One Year Later: Has the city been enforcing its anti-idling ordinance?
SAN ANTONIO - Carol Fisher's daily routine includes picking up her daughter after school. Her three children are part of the reason she's so passionate about air quality.
"They want to live in a place where they can breathe, where they can jog," Fisher said.
That's why Fisher was ecstatic in 2016 when the San Antonio City Council voted unanimously to pass an anti-idling ordinance in an attempt to stay within federal air quality standards. With a few exceptions, it prohibits large vehicles, like delivery trucks, large walk-in trucks and tow trucks from idling for more than five minutes.
"We were thrilled because it was like, 'Oh finally. This is really great.' And there was a big celebration," Fisher said.
That celebration and the ordinance was backed by then Councilman Ron Nirenberg.
"It's incumbent upon all of us to improve air quality for the sake of public health, our children's health and for our economy,” Nirenberg said in August.
The ordinance started with an education campaign and then went into effect in January of 2017. Now one year later, FOX San Antonio checked with the city municipal court and found no citations have been issued. That was something Fisher wasn’t pleased to hear.
"When it comes to follow through, we don't have the enforceability. We don't have the accountability that we need to move forward on the wonderful proposals that we put forward all the time," Fisher said.
Now-Mayor Nirenberg said while the city hasn't given any citations, it has responded to nine complaints.
"I look at that, a glass half full, a glass half empty,” Nirenberg said. "We're not seeing it as much in areas where it could be a problem because we posted signs. We've educated the community about the importance of this issue to air quality and people are responding."
FOX San Antonio did find a driver sitting in his idling delivery truck for more than five minutes while he ate lunch downtown. Before our crew could approach him, he drove off.
FOX San Antonio has also learned the City of San Antonio's official EPA air quality designation is in limbo until the EPA makes a decision in August.