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Haverhill, Mass. School Bus Company Reduces Idling Under Settlement

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (

BOSTON – Coppola Bus, Inc., a Haverhill, Mass. company has reduced vehicle idling and therefore reduced diesel emissions, and paid an $18,000 penalty as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for claims of excessive school bus idling.

This settlement will mean that people in Haverhill will now experience cleaner air and less diesel fumes. Diesel exhaust can cause or aggravate serious health concerns, including for children and people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments.

On two separate occasions, an EPA inspection found over a dozen Coppola buses idling for extended periods of time at the company's Haverhill bus lot. EPA alleged that the excessive idling was in violation of federally-enforceable motor vehicle idling limits contained in the Massachusetts air quality state implementation plan. The applicable regulations establish requirements for all motor vehicles operating in the state, and, with very few exceptions, limit idling to no more than five minutes.

Coppola responded quickly and has already installed automatic shutoff devices on all its buses. The company will also educate its employees and change morning start-up procedures to minimize the idling time of its bus fleet.

Limiting idling is important to public health. Idling diesel engines emit pollutants which 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. Children, especially those suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments, are particularly vulnerable to diesel exhaust. Drivers, passengers, facility workers, and bystanders are all vulnerable.

More EPA information on diesel emissions: