New York program targets dirty diesels

A week-long crackdown on polluting diesel trucks by the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as part of the agency’s statewide clean air initiative, resulted in the issuing of 206 tickets in check-point operations across New York.

DEC’s environmental conservation officers targeted trucks churning out plumes of visible exhaust from Buffalo to Long Island, as part of DEC’s “Stop Smoking Initiative for Trucks and Buses.” The enforcement operation was carried out in strategically chosen neighborhoods known for heavy truck traffic, according to a report in the North County Gazette.

The initiative was based on a successful program launched in New York City. DEC is expanding the program to neighborhoods across the state, asking community groups and local governments identify “hot spots” where idling diesel engines contribute to poor air quality.

DEC has also developed an outreach program to educate the trucking industry about the laws and serious consequences of trucks that pollute the environment. Penalties for violations of state air emission standards are $700 for the first offense and $1,300 for subsequent offenses. Operators that repair faulty vehicles can have the fines reduced.

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