California Restricts Truck Idling, New Jersey Ups Enforcement

In an effort to reduce pollution and save fuel, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to ban heavy trucks from idling more than five minutes. The new regulation affects the more than 400,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses registered in California and all out-of-state trucks and buses operating in California. CARB believes the regulation will eliminate 166 tons of particulate pollution per year and about 5200 tons per year of smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions from the state's air. It further stated California truck and bus operators will each save about 125 gallons of diesel fuel per year, or collectively over one million gallons each week.

On the opposite coast, New Jersey officials said they would step up enforcement of that state’s anti-idling law. Commenting at the National Idle Reduction Planning Conference earlier in the year, Peg Hanna of the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection outlined current laws which prohibit idling more than three minutes if the vehicle is not in motion. Exceptions included 30 minutes for vehicles at their home base, 15 minutes if the engine has been off for more than three hours, and there is no restriction if the truck has a sleeper berth. Changes proposed at that time included eliminating the 30-minute home-base exception, restricting the allowance for 15 minutes at start up based on outdoor temperature, tightening the allowance for sleeper berths based on temperature, and increasing the penalties. Fines were $100-200 for a first offense.

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