Venice Beach
MNLA photo by Clancy O'Dessky

Los Angeles will explore creating an air complaint system modeled after New York’s Citizens Air Complaint Program following a motion passed by the City Council Friday.

Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced the motion, which passed 10-0 Friday, to direct the city administrative officer to work with other departments on a feasibility report for creating a community reporting system for idling commercial vehicles that would be integrated into 311 or a similar online tool.

“Creating a program similar to New York’s will empower residents with yet another tool to hold industry accountable for the impacts felt by community members,” Buscaino said in March. “After years of behind-the-scenes work, all the pieces are falling into place to create comprehensive, long-term solutions to address the bevy of freight truck issues that have plagued the Wilmington community.”

The motion notes that some drivers ignore “no truck/bus idling” signs and leave their engines on while stalled on streets, including in communities near the Port of Los Angeles.

It adds that enforcement can be tricky because agencies must catch drivers in the act. However, the New York Citizens Air Complaint Program, which began in 2018, allows people to report infractions by submitting a video. People who report receive 25% of any fine the city collects on that specific idling vehicle.

“This has been considered a successful program, drastically increasing the number of citations issued for idling commercial vehicles, simply by leveraging the eyes and ears of members of the community,” the motion states.

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