Transit riders often congratulate themselves on helping to save the environment, noting that mass transit uses less fuel and contributes less pollution to the environment. True or not, the point is often used as a selling point by transit advocates. But if you live near a rail line, a bus depot, or rail yard, your environment may not be all you hoped for. Such a situation has come to light in the borough of Raritan, where NJ Transit stores most of its Raritan Valley Line trains and locomotives during off-hours. Fumes and noise from idling locomotives have been driving residents batty, according to reporting by Mike Deak in the Central Jersey Courier News (June 29). Borough Councilman Don Tozzi visited the neighborhood and said the noise was so bad "your teeth were vibrating," and a resident said "ear plugs don't really help. The whole house vibrates. You can't sleep, you can't think." The houses are a few hundred feet from the rail yard. The problem was studied about a decade ago by the state Department of Environmental Protection, and at that time NJT announced that they would not idle diesels unless the outdoor temperature dropped below zero degrees, when it would become necessary in order to prevent the engines from freezing up. But about two months ago the noise began again, and is especially bad between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., when all the trains are in the yard. An aggrieved resident said, "It came right out of the blue; there's no rhyme or reason.  A former councilman who lives in the area said, "the quality of my life is gone."  NJT said it's aware of the complaints and is working with the borough, but Mayor Charles McMullin said that NJT believes it is in compliance with the decade-old rules. He thinks the issue is really effective management at NJT.