In California trucks are now restricted to just five minutes of engine idling time per hour. The California Air Resources Board’s anti-idling rule carries fines beginning at $100. It is part of a wave of increasingly stringent, state-by-state regulations introduced across the nation to help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, toxins and pollutants, and to save fuel.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that with half a million long-haul trucks operating nationwide, engine idling may consume as much as 840 million US gallons of diesel annually.
California isn’t alone. With certain exemptions, three minute engine idling limits currently are in force in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and New York City. Imposing a five-minute limit right now are Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the state of New York. In Texas, with certain exemptions, idling limits for trucks are five minutes per hour during the warmer months of April through October when truckers’ air conditioner use is heaviest. Other states have different versions of the rules but include more lenient time limits.