In response to the pollution and health concerns caused by trains idling at Montauk Station for long periods of time, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R, I, C – Sag Harbor) has signed on to sponsor legislation that would prohibit this in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
“The railroads have made some accommodations to address this problem, however, the noise and air pollution caused by the excessive idling is putting the health and quality of life of residents at risk. I understand that the trains want to keep the air conditioning on for the comfort of their passengers, but there are many homes in the surrounding area and the excessive and constant idling of the trains is unnecessary,” said Thiele, who serves on the Assembly Transportation Committee.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 6878, was introduced following the numerous complaints of residents across the Island who live in close proximity to the railroad tracks. The complaints include the excessive idling of multiple train engines for periods of thirty minutes or longer. The trains run constantly throughout the day, starting around 6:40 am.
Thiele is one of the bipartisan sponsors of the legislation that would specifically prohibit trains from idling for longer than fifteen minutes while parked, stopped or standing within 200 feet of a residential property in both counties. To be fair to the railroad, the bill’s provisions do not apply when a train is in a municipal parking lot.
The bill is currently awaiting consideration in the Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. Assemblyman Thiele encourages members of the public who are concerned about this issue and would like to see the legislation brought out of committee, to be voted on by the full Assembly, to contact the Chair of the Committee, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky. You can write to Assemblyman Brodsky at the Legislative Office Building, Room 422, Albany, New York 12248 or e-mail him at email@example.com.