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MTA All Aboard for Environmental Audits of Bus and Truck Maintenance Facilities System-wide

Release Date: 06/20/2007
Contact Information: Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666, cahill.richard@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will audit its own compliance with federal regulations at all of the garages, buildings and storehouses it uses for bus and truck maintenance, according to an agreement signed today between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the MTA. The MTA committed to complete the environmental compliance audits of these facilities within two and a half years.

“Our objective is to have every MTA fleet maintenance facility meet EPA’s regulations,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “Self-audits are an efficient way to ensure compliance with statutes designed to safeguard the health of all Americans.”

“Our agreement with EPA reaffirms the MTA’s commitment to protecting the environment and our willingness to work collaboratively with regulators,” said Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO. “This new environmental initiative complements our existing environmental programs and the work we do everyday moving commuters from cars to greener trains, subway cars and buses.”

After performing self-audits, the MTA will report violations it identifies to EPA and take action to correct them. In return, EPA will provide some relief from monetary penalties. EPA audit agreements cover all major federal environmental programs including air, water, pesticides, underground storage tanks, solid and hazardous wastes, hazardous substances and chemicals, environmental response, emergency planning, community right-to-know requirements and toxic substances control.

When EPA established the self-audit program in 2000, Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, originally reached out to educational institutions and healthcare facilities. Because of the success of the program and the improved environmental performance of the participants, Region 2 expanded its outreach to include organizations that run and maintain a large number of vehicles, or ”fleets.” As part of the so called “Fleet Initiative,” EPA’s regional office contacted all the transportation authorities in its jurisdiction and provided free workshops and an informational Web site to alert them to their duties under the law. The MTA is the second transportation authority to join the Region 2 Fleet Initiative. The transportation authorities were also urged to join the Agency’s voluntary self-disclosure program.

To date, more than 3,785 violations have been identified and corrected by healthcare facilities that have participated in EPA’s self-audit initiative and more than 1,717 violations have been identified and corrected by educational institutions that have participated in EPA’s voluntary self-audit program.

For general information about EPA’s Fleet Initiative, visit this link http://www.epa.gov/region02/compliance/fleet

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