Skip to comments.EPA Fines School Bus Company 438K For 'Excessive Idling'
Posted on 04/11/2012 9:19:49 AM PDT by CNSNews.com
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforced nearly $500,000 in fines and mandatory environmental projects on a school bus contractor for excessive idling, and as part of its anti-idling campaign to reduce the carbon footprint of school buses waiting to pick up children for their routes.
As part of a settlement for alleged excessive diesel idling in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Durham School Services will commit to reduce idling from its school bus fleet of 13,900 buses operating in 30 states, read an EPA press release on Tuesday.
The EPA says an agency inspector two years ago spotted buses of the Durham School Services, the second largest school bus transportation contractor in the country, idling for extended periods of time in school lots in New England.
The inspector observed some buses idling for close to two hours before departing the bus lot to pick up school children, it said. State rules limit idling to three minutes in Connecticut and five minutes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where the infractions occurred.
Durham reached a settlement for the violation and agreed to pay $90,000 in penalties. It also agreed to pay for $348,000 worth of environmental projects, including implementing a national training and management program to prevent excessive idling from its entire fleet of school buses.
Under the program Durham must require its supervisors to monitor idling in school bus lots, post anti-idling signs in areas where drivers congregate, and notify the school districts it serves of its anti-idling policy.
The EPAs enforcement is part of its broader national campaign aimed at reducing idling among public school bus fleets. The federal agency claims a bus whose engine is running while stationary consumes about one-half gallon of fuel per hour.
By reducing the idling time of each bus in its fleet by one hour per day, Durham would reduce its fuel use by 1.25 million gallons per year and avoid emitting 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the release stated, adding, Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
According to the EPA, as of 2006, 30 states plus the District of Columbia had either state, county or local anti-idling regulations in place, with the city of Philadelphia setting the maximum allowable time for diesel powered motor vehicles at two consecutive minutes.
The EPA Web site even provides a do it yourself kit for those wishing to bring the anti-idling campaign to their school district, providing brochures, posters, a Teachers Guide for use in reinforcing key messages of the Idle-Reduction campaign, and pledge cards for drivers that read, Im doing my share for clean air.
Also available for order are bus driver key chains that can be used by bus drivers daily to remind them that they hold the key to a healthier ride, and a five-minute training video entitled Reducing School Bus Idling: The Key to a Healthier Ride. Also referenced is Californias 2003 anti-idling regulation that bus drivers must to turn off their vehicle within 100 feet of a school and must not turn the bus back on more than 30 seconds before beginning to depart or face a minimum penalty of $100.
The EPA suggests purchasing block engine pre-heaters, which cost approximately $1,200 to $1,500 each, to reduce idling and warm up engines and passenger compartments during colder months. Also available are Compartment/Engine Block Heaters that cost approximately $2,300 to $2,500.
The EPA claims the diesel emitted from school buses pollutes the air, wastes fuel, causes excess engine wear, and is harmful to childrens health.
Children, especially those suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments, are particularly vulnerable to diesel exhaust, said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPAs New England office, in announcing the fines levied on Durham.
EPA is pleased with this settlement, which will dramatically limit school bus idling and help protect the health of school children in dozens of communities across the country, he said.
Am I reading this right or do I need some more coffee? One and a quarter gallons of gasoline emits 28 pounds of carbon dioxide? Is that right?
I question the ‘right’ of this agency to ‘fine’ any company - across state lines. If a state wants to have anti-idling laws, this is allowed.
I do not see the US Constitution authorizing an unelected body, to ‘fine’ private inter-state companies.
“Lets improve the overall health of the school population and make most of them walk.”
Back in the Fifties, I had my choice; walk or ride. Only rode in really crappy weather, as I knew a great shortcut to school. But all the kids in my neighborhood would walk to the corner of my street, and all be picked up at once. Now the buses stop at every kid’s house. The bus rides take forever! And they really tie up the roads.
What can Obama do to a Canadian company? EPA, IRS, ATF goons are not welcome in Canada.
“Does the EPA know that it takes some other source of power to run these pre-heaters?”
Oh, no problem...attach a pinwheel-powered generator to the side mirror. Problem solved.
There is no way that the heat of an engine pre-heater will heat the entire interior of a bus. There simply aren’t enough BTU’s. That’s an engineering problem, which is far beyond the ability of anybody at the EPA to even begin to comprehend.
Fire them ALL.
More gibberish. This statement assumes each bus is currently idling for more than one hour every day.
57 states and 11 Commandments.
XI: Thou Shalt Not Idle
Just have the bus drive slow down and throw the door open and have the kids run to catch up with it. Two birds, one stone. No more idling busses and exercise for the kids.
“If this were my company, I would shut it down, lay off all the workers, sell the buses and any remaining inventory, move my assets offshore, and tell the EPA to go to hell.”
And I would be darned sure the fired workers knew the blame all rested with the EPA.
The EPA is a domestic terrorist organization.
The EPA should come to where I live if they want to fine bus companies for excessive idling. I can’t tell you how may bus drivers meet at the McDonalds between runs, take up all the parking spots and leave their buses running, while they are inside eating. They leave one driver outside to watch the buses. They are not inside for a few minutes either. Ticks me off that I’m paying for the wasted gas. I guess they don’t want to get back inside a cold bus.
An idle bus is the devils workshop!
Whose brother-in-law owns a rival company?
My husband calls the EPA “The Devil Incarnate”.
They are destroying the construction industry and have destroyed every industry that they have sunk their evil claws into.
I needed more coffee to understand that myself, I did some research.
Most of the weight of the CO2 doesn't come from the fuel itself, but the oxygen in the air used for combustion.
The easiest explanation I found. . .
I wonder if the EPA agent was sitting in a warm idling vehicle while making these observations?
So they claim...
Defense report - SUVs emit 28 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon of gas.
Big numbers impress stupid people. They should have said '448 million ounces' for even greater effect. No way would they ever say '0.00000000000000000001 percent of all emissions'.
My message to the EPA, FOAD.
There is a joke in here somewhere about being an Airborne Ranger, the EPA and idling buses.