The Leaf Blower By-Laws & Regulations applies to property owners and managers, residents, businesses and hired landscapers. Hired landscapers must be permitted annually by the Town.
The full by-law regulating the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.
Rules and regulations in plain language.
Companies currently permitted to use gas-powered leaf blowers
Permit application for commercial landscaping companies that use leaf blowers.
Best practices and a general rundown of how and when to use leaf blowers.
Town Meeting passed the Leaf Blower Bylaw in order to reduce emissions and noise created from leaf blower use. The bylaw regulates when gas-powered leaf blowers may be used and the maximum decibel level allowed. The goal is to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers outside of heavy leaf litter collection periods. The regulations are intended to support livable neighborhoods through greater compliance and improved enforcement.
Leaf Blower Use
- Article 8.31 Town By-Law holds that: Property owners/managers are CO-RESPONSIBLE for compliance with the By-law. Both are subject to penalties following any violation.
- Property owners/managers are not only responsible for the compliant operation of leaf blowers on the property they control, but also on contiguous sidewalks and streets.
- On land parcels of 7,500 sq. ft. or less in size, a maximum of two leaf blowers may be used simultaneously.
Violations are subject to the following penalties in each calendar year:
- First Offense: Written warning
- Second Offense: $50
- Third Offense: $100
- Each Subsequent Offense: $150
Seasonal Ban for Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers*
January 1 - March 14,
May 16 - September 30
March 15 - May 15
October 1 - December 31
Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday-Sunday and Holidays: 9am - 6pm
*Electric leaf blowers are allowed year round during the permitted hours.
The DPW is responsible for complaint handling and monitoring, as well as enforcement coordination with the police.
Leaf blower violations should be reported to:
Department of Public Works
Monday - Friday, 7am - 3pm
After business hours:
Brookline Police Department
The DPW will contact and inform property owners/managers if a violation has been reported to have taken place on their property, as well as any hired landscaper involved. When applicable, violations will be issued to both the property owner, as well as the hired landscaper involved.
The Town By-Laws require that any portable leaf blower used in the town have a manufacturer's stick or a DPW sticker certifying a noise level of no more than 67 dBA when measured at a distance of fifty feet, utilizing American National Standard Institute methodology.
Leaf blowers needing a sticker can be tested at the Municipal Service Center, by appointment on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the following months: October, November, December, March, April and May.
The Department of Public Works is exempt from the Article 8.31 By-Law.
Please read carefully as to how the Leaf Blower By-Law and regulations affect you and how violations will be enforced.
Leaf Blower Best Practices
Best practices, such as those below, support the safe, courteous, responsible and effective use of leaf blowers.
- Pay attention when using a leaf blower. Don't point an operating blower in the direction of people, animals, open doors or windows.
- Make sure bystanders are at least 50 feet away. Stop blowing when people or pets approach.
- Use the blower only when necessary and at the speed/throttle which emits the least sound and is least disturbing. Low throttle speeds reduce noise and provide the operator maximum control. Full throttle is seldom necessary.
- Inspect the blower before and during use to make sure controls, parts and safety devices are working properly.
- Do not blow leaves onto the street or neighboring properties. All leaves must be collected prior to leaving the site.
- Wear appropriate eye and ear protection when operating a leaf blower.
- Think about the neighbors and neighborhood you are working in.
Landscaper Permit Requirement
Commercial/Private landscapers are required to receive an annual permit and pay an application fee of $25 prior to operating leaf blowers in the Town of Brookline, MA. All permitted landscapers will be listed on the DPW website. We recommend that residents review this list prior to selecting a landscape company.
Follow this link for Permit Applications.
Permit stickers must be clearly visible and affixed to the rear bumper of landscape company vehicles that are not clearly marked with company contact information; including name, address and phone number. While recommended, it is not required that companies that have clear identification on their vehicle affix the permit sticker to the commercial vehicle rear bumper.
Applications and payment must be submitted to:
Brookline Department of Public Works, 870 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Please contact the office at 617-879-4900 with any questions.
The Department of Public Works seeks to regulate this By-Law as directed by Town Meeting, while also providing a reasonable and easy process for landscapers who work in Brookline.