- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
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 the EPA's New England regional office.
The groundbreaking settlement should result in the mega-retailer taking action across the country to address truck idling, by training drivers, posting signs at all of the company's facilities, and notifying other delivery organizations of the retailer's policy to prohibit idling. Under the consent agreement, the company will also pay a $50,000 penalty.
“Diesel pollution is a serious problem across the country, especially for those suffering from asthma or other health problems” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. “We are pleased that Wal-Mart is implementing these aggressive measures to limit idling and help make Wal-Mart stores across the nation healthier places for employees, customers, and the surrounding communities.”
A typical idling truck burns nearly a gallon of fuel per hour. A fleet of 7,000 trucks - about the size of Wal-Mart's fleet - idling for one hour a day would burn 2.1 million gallons of diesel fuel each year, and create 415 tons of smog-forming pollutants, 10 tons of harmful particulate matter, and 23,000 tons of CO2.
Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have anti-idling rules and company owned as well as other trucks were observed idling for long periods of time at six different company-owned properties in the fall of 2004. The rules were a part of the state implementation plans approved by the EPA. They are enforceable by both the states and the EPA.