Imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of a bustling metropolis. People scurrying to and from and every which a way. Cars speeding by, horns honking, people talking, music blaring, all assaulting your ears. As you make your way down the crowded sidewalk your nostrils pull in the scents of a nearby bakery and a fruit stand a fishmonger and diesel fumes. You’re on sensory overload.
You start to focus and you notice that the taxi on the corner has an extraordinarily large amount of dark smoke coming out of it’s tailpipe. You turn and wonder if the seafood the fishmonger is selling is legal. If you notice these things, you might be an environmentalist, or you might be a great candidate for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Green Police”.
New York’s Green Police are eco-minded warriors looking out for environmental blunders across the city and state. They can issue tickets for polluting offenders and enforce environmental law.
The Green Police look for spewing tailpipes and use a special electronic device on the offending tailpipe to determine if the billowing discharge is within legal limits. If not, the offending pollutant gets a ticket, for a whopping $700. The dollar amount of the fine can be reduced if the offending vehicle is brought into limits within thirty days, otherwise the fine almost doubles, to $1300.
The Green Police also do fish market inspections. They check for retailers selling protected species, for seafood caught in protected waters as well as other fish related environmental regulations.
The Green Police also look for other ecological no-no’s not just in New York City, but throughout the state. They’re a small department looking to do a big necessary job.
My hat’s off to you, Green Police! Other states should consider adding their own environmental green police.