HUNTINGTON, N.Y. – A Long Island woman claims her complaints of loud noise and pollution are being ignored by her town.
She tells CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan that commercial landscapers are disturbing the peace in off hours, using gasoline powered leaf blowers.
“In the early morning, you don’t have to start your engines before 7 o’clock,” said Cathy Anner.
Anner is up early. The nursing consultant lives for the special time to relax amid her flowers in her Huntington Station yard.
“The noise in the morning. The noise in the evening. The noise on Sunday,” Anner said.
It’s not supposed to be that way.
Huntington prides itself on environmental progressiveness. New on its books: Banning commercial gasoline powered leaf blowers at certain times.
“It bans gasoline leaf blowers between Memorial Day and Labor Day for commercial use, Saturday, Sunday and holidays,” said Huntington Public Safety Director Joseph Cirigliano.
But Anner says her street is overrun with landscapers defying town code. She has recorded photos and videos of the scofflaws, and submitted the proof to the town, she says.
“They don’t put any teeth into the law that they enact, and it’s very frustrating,” Anner said.
Some neighbors agree.
“They do drive you crazy,” one said. “You don’t want to sit outside.”
“It’s pollution,” said another.
The DEC says the amount of carbon monoxide emitted from a leaf blower for 60 minutes is equal to 17 cars running for an hour.
Battery powered blowers are cleaner and greener, but not as powerful, more expensive, and the industry needs technology to catch up.
“We are trying to migrate the town toward electric and battery packs. It’s going to be a years-long transition,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth.
If a code officer spots a violator, or if a homeowner signs an affidavit, landscapers can be fined $100-$5,000.
Anner calls herself a quiet sleuth advocating for the planet.
“There’s a lot to be said for Miss Marple,” she said.
As well as advocating for peace and quiet.
“There’s a certain amount of rest time that we all need,” Anner said.
She says the health benefits to landscapes are priceless.
Huntington Town says it investigates all complaints.
The cost to landscapers to switch to battery powered blowers could soon be offset. Tax credits and rebates are being proposed in Albany.