Investigative Post: DEC Idling on Enforcement

5:06 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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By Dan Telvock, Investigative Post

Diesel fumes permeate the air near the gate to the Peace Bridge Duty Free store as nearby trucks idle in traffic and parking lots.

The idling trucks are a sore spot for residents of the West Side that borders the bridge and its plaza on the American side.

Diesel fumes contribute to air pollution believed to be partly responsible for health problems - including asthma rates nearly four times higher than the national average - among residents on the city's lower West Side, according to Dr. Jamson S. Lwebuga-Mukasa, a leading researcher of air quality in the neighborhood.

The World Health Organization said in June that diesel exhaust has been linked to lung cancer and put it in the same category as passive smoking, mustard gas and asbestos for its threats to public health.

With these concerns in mind, several elected officials and the operators of the Peace Bridge asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation this spring to begin enforcing a state law that prohibits trucks from idling for more than five minutes under normal circumstances.

DEC's response?

It has sent enforcement officers to the bridge for two eight-hour shifts since May and issued three tickets for excessive idling. The agency inspected 81 trucks during those two enforcement actions, amounting to just over 1 percent of the trucks that park throughout the property each month.

Continue reading on the Investigative Post website. Watch the report that aired on Channel 2 News in the video player on this page.

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