CLF Announces Lawsuit to Protect Communities from Tailpipe Pollution

Transdev Services school buses violating Clean Air Act

Photo: Shutterstock

May 8, 2019 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has announced its intent to sue Transdev Services Inc. for Clean Air Act violations. Transdev provides transportation for the Boston Public School system, and its buses have been illegally idling in lots around the city, spreading pollution into homes and neighborhoods.

“It’s inexcusable that the companies we trust to transport our children to school are polluting the very air they breathe,” said Alyssa Rayman-Read, Vice President and Director of CLF Massachusetts. “There are laws on the books to prevent this type of air pollution and Transdev is blatantly ignoring them. They need to take responsibility and stop spewing toxic pollution into our neighborhoods.”

Transdev is the largest private provider of multiple modes of transportation, including school buses, in North America. Every state in New England limits the amount of allowable idling time by diesel vehicles to between three and five minutes, and the limit is five minutes in Massachusetts. Transdev vehicles were observed on numerous occasions idling for upwards of 30 minutes in lots in Charlestown, Dorchester and Roxbury.

“Everyone deserves to breathe clean air,” said Katy Pyle, Environmental Justice Organizer with Arise for Social Justice. “Idling disproportionately pollutes disadvantaged communities where people are already suffering from asthma and other health problems. In fact, Springfield, Boston, and Worcester are listed among the top 20 most challenging in which to live with asthma, which is unacceptable. Polluters need to pay for the damage they do to our communities, and that starts with enforcing anti-idling laws.”

CLF’s notice to Transdev coincided with World Asthma Day on Tuesday.

Diesel exhaust exposure has been linked to lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Government regulators estimate that diesel exhaust is responsible for 125,000 cancer cases nationwide, and 23 to 46 of every one million children could develop cancer from the exhaust they inhale just traveling on school buses.

Click here for a copy of the notice letter.

CLF experts are available for further comment.