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DEP Caves to Trucking Lobby

During the gubernatorial campaign, candidate Christie promised to reduce air pollution from diesel trucks (specifcally, per the NJ Environmental Federation, who endorsed Christie, “an Executive Order to reduce killer diesel soot pollution“).

More recently, Christie’s  DEP Commisisoner Bob Martin has made public statements that DEP would act to reduce serious public health risk of diesel truck pollution (specifically “implement a program to accelerate the retrofit of diesel engines“)

To the contrary, DEP caved in to the demands of the trucking lobby and abandoned an important ban on truck idling.

The Bergen Record reports today: Truckers can run engines while they sleep, state says

Truck drivers will be allowed to keep their engines running while they sleep in the back of their cabs for at least one more year under a recent move by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

A ban on almost all truck idling was expected to begin this month as the DEP tries to curb air pollution. But the agency, at the request of transportation officials, the state police and trucking groups, determined there were not enough alternatives for drivers to stay warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather other than running their engines.

We wanted to be fair to the trucking industry,” Larry Ragonese, a DEP spokesman, said.

What about fairness to the people of NJ who are forced to breath toxic diesel fumes?

Read DEP’s own health assesment of the huge impacts of diesel pollution – click on these links:

DEP rule proposal

DEP fact sheet

I now understand why the Port Authority’s support of the NY City garbage trucking plan was so hyped by Governor Christie’s press office – it provided green cover for this fold to the trucking lobby. But will news reporters get wise to these games?


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