Environmental Health: Complying with Anti-Idling Laws

 Diesel-powered vehicles in Pennsylvania are required by law (PA Act 124) to limit how long their engines may idle while the vehicle is not in motion. However, there is very limited funding for idling inspections and enforcement, so it’s not known whether violations are common or rare. At the request of the Clean Air Board (CAB), students in the fall 2011 Health Studies Seminar repeatedly visited two nearby Interstate 81 rest areas with large parking areas for tractor-trailer truck rigs. The students identified idling trucks and timed them for compliance with Act 124’s limit.

The major finding was that slightly more than 1/3 of the trucks observed violated Act 124 by idling in the rest area for more than 5 minutes. The class presented a report of its findings and recommendations to the CAB, which you can read if you click here.