Durham School Services, the U.S. student transportation division of National Express Corp.,must reduce idling from its school bus fleet of 13,900 buses operating in 30 states, pay a $90,000 penalty and perform environmental projects valued at $348,000 as a result of an EPA New England enforcement action to address excessive school bus idling.The action, announced this week by EPA New England, is part of a settlement for alleged excessive diesel idling in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Under the settlement, Durham will implement a national training and management program to prevent excessive idling from its entire fleet of school buses. Through this program, Durham will train its drivers to comply with state and local anti-idling regulations and to avoid excessive idling. The company will also require supervisors to monitor idling in school bus lots, post anti-idling signs in areas where drivers congregate and notify the school districts it serves of its anti-idling policy.

In addition, Durham is required to replace 30 older school buses (model years 1999 and 2000) with new buses that are equipped with state-of-the-art pollution controls.  

“Pollution from diesel vehicles is a serious health concern in New England and across the country,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Children, especially those suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments, are particularly vulnerable to diesel exhaust.  EPA is pleased with this settlement, which will dramatically limit school bus idling and help protect the health of school children in dozens of communities across the country.”