Diesel exhaust prompts call for city action | AspenTimes.com

Diesel exhaust prompts call for city action

After some prompting by a concerned citizen, the city’s environmental health department has agreed to investigate the need for stricter enforcement of vehicle emissions laws.

At an informal City Council meeting Monday, Aspen resident Raymond Auger suggested a task force be created to address the issue of noise and air pollution violations by diesel vehicles.

Auger asked the council to pass a resolution creating a task force to study the extent of violations and how enforcement could be more effective.

But before putting such a group together, council members directed city staffers to research current state law and enforcement options used elsewhere.

There are state air-quality regulations in place, said Lee Cassin, Aspen’s director of environmental health. But police seldom ticket suspect vehicles unless the case is extreme, she remarked.

“It’s a matter of higher priorities. They probably don’t have a lot of time to pull over smoking vehicles,” Cassin said.

The environmental health department occasionally gets calls from citizens regarding vehicles emitting significant amounts of exhaust. And when the department sends out notices to the drivers, “usually 90 percent call back right away and tell us they’ve corrected the problem or intend to,” she noted.

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