Bill Memo: Curbing Air Pollution

2 Tree: Substantial benefit rating


This bill adds a new section to Article 19 of the Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit operators of heavy-duty vehicles from idling a vehicle for more than five consecutive minutes. The bill contains reasonable exemptions from the prohibition, such as when a vehicle is forced to idle because of traffic conditions or when it is colder than 25° F outside, and when idling is due to performing emergency services.


This bill reduces harmful air pollution and cuts greenhouse gas emission by prohibiting operators from idling heavy-duty vehicles (such as trucks and buses) for more than five consecutive minutes.

Leaving a heavy-duty engine running when it is parked is bad for the environment and public health. An idling vehicle can release just as much air pollution as a moving one. Motor vehicle exhaust contains harmful air pollutants that make people sick. Life-threatening pollutants like carbon monoxide and particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks and contribute to heart disease and lung cancer. Reducing air pollution for unnecessary vehicle exhaust will improve air quality and reduce risks to public health.

This bill will also help New York State meet its climate pollution reduction goals. New York State has set climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050. The transportation sector represents one of the largest sources of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions.

This bill helps New York State continue to show leadership in cutting climate pollution and improving air quality by prohibiting unnecessary idling.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 37