Vermont’s Environmental Court has ruled in favor of residents in East Hardwick who object to the noise and fumes coming from commercial vehicles idling near their homes. The residents say Earl and Jeffrey Shatney, who own a long-haul trucking company, idle diesel engines on Shatney's residential property as long as 45 minutes, sometimes in the middle of the night. The Shatneys say maintaining the tractors at their home is necessary to operate their business.
Wayne Michaud, Executive Director of Idle-Free Vermont, says the ruling is an important reminder that engine idling can be harmful to health.
“You know the truck idling emissions can be quite serious, especially in neighborhoods where people have to endure these heavy duty diesel emissions,” Michaud said.
John Mandeville, an appellant in the case, said, "The whole neighborhood is much relieved that this is over and that we were successful in our case before the Environmental Court and, as a result, we will get our nice, quiet village back.”
The court overturned a development review board decision that had favored the trucking company. The “noise, vibrations, and fumes caused by the idling of commercial tractors” violate the town’s zoning laws, wrote Judge Thomas Durkin in the Environmental Division ruling.