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October 30, 2013  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

EPA alleges excessive idling, fines bus company $33K


METHUEN, Mass. — North Reading Transportation (NRT) will pay a penalty of $33,000 to settle EPA allegations that it violated federally enforceable motor vehicle idling limits in Massachusetts.

The Methuen-based company operates school buses and provides student transportation services in several Massachusetts communities.

Under the settlement, NRT will implement a suite of idling reduction measures, including training all drivers, posting anti-idling signs, performing periodic “walk-throughs” of school bus lots to ensure that no excessive idling occurs, and notifying school districts of NRT’s policy against excessive idling. Also, NRT will install block heaters in nearly 200 of its school buses.

EPA officials said that NRT has responded quickly and has already implemented a number of these idle-reduction measures.

Earlier this year, an EPA inspector reportedly observed NRT school buses idling for extended periods of time in school bus lots in Lowell, Lynn, Wilmington and Methuen.

The EPA alleged that the company’s “excessive idling” was in violation of federally enforceable motor vehicle idling limits contained in the Massachusetts air quality state implementation plan. The applicable regulations establish requirements for all motor vehicles operating in the state and, with few exceptions, limit idling to five minutes.

“Diesel exhaust is a serious health concern for children, both here in Massachusetts and across the country. Reducing idling helps protect children’s health,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the EPA’s New England office. “Taking easy and common-sense steps to avoid excessive idling helps to save fuel and money, and reduces unnecessary air pollution.”

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Read more about: emissions, EPA, idling reduction, Massachusetts

they do not tell if kids where on the bus and the bus was idling to keep kids warm or the drivers had the buses running while they just sat in them

kevin    |    Nov 26, 2013 02:39 PM

Ridiculous. My sympathies to the North Reading Transportation company. I would have some respect for the EPA's desire to reduce idling and by extension - pollution - had it not been for the $33,000 fine attached to it, to settle "allegations" by some EPA guy who walked by. If the EPA was really interested in protecting the environment - as their name suggests - they would work with the company to bring them into compliance WITHOUT the fine, reserving their power to fine for those who then continue to pollute after they have been trained and warned. As the old saying goes, follow the money (!!) to understand what the real agenda is.

Trevor    |    Oct 31, 2013 11:50 PM

Has not gas

Tom Schaaf    |    Oct 31, 2013 03:10 PM

I agree with not idling and polluting. Unequal application of the laws as the EPA gas knowing let IC and International produce and sell engines that do not meet emission due to failed technology. But fine a smaller person.

Tom Schaaf    |    Oct 31, 2013 03:09 PM

Solar based auxiliary power systems from eNow, Inc. are specifically designed for buses and other transportation vehicles to reduce idle time and greenhouse gas emissions as well as save on fuel and engine maintenance costs. Check it out at!

Allie Rand    |    Oct 31, 2013 08:36 AM

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