CLF Sues First Transit for Clean Air Act Violations

Bus company polluting Connecticut neighborhoods

March 28, 2022 (HARTFORD, CT) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed a lawsuit against First Transit Inc. for Clean Air Act violations. The company’s buses have been unlawfully idling in communities across Connecticut and spreading toxic emissions and pollution into homes and neighborhoods.

“Dangerous tailpipe pollution worsens the climate crisis and threatens public health,” said CLF staff attorney Shannon Laun. “First Transit is ignoring important laws designed to curb these emissions, and it’s time they are held responsible. This company must stop poisoning the air in the communities in which they operate.”

First Transit provides shuttle services for Yale University and operates Connecticut Transit public buses in Greater Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford.

CLF found buses frequently violating the Connecticut anti-idling law that limits unnecessary engine idling to three minutes. Idling exhaust 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.

In addition, recent studies have found that particulate air pollution can make people more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and may bring the virus into their lungs.

This is the third lawsuit CLF has filed in Connecticut’s federal court to stop illegal idling. CLF sued All-Star Transportation for similar Clean Air Act violations in 2021. In addition, CLF’s lawsuit against DATTCO, filed in 2020, resulted in a nearly $2 million settlement that requires DATTCO to purchase zero-emission buses.

CLF experts are available for further comment.