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Anti-idling rules: time for truckers to learn new ways
Eighteen states have adopted anti-idling rules. Are they sending out teams with stopwatches yet?

Can you truck dwellers learn to “live” in your cabs without depending on your truck’s engine for your basic comforts? Can you learn to rest without being lulled off to sleep by the tender clatter of the diesel engine idling? The time is here to learn new ways.

Anti-idling regulations are in place in 18 states and the District of Columbia. But take a deep breath, truckers. While the rules are “on the books,” that doesn’t mean enforcement teams in these states have implemented a diesel dragnet. Yet.

In the new world of anti-idling rules, few states in fact are coming down hard and fast on truckers, and most report they will simply “respond to complaints.” A majority of states and jurisdictions have directives to “work with the offenders.” In states like New Hampshire, authorities say they would rather resolve complaints instead of actively hand out citations. In certain western states such as Colorado and Nevada (especially Washoe and Clark counties), the rules are very firmly in place, although authorities do not send out teams with stopwatches. Other places, like New York and Philadelphia, do actively enforce and issue fines.

Exemptions vary from state to state for such circumstances as real hot, real cold, driver sleeping, traffic and weather conditions, operating auxiliary equipment, warming up the engine or cooling it down or waiting to undergo a roadside emissions inspection.

Listed here are the locations with regulations against idling, the maximum time limit to idle, the fines and any temperature exemptions, if applicable. For further information, contact the regulation agency listed.

Sources: California Air Resources Board, Environmental Protection Agency and American Transportation Research Institute

ARIZONA (Maricopa County)
Maricopa County Environmental Services Department, Air Quality Division
(602) 506-6010
Limit: Five minutes
Fines: $100 – first violation; $300 – second and subsequent violations

COLORADO (city and county of Denver)
City and County of Denver
Environmental Protection Division, Mobile Sources Program
(720) 865-5452
Limit: 10 minutes in any one-hour period
Fine: Up to $999 and/or one year’s imprisonment
Exemptions: Temperature less than 20 degrees F for previous 24 hours; temperature less than 10 degrees F

State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Management
(860) 424-3027
Limit: Three minutes
Fine: Up to $5,000 per week
Exemption: Temperature less than 20 degrees F

GEORGIA (city of Atlanta)
City of Atlanta Department of Public Works, Bureau of Traffic & Transportation
(404) 330-6501
Limit: 15 minutes
Fine: $500 minimum
Exemption: 25 minutes if temperature is less than 32 degrees F

Hawaii State Department of Health, Office of Environmental Quality Control
(808) 586-4185
Limit: No specified time
Fine: Up $2,500 per day
Exemption: Three minutes for engine start up or cool down

Illinois Department of Transportation
(217) 782-7820
Limit: No specified time
Fine: Up to $500

Maryland Department of the Environment
(410) 537-3000
Limit: Five minutes
Fine: Up to $500

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
(617) 292-5500
Limit: Five minutes
Fines: Up to $100 – first violation; up to $500 – second and subsequent violations

MINNESOTA (city of St. Cloud)
City of St. Cloud Parking Violation
(320) 255-7209
Limit: Five minutes (within specified two block area of city)
Fine: Up to $200

MISSOURI (city of St. Louis)
City of St. Louis Department of Air Pollution Control
(314) 613-7300
Limit: 10 minutes
Fine: Up to $500, and/or imprisonment for at least 90 days

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection,
Bureau of Air Pollution Control
(775) 687-9350
Limit: 15 minutes
Fines: $100 to $500 – first violation; $500 to $1,000 – second violation; $1,000 to $1,500 – third violation; $1,500 to $2,500 – fourth and subsequent violations over a three-year period

NEVADA (Clark County)
Clark County Department of Air Quality Management
(702) 455-5942
Limit: 15 minutes
Fine: Up to $10,000

NEVADA (Washoe County)
Washoe County District Health Department, Air Quality Management
(775) 784-7200
Limit: 15 minutes
Fines: Up to $250 – first violation; $200 to $500 – second and subsequent violations

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Air Resources Division
(603) 271-1370
Limit: Five minutes
Fine: TBD
Exemptions: 15 minutes if temperature greater than -10 degrees F and less than 32 degrees F; Temperature less than -10 degrees F and no nuisance created

New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection, Air Quality Management, Regulatory Development
(609) 292-6722
Limit: Three minutes
Fines: Up to $10,000 – first violation; up to $25,000 – second violation; up to $50,000 – third and subsequent violations

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Air Resources, Bureau of Mobile Sources and Technology Development
(518) 402-8292
Limit: Five minutes
Fines: $375 to $15,000 – first violation; up to $22,500 – second and subsequent violations
Exemption: Temperature is less than 25 degrees F if motionless for two hours

New York City Department of Environmental Protection
(212) 639-9675
Limit: Three minutes
Fines: $50 to $500 and/or imprisonment for 20 days – first violation; $100 to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days – second violation; $400 to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to four months – third and subsequent violations

PENNSYLVANIA (city of Philadelphia)
Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Air Management Services
(215) 685-7585
Limit: Two minutes or zero minutes for layovers
Fine: $300
Exemptions: Five minutes less than 32 degrees F; 20 minutes less than 20 degrees F

TEXAS (counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Office of Compliance and Enforcement
(512) 239-5100
Limit: Five minutes – April 1 to Oct. 31
Fine: TBD

Utah Department of Public Safety
(801) 965-4461
Limit: No specified time
Fine: Up to $750 and/or up to 90 days in jail

UTAH (Salt Lake City and County)
Salt Lake Valley Health Department, Environmental Health Services, Bureau of Air Pollution Control
(801) 313-6720
Limit: 15 minutes
Fines: Up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail – first violation; up to $2,500 and/or up to 12 months in jail – second and subsequent violations within two years

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
(804) 698-4000
Limit: 10 minutes
Fine: Up to $25,000

DC Department of Health, Environmental Health Administration, Air Quality Division
(202) 535-2267
Limit: Three minutes
Fine: $500, fine doubles for each subsequent violation
Exemption: 5 minutes when less than 32 degrees F