D.C. Attorney General Sues Greyhound For Pollution Violations At Union Station

December 10, 2019
Karl Racine

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The District’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Greyhound for letting buses idle for longer than the legal limit at Union Station. 

Attorney General Karl Racine said the bus company polluted the air and endangered the “health and safety of commuters and workers.” 

Racine and the Department of Energy and Environment reported it found 50 Greyhound buses parked, stopped or standing at the station with their engines running for more than 20 minutes. Three minutes is the legal limit. 

The lawsuit also alleges the company failed to comply with D.C. law after receiving 50 enforcement notices.

“Air pollution harms the health of thousands of people who live in, work in, and visit the District of Columbia—especially children, the elderly, and communities of color,” Racine said in a statement. “We’re working with DOEE to crack down on companies that violate the District’s environmental laws—like Greyhound—and to protect vulnerable residents who are most at risk to the harms of pollution.”

Racine’s office is seeking at least $216,000 in penalties, reimbursement for the investigation cost and a court order that would prevent Greyhound from violating D.C. law in the future. 

D.C. law prevents gas and diesel-powered vehicles from running their engine for longer than three minutes while the vehicle is parked, stopped or standing. 

The city in 2018 launched a joint initiative to reveal violations at Union Station. 

Vehicle exhaust is the top source of air pollution in D.C., the report said. 

"We take the air quality of our city very seriously," said DOEE Director Tommy Wells in a statement. "Respiratory issues disproportionately affect children, seniors and low-income residents. That's why Mayor Muriel Bowser has made it a priority to enforce our anti-idling laws in the District."

Greyhound owns buses that transport about 16 million passengers annually, the attorney general’s office said. 

A Greyhound spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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