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Ask the Mayor: Is It Legal to Blow Yard Debris Onto Public Roads?

February 11, 2018, 12:00 PM HST · Updated February 11, 10:55 AM
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], (808) 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

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Aloha Mayor:

Q: Is it legal to use a (gas) leaf blower to blow landscape clippings and leaves on the highway or public roads? I have witnessed a lot of private landscape companies doing just that. What can be done on this issue?

A: No, it’s not legal. Hawai‘i Revised Statute 352H-36.5 states that it is unlawful “for any person to use or operate a leaf blower in such a way as to blow leaves, dirt and other debris onto the public rights-of-way or onto private property not owned, leased or controlled by the leaf blower operator or the employer or contractor… and to allow the debris to remain there in excess of thirty minutes.”

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It is also a bad idea, because the leaves, debris and yard waste are considered storm water pollutants. These materials could clog storm drains, which would in turn cause flooding hazards during heavy rains or create breeding grounds for insects, rodents or other vectors.

You can report this kind of violation on a county roadway by calling the County of Maui Public Works Highways Division at (808) 270-7869, or if the leaves are blown onto a state highway, call the State DOT Highways Division at (808) 873-3535.

For more information on storm water protection and erosion, including a resident’s guide and a keiki activity book, go online.

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