Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah

Mayors Ralph Becker, Peter Corroon launch Idle-Free Awareness Month

Deseret News
By Jared Page
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayors Ralph Becker and Peter Corroon met with Morningside Elementary School sixth-graders Thursday morning in hopes of clearing the air.

The mayors jointly declared September as Idle-Free Awareness Month and challenged motorists to "turn your key" and "be idle free."

The anti-idling program, now in its third year, encourages Utahns to protect public health and improve air quality by reducing unnecessary vehicle emissions.

"In Utah, we suffer from annual winter inversions that trap cold air in our valleys," said Corroon, the Salt Lake County mayor. "Cutting down on idling is an easy way to reduce vehicle emissions that are contributors to our winter air pollution."

As part of Becker's quest to make Salt Lake City the most sustainable city in the U.S., city leaders are furthering their commitment to improving air quality through a proposed anti-idling ordinance.

Under the proposed ordinance, vehicles found idling for more than two minutes would be subject to an initial warning, followed by fines for subsequent offenses.

"Anti-idling city codes are in place across America, yet here in Salt Lake City, we have the worst air quality in the country," Becker said in a news release. "Curtailing idling is no longer just an idea for us to consider, but rather a commitment we can make to be better stewards of our natural resources."

The proposed ordinance would allow exemptions for situations in which defrosters, heaters or air conditioners are needed for safety or health reasons. Vehicles with rechargeable batteries or other energy storage units of a hybrid vehicle also would be exempt.

Police, K-9 and other specific fleet vehicles also would have exemptions to perform official duties. Salt Lake City's Civil Enforcement Division would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

"I believe this proposed ordinance shows the community's collective willingness to provide greater protections to our health and the environment," Becker said. "I am asking residents to provide feedback to improve the ordinance as it is currently proposed and in turn support it as law."

More information on the proposed anti-idling ordinance is available at www.slcgov.com/opencityhall. To comment or make suggestions on the proposed ordinance, e-mail the mayor's office at mayor@slcgov.com.

For more information on Idle-Free Awareness Month, visit www.IdleFree.Utah.Gov.

Also published in USA Today

© 2010 Deseret News Publishing Company

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September 'ldle-Free' Month in Utah


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - September is "idle-free awareness" month in Utah.

State and city leaders from throughout Utah are signing on to a campaign to keep auto exhaust to a minimum and clean up the air.
The idea is for drivers to shut off the ignition when stopped at places like parking lots and drive-throughs, saving a little bit of gas and reducing emissions at the same time.
Online: www.IdleFree.Utah.Gov

To view pictures, see here.

Anti-pollution resolution clears House on wide vote

The Salt Lake Tribune
Trent Lowe
February 18 2010

The House passed 66-8 a joint resolution that discourages idling vehicles Wednesday, but not without debate about the nature of pollution and a successful amendment to remove any reference to carbon dioxide.

HJR5 encourages drivers to avoid idling their vehicles in order to lessen the impact of pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, on the state's air quality, which the resolution listed as the main offenders to clean air and the overall health of citizens.

"We all know that excessive idling is causing a good deal of damage to our environment and to our health," said Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, the resolution's sponsor. "[This] doesn't mandate anything, it doesn't impose any kind of penalties on the behavior, but only encourages both businesses and other organizations to encourage people to not idle their cars unnecessarily."

While the legislators agreed that protecting the environment and health is important, some expressed concern over the science behind the warnings.

Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan, questioned the accuracy of research done concerning pollutants.

"I think we need to be careful with resolutions like this," Harper said. "I think we need to be careful about some of the indoctrination that's going on within our schools that may not be correct science."

Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who had previously spoken against other climate change bills, raised concerns about the resolution's focus on carbon dioxide and its effects on the environment.

"I am not supportive of any resolution that links carbon dioxide to clean air," he said.

Noel, along with Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, proposed amendments to have all references to carbon dioxide removed from the resolution, both of which were passed.

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