EPA takes action against Connecticut-based school bus transportation company for idling violations
Company will pay penalty and implement anti-idling measures that will further protect Connecticut communities
BOSTON (Dec. 6, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement with All Star Transportation, a Connecticut-based school bus transportation company, that violated state and federal clean air standards by allegedly allowing excessive idling of school buses at two locations in Connecticut.
“Cutting down on pollution is a crucial part of achieving clean air, especially for children and for our communities who bear the brunt of this pollution,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “With settlements like this one, and through our efforts to replace diesel school buses with electric buses, EPA continues to make good on our mission to protect our communities’ basic rights to clean air and a clean environment.”
All-Star Transportation, LLC is a company that owns and operates fleets of school buses in eighteen Connecticut communities. Under the terms of the settlement, All-Star Transportation, based in Waterbury, agreed to pay a penalty of $64,833 and certify compliance with state regulations. The settlement also requires the company to adopt a series of compliance measures at all its facilities. These include tracking school bus idling time via a telematics system; posting clear signage; updating driver training, including documenting any applicable regulatory exceptions when exceeding idling limit; conducting regular examinations of bus lots to prevent future violations; and addressing driver noncompliance.
Connecticut's federally enforceable State Implementation Plan contains an anti-idling regulation that prohibits motor vehicles from idling for longer than three minutes, unless a specifically listed exception applies. EPA alleged that it observed 76 of All-Star’s school buses idling excessively during EPA’s investigation in New Milford and Brookfield, Conn., totaling more than 780 excess minutes.
Idling diesel engines emit pollutants that can cause or aggravate a variety of health problems including asthma and other respiratory diseases, and the fine particles in diesel exhaust are a likely human 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.