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PR- 161-04
June 24, 2004


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law

"The next bill before me today is Introductory Number 110-A, sponsored by Councilmembers Moskowitz, Avella, Brewer, Clarke, Comrie, Dilan, Gerson, Gioia, Jennings, Koppell, Liu, Lopez, Martinez, McMahon, Monserrate, Quinn, Recchia, Reed, Reyna, Rivera, Sanders, Sears, Stewart, Vann, Weprin, Yassky, Felder, Nelson, Foster, Fidler, Perkins, Gentile, Gennaro, Serrano, Vallone and Palma. This bill amends the penalty structure for violations of the City's motor vehicle idling law and requires the posting of signs regarding such law at various locations throughout the City.

"Environmental groups and the United States Environmental Protection Agency acknowledge the harmful health effects caused by exposure to motor vehicle exhaust-especially diesel exhaust.  In light of these concerns, in 1985 New York City enacted the first Citywide idling restrictions-prohibiting motor vehicles, other than emergency vehicles, from idling for more than three minutes while parking, stopping or standing.  In addition, buses were not permitted to idle at any terminal point along their route except during cold weather. While these measures reduced the prevalence of motor vehicle idling and air pollution, more could be done to improve New York City's air quality and protect the public's health.  In fact, last December, in conjunction with the City Council, I signed Local Law 77 requiring any diesel powered, nonroad vehicle, fifty horsepower and greater, that is owned or leased by a City agency be powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and utilize the best available technology for reducing the emission of pollutants.

"Intro 110-A increases the potential penalty for first violations and establishes a new penalty structure for multiple violations.  This bill also requires the Department of Transportation to post signs relating to the idling restrictions at various locations throughout the City, including:

  • Points where bridges and tunnels enter New York City;
  • High traffic truck routes in each of the five boroughs;
  • Bus layover areas;
  • Bus terminal points;
  • In close proximity to school bus depots, and;
  • At other appropriate locations throughout the City as determined by the Commissioners of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation.

"When implemented, this legislation will go a long way toward increasing compliance with the City's idling restrictions and improving the quality of the air we breathe.  I would like to thank Councilmember Moskowitz and Council staff for their leadership on this legislation, as well as Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Chris Ward, Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall and all the agency staff for their hard work."

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