The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has implemented revised idling regulations that eliminate most of the exemptions that allowed diesel vehicles to idle for longer than three minutes.
Also, diesel-vehicle drivers can no longer idle for 30 minutes at their place of business at the beginning of the day, nor can they idle for 15 minutes following a three-hour engine shutdown except in very cold temperatures. However, the new regulations provide some special exemptions for in-service emergency vehicles such as police, fire and military vehicles.
Violators are subject to a penalty of $250 to $1,000 per day for each vehicle. The new rules went into effect 2 July.
Further, after April 30, 2010, truck operators are prohibited from idling their vehicles overnight. New technologies such as truck-stop electrification and alternate power units provide heating, cooling and other amenities without a running engine.
To educate all New Jersey drivers about the need to reduce vehicle idling, the DEP launched a statewide public-education campaign in June. Featuring the theme “Idling Stinks,” the campaign includes billboards, newspaper inserts, and bus and rail advertisements, all of which inform and educate the public that curbing idling improves air quality, saves lives and conserves energy.
The DEP’s revised anti-idling rules and public-education campaign are part of larger effort aimed at reducing the public's exposure to harmful diesel fumes. In September 2005, New Jersey became first in the nation to require emissions controls on all public and privately owned transit buses and garbage trucks. The landmark program funds the installation of air-pollution controls on these vehicles with revenue generated from the state’s Corporate Business Tax.
To help further reduce diesel pollution, the DEP is partnering with the New Jersey Motor Truck Association to provide grants to truck owners to install technologies proven to reduce idling and save fuel. These technologies include alternate power units, bunk heaters and tailpipe retrofits.