Attorney General Eliot Spitzer recently announced an anti-idling settlement with truck and bus fleets that will help fund urban neighborhood improvements around the Empire State.
An investigation by Spitzer's office found a number of truck and bus fleets, including Frito-Lay Inc., Greyhound Lines Inc., Community Coach Inc., Gray Line New York Tours Inc., Leisure Lines Inc. and Suburban Trails Inc., repeatedly violated state and city laws limiting the amount of time vehicles may idle when not in traffic.
Under the agreements, the companies, which together operate about 1,500 vehicles, will:
· Implement a new idling policy covering operations in New York City and the rest of the state that includes sanctions for violating the policy;
· Implement a plan to eliminate excessive idling at and around their service facilities;
· Monitor compliance to the agreement for a period of three years and, during this period, pay penalties ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per idling violation in addition to any statutory penalties assessed by law enforcement agencies;
· Pay $103,000 for tree planting projects in the New York City neighborhoods; and
· Reimburse $7,343 to the Attorney General's Office to cover the costs of the investigation.
Currently, state law prohibits trucks and buses with diesel engines from idling for more than five consecutive minutes, except when powering an auxiliary function required for maintenance, or when performing emergency services. Under New York City law, trucks and buses with any kind of engine may not idle for more than three consecutive minutes, except when powering a loading, unloading or processing device.