The Diesel Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act – General Restriction on Idling

Section 3.  Restrictions on idling.

(a) Restrictions.–No driver or owner of a diesel-powered motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more engaged in commerce shall cause and no owner or operator of the location where the vehicle loads, unloads or parks shall allow the engine of the vehicle to idle for more than five minutes in any continuous 60-minute period, except as provided under subsections (b) and (c).

(b) Exclusions.–The idling restrictions set forth in subsection (a) do not apply to motor homes, commercial implements of husbandry, implements of husbandry, farm equipment or farm vehicles.

(c) Exemptions.–A diesel-powered motor vehicle with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more may idle beyond the time allowed in subsection (a) for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) When a vehicle idles while forced to remain motionless because of on-highway traffic, an official traffic control device or signal or at the direction of a law enforcement official.

(2) When a vehicle must idle to operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners or cargo refrigeration equipment, or to install equipment, in order to prevent a safety or health emergency and not for the purpose of a rest period, or as otherwise necessary to comply with manufacturers’ operating requirements, specifications and warranties in accordance with Federal or State motor carrier safety regulations or local requirements.

(3) When a police, fire, ambulance, public safety, military, utility service vehicle or other emergency or law enforcement vehicle or any vehicle being used in an emergency or public safety capacity shall idle while in an emergency or training mode and not for the convenience of the driver.

(4) When the primary propulsion engine idles for maintenance, particulate matter trap regeneration, servicing or repair of the vehicle or for vehicle diagnostic purposes, if idling is required for that activity.

(5) When a vehicle idles as part of a Federal or State inspection to verify that all equipment is in good working order, if idling is required as part of the inspection.

(6) When idling of a primary propulsion engine is necessary to power work-related mechanical, safety or electrical operations other than propulsion. This exemption shall not apply when idling is done for cabin comfort or to operate nonessential onboard equipment.

(7) When idling of a primary propulsion engine is necessary as part of a security inspection either entering or exiting a facility.

(8) When an armored vehicle must idle when a person remains inside the vehicle to guard contents or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.

(9) When a vehicle must idle due to mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control, if the vehicle owner submits the repair paperwork or product repair verifying that the mechanical problem has been fixed, by mail to the department within 30 days of the repair.

(10) When a bus, school bus or school vehicle must idle to provide heating or air conditioning when non-driver passengers are onboard. For the purposes of this exemption, the bus, school bus or school vehicle may idle for no more than a total of 15 minutes in a continuous 60-minute period, except when idling is necessary to maintain a safe temperature for students with special needs who are transported by a school bus or school vehicle.

(11) An occupied vehicle with a sleeper-berth compartment that idles for purposes of air conditioning or heating during a rest or sleep period and the outside temperature at the location of the vehicle is less than 40 degrees or greater than 75 degrees Fahrenheit at any time during the rest or sleep period. This applies to a motor vehicle subject to this act parked in any place that the vehicle is legally permitted to park, including but not limited to, a fleet trucking terminal, commercial truck stop or designated rest area. This exemption expires May 1, 2010. This exemption does not apply if the vehicle is parked at a location equipped with stationary idle reduction technology that is available for use at the start of the rest period.

(12) When idling is necessary for sampling, weighing, active loading or active unloading or for an attended motor vehicle waiting for sampling, weighing, loading or unloading. For the purposes of this exemption, the vehicle may idle for up to a total of 15 minutes in any continuous 60-minute period.

(13) When idling by a school bus or school vehicle off school property during queuing for the sequential discharge or pickup of students is necessary because the physical configuration of a school or the school’s surrounding streets does not allow for stopping.

(14) When idling is necessary for maintaining safe operating conditions while waiting for a police escort when transporting a load that requires the issuance of a permit in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. Ch. 49 Subch. D (relating to special permits for excessive size and weight).

(15) When actively engaged in solid waste collection or the collection of source-separated recyclable materials. This exemption does not apply when a vehicle is not actively engaged in solid waste collection or the collection of source-separated recyclable materials.

(d) Exception.–The restriction on idling set forth in subsection (a) does not apply to a diesel-powered motor vehicle that exhibits a label issued by the California Air Resources Board under 13 CCR § 1956.8(a)(6)(C) (relating to exhaust emissions standards and test procedures – 1985 and subsequent model heavy- duty engines and vehicles) showing that the vehicle’s engine meets the optional NOx idling emission standard.

SEE CAB LIBRARY FOR FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

The Pennsylvania State Clean Diesel Grant Program

The goal of the grant program is to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality by decreasing emissions from diesel-powered transit and school bus fleets that operate throughout the Commonwealth.  The program will support projects that retrofit, re-power or replace diesel-powered fleet vehicles to lower emissions of pollutants; purchase and install idle reduction technology; or purchase clean alternatively-fueled fleet vehicles.  The grant announcement was published in the February 12, 2011, issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. (41 Pa.B. 908.)  The Department will be accepting applications beginning February 14 and closing on April 14, 2011.  For additional information, please refer to the Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria and the PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program Guidelines and Application.

New Diesel Fuel Hitting Pumps Nationwide On October 15, 2006 Cuts Pollution, Enables New Low-Emission Engine Technology: Diesel Technology Forum

October 10, 2006

Press Release: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF)

Eight Million Cleaner Trucks and Buses Means Healthier Air for All

WASHINGTON (October 10, 2006) — Starting Sunday, operators of more than eight million diesel-powered trucks and buses plying America’s streets and highways will be able to fill up with a new, ultra-low sulfur fuel that is 97 percent cleaner than the old formulation it replaces. The new fuel, combined with innovative engine technology, will reduce diesel tailpipe pollution dramatically, with far-reaching clean air benefits, say both industry and environmental organizations.

Cleaner diesel fuel will immediately cut soot emissions from any diesel vehicle by 10 percent. But when combined with a new generation of engines hitting the road in January, it will enable emission reductions of up to 95 percent, according to theNatural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Diesel Technology Forum(DTF).

“Diesel is the invisible force that moves the American economy, but until now it has also been a big polluter,” said Richard Kassel, head of NRDC’s Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project. “Combining the new fuel with cleaner and more energy-efficient engines will mean healthier air and help reduce our dependence on oil.”

Diesel trucks move 94 percent of the nation’s goods — more than 18 million tons of freight each day. Half a million diesel buses take 14 million people to work and school. The new fuel opens the door for auto companies to begin offering cleanerdiesel cars that deliver greater fuel economy.

“Diesel vehicles have always been 20 to 40 percent more energy efficient than comparable gasoline engines,” said Allen Schaeffer, DTF executive director. “Withthe switch to cleaner fuel, consumers will see more fuel-efficient diesel cars, pick-ups and SUVs on showroom floors in the years to come.”

Improvements in both the fuel and the engines are required under new federal rules adopted by the Clinton administration and subsequently endorsed and implemented by the Bush administration. The policy was almost a decade in themaking, and involved close collaboration between regulators, oil refiners, engine manufacturers and public health advocates to achieve a cost-effective solution.

The diesel clean-up rivals the removal of lead from gasoline a generation ago. “This is what can be achieved when all sides agree to buckle down and hammer out real solutions,” Kassel said.

A new 2007 diesel truck will emit just one-sixtieth the soot exhaust of one produced in 1988. And thanks to the new fuel, owners of existing diesel vehicles will have the option to install new emission controls that can reduce soot emissions by more than 90 percent. Together, the new diesel technologies — cleaner fuel, advanced engines, and new emission controls — will play a leading role in helping cities and states meet new federal air quality standards over thecoming decade.

“Getting industry, environmentalists and regulators around the table together produced better, faster results for everyone involved,” Schaeffer added.

Clean, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is important because sulfur tends to hamper exhaust-control devices in diesel engines, much the same way lead once impededthe effectiveness of catalytic converters on gasoline cars. Removing the sulfur from diesel will help usher in a new generation of clean diesel technologyapplications across all vehicle types.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean diesel technologies. Forum members include engine and vehicle manufacturers, diesel fuel refiners, and manufacturers of emissions control devices.

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