PALM SPRINGS — As of Jan. 1, 2019, the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers is prohibited by city ordinance. Official enforcement begins in April.

On July 19, 2017, the Palm Springs City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers to improve air quality and reduce noise pollution.

To assist lawn and garden maintenance companies and Palm Springs residents in complying with the ordinance, there are two incentive programs that are being offered starting Jan. 29, 2019,  according to Communications Director Amy Blaisdell.

For residential users, the city is offering a rebate for Palm Springs residents that turn in a working, gasoline-powered leaf blower and purchase a new electric blower. The amount of the rebate is 40 percent of the price of the new electric blower up to a maximum rebate of $100.

Initial funding of up to $10,000 has been authorized for this program by the city of Palm Springs.

To receive the rebate, residents must drop off their old leaf blower and purchase a new one at Yoshi Lawnmower Shop at 652 S. Williams Road during normal business hours. During the purchase process, residents will need to complete a rebate application form available at Yoshi or on the City’s Sustainability webpage.

For commercial users, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is providing discounted pricing on electric leaf blowers and other zero emission lawn equipment through its Commercial Electric Lawn and Garden Incentive & Exchange Program.

This program is being offered at various locations in the Coachella Valley in addition to Yoshi here in Palm Springs. More information about the AQMD program and participating retailers can be found on AQMD’s website by clicking here.

Until April, operators of gasoline-powered leaf blowers will be issued a warning.

Starting April 1, operators will be fined $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second, and $500 for the third and subsequent offenses.

To report violations, please contact the Code Enforcement Hotline at (760) 788-8434 or on the GO Request App (available from the App Store and Google Play.