EPA announced today that it had reached yet another six-figure penalty settlement in an anti-idling case. This time, the penalty was $650,000. This is one of the larger penalties EPA has obtained in this area. There appear to be several reasons for the magnitude of the penalty. First, the defendant, Paul Revere Transportation, LLC, was apparently a recidivist. It has been the subject of an anti-idling enforcement action in 2003. Second, Paul Revere refused to settle, making EPA go to trial to prove liability. Finally, at the trial, EPA established a substantial number of idling violations. Facing a separate trial regarding the penalty, Paul Revere quickly negotiated a settlement on the penalty amount.
EPA Region I has now targeted bus companies, transit companies, rental car companies, and waste haulers. Truly, any company which operates a large fleet of vehicles is at risk for an anti-idling enforcement action if it does not have a written company idling policy. Moreover, a paper policy is not enough; companies must take care to ensure a top-down emphasis on compliance with its anti-idling policy. Letting drivers start trucks before going inside to drink their coffee will not pass muster.