Texas bill would allow idling during mandated rest periods

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A committee in the Texas House is considering legislation that would prohibit the enforcement of anti-idling rules while drivers are complying with hours-of-service rest periods.

The Environmental Regulation Committee is reviewing HB 1540, which would allow drivers to use the heater or air conditioner in the sleeper during mandated rest periods while the vehicle is not moving.

If passed, the bill would take effect Sept. 1 and supersede a recently implemented 30-minute idling limit in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties. That rule, approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was designed to help the counties meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.