Fri July 6, 2012
DEC to crack down on pollution from idling trucks near Peace Bridge
Truckers at the U.S. side of the Peace Bridge in Buffalo are now going to have to shut down their idling trucks after five minutes. If they don't, there might be a police officer handing out a ticket.
After years of complaints about noise and pollution from idling trucks, the Peace Bridge Authority called in the cops. Environmental conservation police have done one crackdown at the bridge and say there will be more.
Captain Frank Lauricella, DEC Police chief in the six counties of Region 9, says the blitz on May 23 led to a series of warnings, with one ticket sending a driver to Buffalo City Court.
But Lauricella said his officers don't go after every idling truck.
"Where we will do an enforcement initiative which the Peace Bridge Authority is where they are not in the process of moving commerce across the bridge idling, standing idling. Although it's the same thing as they are sitting there they are in the process of moving forward," said Lauricella.
Therefore, officers won't ticket an idling truck waiting to go through customs but will ticket an idling truck at the duty-free store.
Buffalo Public Bridge Authority chairman Sam Hoyt says the agency is being proactive by asking DEC for the crackdown.
"We went to the DEC. We heard complaints from neighbors. The Peace Bridge Authority heard from Assemblyman Ryan, from Councilmember [David] Rivera, from the Clean Air Coalition and we wanted to show that we're responsive to the concerns of the neighbors," said Hoyt.
The Clean Air Coalition held a rally about the environmental effects of the bridge on the edge of the customs plaza on May 23.