Retail companies that manage fleets of vehicles for delivery of products to stores, customers, or internal logistics need to address environmental issues associated with vehicle emissions, wastes from maintenance operations, and fueling stations. The EPA has compliance resources for heavy trucks, buses, and engines, and EPA Region 9 has a guide for Auto Repair and Fleet Maintenance Pollution Prevention.
Operating and maintaining a vehicle fleet can create onsite waste management issues. Some common wastes from vehicle maintenance may need to be managed as hazardous wastes or in accordance with other special requirements. This includes used oil and filters, other vehicle fluids, scrap tires, many cleaning products, and spill clean-up material. The CRC Vehicle Sales & Maintenance and Other Regulated Waste pages have more information on these wastes.
The main environmental issues related to the management of gasoline and diesel fuel include air emissions, storage tanks, and spill prevention. The CRC Gasoline & Fuel Dealers and Storage Tanks pages have more information.
There are two main air issues associated with vehicle fleets – emissions from engines and refrigerant management for refrigerated trailers. Regulated engine emissions include emissions from both truck engines and transportation refrigeration units (TRUs), or "reefers." In some jurisdictions TRUs must be permitted. Many states and local jurisdictions regulate vehicle idling to reduce air pollution.
The Clean Air Act regulates the management of refrigerants, including reefers. The CRC Air page has more information.
Automatic vehicle washes create wastewater that must be treated to remove grit, oils, and grease before it is discharged to the sewer or onsite septic or treatment system. The removed materials must also be properly managed as a waste. If trucks and trailers are washed by hand or by a mobile service provider at your facilities, the wash water and grit must be captured and properly managed to keep them from polluting stormwater and nearby surface waters.
Increasing fleet fuel efficiency and reducing air emissions can have significant positive benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and unhealthy air. It can also save money. The Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center has information and tools to help reduce petroleum use, including a database of federal and state regulations and incentives (some states offer tax credits or other incentives for fleets to purchase alternative fuel or more efficient vehicles) and a petroleum reduction planning tool. The Environmental Defense Fund has a green freight program, and EPA's SmartWay program is focused on efficiency in freight transportation. The Fleet Management Association has a Sustainable Fleet Accreditation Program.
EPA Auto Repair and Fleet Maintenance Pollution Prevention
EPA's SmartWay Program
NAFA Sustainable Fleet Accreditation Program