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What a waste: EPA cracks down on idling waste haulers

STOUGHTON, Mass. -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proven it's serious about enforcing anti-idling l...

STOUGHTON, Mass. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proven it’s serious about enforcing anti-idling laws, most recently handing out a US$27,200 idling fine to Waste Management.

The company was accused of violating the state of Massachusetts’ five-minute idling limit at its depots. Waste Management is the third waste hauler to be dinged by the EPA, which has now collected US$329,500 in fines from the three companies.

“Although idling to perform required engine-on vehicle safety checks is generally permitted, excessive idling often occurs out of habit or due to outdated assumptions about engine function,” the EPA said in a release. “Taking steps to improve arrival and departure logistics as well as to change driver behaviour will not only help companies protect the health of their drivers and the surrounding community, but also will save fuel and money.”

The penalized waste haulers have agreed to make operational changes, retrain drivers and inspect their facilities to ensure they no longer violate the state’s anti-idling law. They will also file compliance reports with the EPA.

The latest charges show that the EPA is serious about enforcing US anti-idling laws. So far this year, the agency’s enforcement efforts have required polluters to pay about US$11 billion for pollution controls, clean-up and environmental projects as a result of idling violations.

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