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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

IdleAire Clean Truck Stop Opening, Atlanta, Georgia

06/10/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
IdleAire Clean Truck Stop Opening
Atlanta, Georgia

June 10, 2003


Thank you Tom (Badgett) for that introduction. It's great to be here today in Atlanta to celebrate an innovative new technology that is helping to make our air cleaner.

Freight transport is an important part of our economy in America. From ordering merchandise off the Internet to finding Georgia peaches and Vidalia onions in my New Jersey grocery store, it's easy to take for granted the freight transportation system that makes this all possible.

Unfortunately, the trucks that move this cargo so efficiently are a significant source of emissions that create smog and harm our health and environment. In order to address this problem, EPA has worked closely with industry partners to develop clean vehicle technologies, and we recently enacted a vehicle and fuel standards rule that will reduce emissions from new diesel-powered trucks by 90%.

Earlier this year we also launched the SmartWay Transport program B a voluntary partnership between EPA and the truck and rail industry designed to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve environmental performance of the freight sector. An important part of the SmartWay program is a commitment to reducing idling.

Every year, trucks consume about 1 billion gallons of fuel and emit over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOX) just while idling. A large part of that idling takes place at truck stops such as this one. Truckers need to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, yet in order to do so they are forced to idle their engines.

Fortunately, there is a solution B the truck stop electrification technology supplied by IdleAire makes it possible for truckers to rest comfortably without turning on their engines. IdleAire's technology helps truckers save 100% of the diesel fuel normally consumed idling and reduces harmful emissions by 90%.

Here at the Petro Stopping Center, 63 units are equipped with the truck stop electrification technology. When truckers choose to plug in to these spots, they can do so knowing they are not only saving fuel, but also helping to make the air cleaner and healthier for the surrounding community. To promote more facilities such as this, I'm pleased to announce today that EPA is launching the National Transportation Idle-Free Corridors project.

Under this new initiative, we will work with states and local governments to install these types of emission reduction technologies at various truck stops, ports, and rail yards, all along major truck and locomotive routes. Of course, we recognize that idling is not just limited to truck stops; many truckers idle along the highway as well.

That is why, EPA recently issued a $200,000 grant to assist truck drivers with the purchase of idle reduction technologies, so that if an electrification system is not available, emissions can still be kept down.

I want to thank IdleAire and Petro Stopping Centers for their leadership on this important issue. President Bush and I believe that forging strong partnerships such as these are an important tool in our efforts to achieve real and lasting results for the environment.

Thanks to the work of committed partners such as you, we are making considerable progress on our efforts to reduce the harmful environmental and public health impact of idling. Our goal at EPA is to make sure that while we continue to meet our freight transportation needs, we also remain good environmental stewards.

Just as we take for granted being able to ship and get anything we want, it is easy to take our air for granted as well. Clean air is something that we all want and something which we have to all work together to achieve. With efforts such as we are celebrating today, I know that we are making significant strides towards providing cleaner air for this and future generations. Thank you.