“The real challenge here is that in the good times everybody is in favor of environmental stuff, and when the times get tougher, it’s probably the first thing to be jettisoned.”
Passing laws is one thing; enforcing them is another.
Enter New York City’s idling rule, meant to improve the city’s air quality by prohibiting drivers from running their engines when they’re not moving.
Toxic tailpipe fumes have been shown to increase rates of asthma and put children at risk of developmental delays, environmental studies show.
When cars and buses line up outside of schools, all those idling engines can worsen the quality of air both inside and outside the school, as children and parents come and go.
By putting air-quality monitors in backpacks on pregnant mothers in New York, researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health have shown that fetuses exposed to greater pollution in the womb are more likely to experience developmental delays as children.
For years, New York drivers have had three minutes to turn off idling engines, and in 2009 the city passed more stringent laws: Drivers now have one minute to turn off their engines if they’re adjacent to a school.
But environmental advocates complain the laws do little to improve air quality because the legislation in place is only minimally enforced…
“The real challenge here is that in the good times everybody is in favor of environmental stuff, and when the times get tougher, it’s probably the first thing to be jettisoned,” Bloomberg said…