Now enforceable throughout Allegheny County, this important, commonsense regulation will reduce people's exposure to harmful diesel exhaust by limiting the idling time of trucks, Port Authority buses, tour buses, waste haulers, and other on-road diesel vehicles.
Adopted by the Board of Health and approved by County Council and Chief Executive Dan Onorato, the rule limits the time such vehicles may idle to no more than five consecutive minutes. Exemptions are allowed under certain circumstances, including traffic conditions, boarding passengers, queuing, engine warm-up or cool-down, hot or cold weather, safety and maintenance. See the regulation.
Citizens will play a critical role in helping to implement this new regulation, which will be enforced by the Allegheny County Health Department and individual municipalities. GASP encourages the public to report suspected violations to the proper authorities immediately, at 412-687-ACHD (2243) or your municipality.
According to the recent Clean Air Task Force report, Diesel and Health in America: The Lingering Threat, locally diesel is responsible for 237 deaths, 340 heart attacks, and nearly 4,000 asthma attacks annually due to the fine particulates found in diesel exhaust.
The county has a Diesel School Bus Idling Regulation, which is similar to this regulation.
Allegheny County Enacts New Air Quality Regulation Limiting Diesel Idling Emissions
PITTSBURGH (July 13) -- The Allegheny County Health Department today announced enactment of a new air quality regulation to reduce idling emissions from heavy-duty diesel-powered motor vehicles.
The regulation is similar to one enacted last year for diesel-powered school buses but applies instead to other types of diesel-powered road vehicles, including trucks and other kinds of buses.
Adopted by the Board of Health and approved by County Council and Chief Executive Dan Onorato, the rule limits the time such vehicles may idle to no more than five consecutive minutes.
Exemptions are allowed under certain circumstances, including traffic conditions, boarding passengers, queuing, engine warm-up or cool-down, hot or cold weather, safety and maintenance.
"These measures designed to eliminate unnecessary idling will go a long way toward reducing harmful diesel exhaust emissions," said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.
Diesel exhaust contains very small particles as well as toxic air pollutants that can pose a significant health risk to children, the elderly and others who are sensitive to air pollution. Children are especially vulnerable, because they breathe 50% more air per pound of bodyweight than adults.
Under the regulation, a warning is issued for a first offense, a $100 penalty for a second offense and a $500 penalty for a third offense and any subsequent violations.
The regulation applies to all heavy-duty diesel-powered road vehicles operated in the county.
The public may report suspected violations by calling the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD.
Dr. Dixon praised the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) for playing an active role in advocating diesel-engine idling limitations and also thanked County Council and Chief Executive Onorato for supporting the regulation.