This bill extends a law aimed at reducing harmful air pollution around schools by prohibiting drivers from idling school buses while parked or standing on school grounds.
Diesel exhaust pollution is a main contributor to both ground level ozone and airborne fine particle pollutants that are linked to asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Diesel burning school buses that idle while standing on school grounds expose children directly to these harmful pollutants.
New York State’s above average occurrence rates of asthma have been well documented. According to the most recent New York State Department of Health Asthma Surveillance Summary Report, approximately 456,000 or 10-percent of school aged children in New York had asthma, with the highest prevalence found amongst children 5-9 years old.
This bill helps limit school children’s exposure to diesel emissions by continuing the current prohibition on school bus idling while waiting to load or offload students on school grounds. While a five-year extension of current practices is a positive step, a permanent extension would eliminate unnecessary uncertainty to this common sense protection of our children’s health.
This bill amends the Education Law to extend, until June 30, 2024, a law limiting the idling of school vehicles while parked or standing on school grounds.