State Tries to Cut Down on Air Pollution in Harlem

Environmental officials are testing out a new program aimed at finding and ticketing diesel trucks that are polluting the air. The State Department of Environmental Conservation started its crack down this morning in East Harlem.

REPORTER: This initial program will last three weeks then official are expected to look for a more permanent solution. Commissioner Pete Grannis says East Harlem has a significantly high number of resperatory health problems.

GRANNIS: The asthma rates there are four to 5 times higher than they are in the country and 2 or 3 time higher than they are in other parts of the city.

REPORTER: Grannis says thousands of trucks travel through the neighborhood each day.

He says trucks will be pulled over at random. A $750 fine will be issued to fleet owners whose trucks are not in compliance with state pollution law.