Idle theat! Hook bus lot violates state law

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The state is investigating a Red Hook bus lot, which has repeatedly violated idling laws and spewed toxins near a popular park and the waterfront area behind the new Ikea.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has identified multiple violations against Jofaz Transportation for bus idling at its lots near Van Dyke and Beard streets — and more could be on the way.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said spokesman Thomas Panzone.

Red Hookers said the problem is typically at its worst in the early morning hours, as the buses idle and burp out their noxious fumes.

“The situation is unhealthy and oppressive,” said one resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

Jofaz Transportation owner Joseph Fazzia did not return calls for comment.

Idling releases nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulates — which is why the city and state have enforceable anti-idling laws. Unfortunately, the state agency does not have a large police force capable of tackling widespread vehicle idling, Panzone admitted, though it does focus on “concentrated problems such as this one.”

Fazzia last made headlines in 2008 when he was charged with making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about allegations that he paid off the mob-controlled union that represents school bus drivers. Jofaz was among five bus contractors that won a $270-million, three-year contract extension this year from the Department of Education.

Updated 2:20 pm, October 19, 2011
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