A breath of fresh air for Bronx students who ride the school bus
After investigating several bus companies, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is now limiting the amount of exhaust their buses can release. Spitzer says pollutants in school bus exhaust is linked to cases of lung cancer and asthma, and that the children are getting the largest exposure to exhaust fumes. Four companies that account for 60 percent of city buses were pinpointed, all accused of dumping more than 80 tons of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in to city air. New standards mean that drivers must turn the bus off if it's idling more than a minute within a block of a school, or three minutes at other locations. On cold days buses are allowed to idle to keep the bus warm, and 1,000 buses will use exhaust filters and low sulfur diesel fuel. Additionally, each bus company will spend nearly $50,000 planting trees near city schools. The companies are required to adhere to the new standards. Spitzer says he's trusting in good faith that they remain true to their agreement. But he'll be sending inspectors by every so often just to make sure.A representative for all four companies says they are glad to comply with the new arrangement.