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California Restricts Truck Idling to Five Minutes

August 3, 2004

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said it voted on July 29 to ban diesel-powered trucks and buses from idling more than five minutes, according to the Associated Press.CARB said in a statement the regulation applies to more than 400,000 trucks and buses registered in California, and all out-of-state trucks and buses operating in the state. The rule would save about one million gallons of diesel fuel each week, CARB said. It would take effect in about six months pending a technical review by the state's Office of Administrative Law, the Associated Press reported. Exceptions to the rule would allow trucks with sleeper berths to idle during federally mandated rest periods and buses to idle up to 10 minutes to keep heating or air conditioning running for passengers' comfort."Diesel operators often let their engines idle for long periods of time because of fears that their vehicles might not start well when cold or in bad weather. However, newer engine and fuel technologies have eliminated that problem," CARB said in its statement. Both the California Trucking Association and American Trucking Associations supported the regulation, AP said. About 20 other states restrict nonessential idling. The responsibility for enforcement would fall to about 10 resource board teams of inspectors, the San Jose Mercury-News reported. The California Highway Patrol and other agencies could issue $100 citations for violations.CARB also said it delayed action on a second proposal to ban trucks from idling during mandated rest periods after 2009. The proposal was based on the expectation that truck stops and truck makers will add separately powered heating and air conditioning units making night-long idling unnecessary, AP said.
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