Massachusetts company fined for fleet idling
Boston, MA— Material Installations, Inc. has agreed to pay a $45,817 penalty and install emissions control equipment on most of the trucks in its fleet, resolving claims by EPA that it violated the Massachusetts anti-idling regulation. The emission control equipment, which will be installed by January 31st, consists of diesel oxidation catalysts which reduce diesel emissions between 25 and 50 percent.
The Massachusetts anti-idling regulation prohibits (with certain exceptions) idling the engine of any motor vehicle while the vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes. The regulation is part of the state’s efforts to meet federal air quality standards, and is enforceable by EPA.
Short-term exposure to diesel exhaust can cause lung irritation and other inflammatory symptoms, while long-term exposure can pose serious health hazards such as lung cancer and other forms of lung damage to people.
“Despite making strides to improve air quality throughout the U.S., air pollution is still a problem in New England, especially for people who suffer from respiratory ailments,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “EPA will continue to diligently ensure compliance with our environmental laws. Today’s agreement is a significant step in the right direction. Installing emission control equipment on these trucks will help to improve Massachusetts’ air quality.”
Material Installations, located in North Andover, Massachusetts, is a distributor of pre-manufactured office furniture. EPA’s action was prompted by a citizen’s complaint and by a North Andover Health Inspector’s notice regarding air pollution and noise. The citizen complaint included videotapes documenting idling trucks at the North Andover facility. The tapes demonstrated that between August 2003 and March 2004, furniture delivery trucks illegally idled their diesel engines on-site for close to one thousand minutes. EPA had previously issued a Notice of Violation to Material Installations for the same violations.