CLF Appeals Decision in Tailpipe Pollution Lawsuit

Environmental citizen lawsuits at risk if Massachusetts court decision stands

An exhaust pipe is shown spewing out black smoke

Citizen lawsuits at risk if Massachusetts court decision stands

December 11, 2023 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has appealed a recent court decision in a lawsuit against Academy Express regarding unlawful tailpipe emissions from the company’s buses. Academy provides shuttle services throughout Greater Boston, and its vehicles have been observed repeatedly idling beyond the legal limit pumping exhaust pollution into nearby neighborhoods.

“Every year, vehicle emissions are linked to thousands of deaths in the northeast,” said Heather Govern, Director of CLF’s Clean Air and Water program. “Large bus companies must be held accountable for ignoring idling laws designed to limit toxic emissions and protect public health. CLF filed this appeal to continue the fight for cleaner air in our communities.”

 Vehicle emissions can cause lung damage, aggravate conditions like asthma and bronchitis, and has been linked to increased incidence of heart disease, multiple kinds of cancer, and premature death. Children are particularly susceptible to these harms.

Academy Express operates shuttle buses for Boston University and provides long-distance and shuttle bus service throughout New England, with stops in Boston, Newton, and Cambridge and bus lots in Braintree and Bridgeport. CLF observed their vehicles frequently idling for prolonged periods in densely populated residential areas, including locations near schools and parks.

CLF is appealing a Massachusetts federal court decision in which the judge ruled that the organization did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. The appeal can be found here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.