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Local Law to establish Asthma Free School Zones in New York City
Detail: On October 17, 2007, Council Members Lopez, Barron, Brewer, Gerson, Jackson, James, Gennaro, Vann, Perkins and Vallone Jr. introduced legislation to protect the health of school children and improve overall air quality for all New Yorkers by reducing the time allowed for drivers to keep their engines running idle. This Local Law aims to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to establishing Asthma Free School Zones.

Asthma Free School Zone is a neighborhood-based and school-centered program by a not-for-profit group of the same name. This program gives environmental health training to school and community members, and guides grassroots creation and maintenance of safe, healthy school zones in which children are protected from risks associated with poor air quality. The ultimate goal is to create greater public awareness about the importance of clean air. For the past year, Asthma Free School Zone has held covert stakeouts of schools around the city to aid the campaign against vehicle idling.

The new legislation proposes that an Asthma Free School Zone shall be established for each public school. Each Asthma Free School Zone shall include each public school, extend five hundred feet outward from the legal property line of such school, and encompass the entire area within such boundary. Currently drivers within New York City limits are allowed to keep their vehicles engine idling for only upto three minutes. This new local law would cut that allowance to one minute when a motor vehicle is parked or standing in the Asthma Free School Zone.
Date: November 15 2007