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EPA Guidelines Promote Truck and Locomotive Idling Reductions

Release Date: 01/16/2004
Contact Information:


John Millett 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov


(01/16/05) Each year, idling trucks and locomotives consume 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel and emit more than 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, EPA estimates. To reduce negative health and environmental impacts associated with long-duration idling, EPA has released two guidance documents that create incentives for using technologies that either reduce air emissions from idling or prevent idling altogether. Reduced idling decreases maintenance costs and engine wear, diminishes particulate matter and toxic air pollutant emissions, and creates less noise for nearby residents. With the new guidance, state and local environmental agencies can quantify the emission reductions to show how the reductions will contribute to meeting national air quality standards for particulate matter or ground-level ozone. A companion guidance explains how these emissions reductions may be used to meet certain requirements under EPA’s New Source Review (NSR) permitting program (located online at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg). Long haul trucks and switch yard locomotives idle for a variety of reasons, ranging from the need to supply air conditioning or heat to a truck’s sleeper compartment to maintaining locomotive engine oil and fuel warmth during cold weather. Technologies such as trucks plugging into a unit at an electrified truck stop or locomotives using lower emitting auxiliary power units can significantly reduce emissions. Recent successful pilot projects in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, and California have demonstrated the effectiveness of idle-reduction technologies in reducing emissions of oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, and air toxics, substantially reducing noise levels, and conserving fuel. Copies of the guidance documents and information about EPA’s anti-idling program are available online at: http://www.epa.gov/smartway .