers of landscape companies to get things cleaned up according to standards. So there are 3 reasons why this is a bad law. Please site the medical study that is referred to in the law’s justification. Who conducted the study? Is it an accredited institution? Hopefully not just someone’s opinion. Thank you for listening to sound reason.

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