Enforcement and Assistance in New England
As part of a settlement for clean air violations, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will undertake a national effort to reduce diesel truck idling at its 4,000 facilities across the U.S. The anti-idling project results from a clean air enforcement action in Massachusetts and Connecticut brought by EPA’s New England regional office.
The groundbreaking EPA settlement will result in Wal-Mart taking action across the country to address truck idling, by training Wal-Mart drivers, posting signs at all Wal-Mart facilities, and notifying other delivery companies of Wal-Mart’s policy to prohibit idling. Under the consent agreement, Wal-Mart will also pay a $50,000 penalty. EPA’s complaint that trucks were illegally idling at Wal-Mart stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut is the country’s first multi-state case that addresses idling violations.
Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have anti-idling rules that are included in the “state implementation plans” that states submit to EPA outlining how they will meet national air quality standards. Regulations in the state implementation plan are enforceable by the state and by EPA. The Massachusetts rule prohibits vehicle idling over five minutes (with exceptions for periods of traffic, repairs, or operation of loading or refrigeration equipment). The Connecticut rule prohibits vehicle idling for over three minutes when temperatures are above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, with exceptions for traffic conditions, repairs, etc.
Under the terms of the settlement, Wal-Mart will comply with all federally-enforceable idling rules. In addition, through a supplemental environmental project, Wal-Mart has agreed to include all facilities in all states in its idle reduction program regardless of whether the state has an anti-idling regulation. Specifically, Wal-Mart will post “no idling” signs at all Wal-Mart facilities in all states, and notify other delivery companies that idling is not permitted on Wal-Mart property and may violate state or local idling restrictions.