By Bob Katzen

The Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee held a virtual hearing on a measure that would prohibit the idling of any trains for more than 30 minutes.

The measure authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to investigate all reported cases of train idling beyond 30 minutes and to conduct emission tests to determine the level of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide being released from the train. Emission levels above allowed levels will result in a $5,000 fine for each violation.

“Idling trains are more than just a nuisance to residents who live in neighborhoods close to rail lines,” said sponsor Rep. John Barrett (D-North Adams). “The emissions being released by these idling trains are negatively impacting the environment. In my district it is not unusual for a train to idle for 24 hours or more.”

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