July 2, 2018 Testimony of Anne Cauman

From the D.C. Council Committee of the Whole Hearing on July 2, 2018. testimony from Anne Cauman

Cauman: My name's Anne Cauman. I'm a longtime resident of the District. I live in Ward 3 at 4405 38th Street Northwest. I have no technical knowledge. I'm not a member of Quiet Clean DC, but I'm a very irate homeowner. I'm an avid gardener, and the noise from these leaf blowers drives me absolutely crazy, and I want to see that noise stopped. 

A few years ago it wasn't so bad because they were mostly used in the fall, and by the time they were used, I wasn't doing so much gardening. Then, either my neighbors all hired lawn companies, or more lawn companies began using them year round, and it began driving me absolutely crazy. I use a lawn service, but I don't have them routinely use leaf blowers. And in the fall, my husband and I rake our leaves, usually. There's been one or two instances where one of us was very ill, and then we had the leaves blown. But normally we rake them. And the longer that I was outside gardening, and the leaf blower noise was almost constant, my hearing began deteriorating. And while I didn't have any proof, I attribute it to the noise I was constantly subjected to in my yard. 

Eventually, I went out and bought an ear protector, which I think I have here to show you. First I got a 20 decibel ear protector, but that didn't do the job, so I went out and got a 30 decibel ear protector, which was more uncomfortable but blocked more noise. I shouldn't have to do that. I should have peace and quiet in my yard. 

When I heard that Council member Cheh had sponsored this bill, I was totally thrilled. And I just want to see these things banned. I think it's a health issue, not a money issue. And to the extent it's a money issue, those of us with health problems are going to have to pay. And the big lawn companies aren't going to be the people paying the bills. Thank you.