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, when idling is due to performing emergency services, when a vehicle inspection is being performed, when the vehicle is being used for agricultural purposes, and if the vehicle is electric.


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

Leaving a heavy-duty engine running when it is parked negatively impacts the environment and public health. An idling vehicle can release just as much air pollution as a moving one, which not only contributes to climate change but also can 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 bring New York State closer to meeting the emissions reductions goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The State must reduce total greenhouse gas emission by 85% by 2050, and the transportation sector represents 28% of total statewide emissions. Prohibiting idling of heavy-duty vehicles will help to make progress towards these targets.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 10