Hartford CT (5/11/2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed an enforcement action alleging Autumn Transportation, Inc. of Rocky Hill, Conn. violated state and federal Clean Air Act standards by allowing excessive idling of school buses at a bus yard in Hartford, Conn. Under a settlement, the company will implement an anti-idling program at its facility and will pay a penalty.
“Pollution from diesel-powered vehicles is a serious health concern in New England, particularly in historically underserved communities that are already disproportionately exposed to higher levels of pollution, “said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “EPA is committed to addressing compliance issues across all of our programs to ensure communities have clean air, clean water, and are free from pollution. By including the implementation of anti-idling measures in our settlement, EPA can better protect the community of Hartford and its children, who are particularly vulnerable to diesel exhaust.”
Autumn Transportation is a privately-owned Connecticut corporation that owns and operates about 120 buses to provide bus transportation for students and the public. In spring 2022, EPA responded to a citizen complaint alleging excessive idling at Autumn Transportation’s school bus yard in Hartford. On two separate days EPA conducted inspections of the bus yard and observed 30 school buses idling for a total of 418 minutes in alleged violation of state and federal law.
Under the terms of the settlement, Autumn Transportation has agreed to implement various anti-idling compliance measures, including tracking school bus idling times via a telematics system, increased driver awareness training, posting “No Excessive Idling” signs, increasing their supervision of facility lots, and certifying compliance with federal and state regulations limiting idling of vehicles. Autumn Transportation will also pay a penalty of $24,225 for its alleged violations.
Connecticut’s federally enforceable State Implementation Plan contains an anti-idling regulation that prohibits motor vehicles for idling unnecessarily for longer than three minutes.
Idling diesel engines emit pollutants that can cause or aggravate a variety of health conditions, including asthma and other respiratory diseases. And the fine particles in diesel exhaust are a likely carcinogen. Diesel exhaust not only contributes to area-wide air quality problems, but more direct exposure can cause lightheadedness, nausea, sore throat, coughing, and other symptoms. Drivers, school children riding on the buses, facility workers, neighbors and bystanders are all vulnerable.
David Deegan (firstname.lastname@example.org)