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Newton

Could leaf blower restrictions make for a quieter Newton summer?

Planning on firing up that leaf blower for some long-neglected yard work in Newton? Get started soon.

Thanks to a new set of rules approved by city councilors in January, only one battery- or electrically-powered leaf blower at a time can be used per lot from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The same regulations also bar gas-powered leaf blowers from use during the summer.

The rules, which also apply to city workers and contractors, impose a 65-decibel noise limit on the devices.

City officials have debated some form of leaf blower regulations for years, after opponents said the lawn care equipment creates unnecessary noise and, in the case of gas-powered units, air pollution.

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Some business owners, including landscapers, said the machines are an essential tool for maintaining outdoor spaces.

Under the new rules, leaf blowers can be run Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., although city workers can start earlier so they have more time to maintain village centers. They can be used from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Only residents are allowed to operate them on Sundays and legal holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Previously, use of the equipment was allowed all year from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com