Excessive train idling in South Boston and Scituate by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority now means the agency and a contractor will spend more than $2 million to reduce diesel emissions, according to a consent decree filed in federal court today.
Under the agreement, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation and the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company will spend over $1 million on anti-idling equipment at all end-of-line stations and maintenance facilities, and will spend another $1 million on ultra-clean diesel fuel for all trains in the commuter rail system for two years. It will also install new, less polluting auxiliary engines on 14 commuter locomotives and pay a $225,000 fine.
The decree stems from a federal enforcement action brought by the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after consistent complaints about excessive locomotive idling at the Widett Circle layover facility in South Boston and the Greenbush line station in Scituate.
The Massachusetts idling regulation for trains, which is federally enforceable, prohibits unnecessary idling for more than 30 minutes. Yet according to a 2008 EPA notice, MBTA and MBCR committed 33 violations at Widett Circle and Greenbush.
Since 2002, EPA has brought more than a dozen federal enforcement cases to stop diesel engine idling violations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The settlement must still be approved in court.
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