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Post date: March 25 2004

Spitzer Agreement With Hunt's Point Meat Market To Reduce Pollution

State Attorney General Spitzer announced today an agreement with the Hunt's Point Cooperative Market, also known as the Hunt's Point Meat Market, that will reduce pollution from idling diesel trucks and improve air quality in the South Bronx.

"With this agreement, the Meat Market will become a better neighbor by ensuring that idling is dramatically reduced. This agreement, by drastically reducing idling in the Meat Market, will make Hunt's Point a better place to work and a better place to live for the residents of the area," Spitzer said

With few exceptions, it is against State law to idle a diesel motor vehicle engine for more than five consecutive minutes, and a violation of New York City law to idle any motor vehicle engine for more than three consecutive minutes. The investigation by the Attorney General's Office documented forty-five instances of illegal idling within the Meat Market. An average of 3,000 to 4,000 tractor-trailer trucks and 5,000 smaller straight trucks enter the Meat Market each month.

Emissions from diesel engines in trucks and buses contain microscopic particles of soot that can lodge deep in a person's lungs. The soot and other pollutants in diesel exhaust have been linked to cancer, respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and other serious health conditions. Scientists in the Attorney General's Office estimated illegal idling within the Meat Market caused annual emissions totaling 5.3 tons of carbon monoxide, 5.6 tons nitrogen oxides, and 200 pounds of particulate matter.

Under the agreement, the Meat Market will:

  • adopt a "Market Idling Rule" that prohibits idling for more than three minutes;
  • develop and implement an anti-idling education campaign including the use of signs, brochures and other materials informing truck drivers of the Market Idling Rule, and the health and environmental effects of diesel exhaust;
  • implement a monitoring program and report all instances of illegal idling to the Attorney General's Office on a regular basis for three years (monthly the first year and quarterly in the second two years); and
  • permit a total of 5,400 free truck entries to the Meat Market (the entry fee would otherwise be $25) for trucks from the Hunt's Point Produce Market to use the IdleAire truck electrification bays located inside the Meat Market. Using the electrification bays provides truck drivers inside trucks with temperature control and other electric-powered amenities without idling the truck engines. Allowing Produce Market trucks to enter the Meat Market for this purpose will ensure that the IdleAir technology will be fully utilized.

The Attorney General's settlement with the Meat Market is one of 12 anti-idling agreements reached since 2002. The other agreements were reached with the Hunt's Point Produce Market, Frito-Lay, Greyhound Lines, Community Coach, Gray Line New York Tours, Leisure Lines, Suburban Trails, Atlantic Express, Pioneer Bus Company, Consolidated Bus Company, and Logan Bus Company.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lemuel M. Srolovic, Environmental Scientists Rona Baruch and Thomas Congdon and Investigator Sal Ventola.

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