D.C.-area Diesel Idle Reduction Campaign begins Tuesday

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The official launch of the Diesel Idle Reduction Campaign – headed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, in partnership with the District Department of the Environment, District Department of Transportation and Maryland Department of the Environment – will take place Tuesday, July 13, at 11 a.m. ET at COG headquarters near Union Station. The aims of the campaign include reducing discretionary idling, improving public health and protecting the environment.

Discretionary idling, the type being targeted by COG’s campaign, occurs when drivers leave engines running during their rest periods to provide heat or air conditioning for the sleeper compartment, keep the engine warm during cold weather and provide electrical power for their appliances. Nondiscretionary idling occurs when vehicles are stuck in congested traffic.

The American Trucking Associations and several affiliates are supporting COG’s idle reduction campaign, including the Truckload Carriers Association, Maryland Motor Truck Association and Virginia Trucking Association. “When truck and bus drivers turn off their engines when they’re not needed, they do more than avoid fines and cut fuel costs,” ATA Vice President and Environmental Affairs Counsel Glen Kedzie says. “They take an important and easy step toward improving air quality.”

Currently, commercial vehicles in the District of Columbia are permitted to idle for no more than 3 minutes, with limits of 5 minutes in Maryland and 10 minutes in Virginia; exceptions are made for certain conditions. For more information about the COG diesel idle reduction campaign, go to www.equals3.com/TurnYourEngineOff/.