Town looks to truck stop electrification to resolve idling conflict

| 5/13/2005

The town of Plainsville, MA, is looking for a compromise.

Residents of the town have been complaining about the noise and the diesel fumes produced by idling trucks at the Plainsville Truck Stop, and want the drivers to shut down, according to The Boston Globe.

Truckers, meanwhile, say they can’t shut down for obvious reasons: It’s cold in New England in the winter.

The battle between truckers and townsfolk has been going on for several years. In 2003, the town ordered the truck stop’s owner to limit parking at the stop to about four acres.

More recently, town officials have been looking into other solutions, such as advanced truck stop electrification systems, which would give truckers power without requiring them to idle their trucks.

The Globe reported that the Plainville Board of Health has been looking into applying to the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs for funding for such a project. The Environmental Affairs office was recently given a $100,000 grant by the federal government.

However, an office spokeswoman told The Globe that providing hookups for 100 trucks would cost roughly $1 million to install.

The state is planning to issue a request for proposals from towns and technology companies to install the systems. A contract will be awarded to the town with the best bid in July. If the entire $1 million is raised, the system would be installed by August.