Connecticut School Bus Operator Sued for Polluting Neighborhoods

DATTCO buses violating Clean Air Act with excessive tailpipe exhaust

Photo: Oliver Foerstner via Shutterstock

February 19, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a lawsuit against DATTCO, Inc. today for Clean Air Act violations in Connecticut. The company’s school buses have been observed frequently violating federal and state laws regulating prolonged vehicle idling, spreading toxic exhaust into areas near homes, schools, churches, and parks.

“Exhaust pollution is extremely dangerous for children,” said Kenta Tsuda, Staff Attorney at CLF. “DATTCO collects millions of taxpayer dollars to serve Connecticut communities and their schoolchildren. It’s time for this company to prove it cares about these communities, their children, and their futures by stopping this unlawful and unsafe pollution.”

DATTCO serves school districts across the state of Connecticut and also provides private coach bus services. During a sample of seven days, CLF investigators observed the company’s buses violating federal caps on vehicle idling 132 times. This unlawful pollution occurred at DATTCO vehicle lots throughout Connecticut, including in New Haven, Bridgeport, Durham, Cheshire, South Windsor, and New Canaan.

Idling vehicles release harmful exhaust filled with fine and ultrafine particulate matter and other toxic emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, benzene, and sulfur dioxide. As the vehicles idle, these materials accumulate in the surrounding air.

When inhaled, this exhaust can cause lung damage, and aggravate conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Exposure to the pollutants in vehicle exhaust has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, brain damage, and premature death. At a societal level, such pollution is associated with slower economic growth and spikes in violent crime.

This is the latest case in CLF’s tailpipe pollution campaign, with previous lawsuits announced against several transportation companies in Massachusetts.

You can find the complaint filed in CLF’s lawsuit here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.