EPA Fines Mass. School Bus Company for Excessive Idling

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Coppola Bus, Inc. paid an $18,000 penalty to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to settle claims of extended idling at the company’s Haverhill, Massachusetts bus lot north of Boston.

The EPA said inspectors discovered over a dozen school buses idling in excess of the 5-minute federal limit contained in regulation 310 CMR 7.11, formerly known as Regulation 11, of the state’s air quality implementation plan.

The company “responded quickly,” EPA added in a statement on Wednesday, and has already installed automatic shutoff devices throughout the fleet. Coppola Bus is also training its employees on new morning start-up procedures to minimize idling time.

Coppola Bus serves Haverhill Public Schools and operates kindergarten through high school routes. The company has been in business since 1936.

EPA said excessive idling of diesel engines can cause asthma and other respiratory diseases as fine particles in exhaust are a likely human carcinogen. Direct exposure can cause lightheadedness, nausea, sore throat, coughing and other symptoms. Children are especially at risk.