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

Stop being idle

Deseret News - Opinion
Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

For the last decade I was an idler. That is until one morning when I picked up my son from school and was informed by a UtahCleanCities representative of the impact my idling has on the environment.

As I commute back and forth from Salt Lake City each day, it has become increasingly obvious just how much pollution is settling in the valley, especially on those hot summer days. One day, in particular, I recall the smog being so bad the Wasatch Mountains had become invisible from the I-15 freeway. I believe this is a problem that we as a state can solve together.

It is time for citizens and business owners to be accountable for the pollution they contribute. Groups such as UtahCleanCities are hard at work, influencing motorists to cut down on idling. I am proud to see Utah legislators working together on an ordinance to limit idling time for motorists. Local businesses like inthinc Technology Solutions Inc. have worked to create viable options for commuting drivers and fleet managers to cut down on emissions while also saving money. To me this seems like a win-win situation. May we all consider how much of an impact we individually have on the environment and take steps to cutting down on our idling time.

Daniel Ashby
Salt Lake City

© 2011 Deseret News Publishing Company

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Idle Free Service Saves Over 4,000 Tons of Diesel Emissions

Utah Pulse
09/26/2011

As part of its ongoing support of Idle Free Utah, IdleAir is working with Utah Clean Cities to give drivers and fleets an opportunity to “Turn your key, be idle free.” In conjunction with Idle Free Awareness Month, Utah Clean Cities will be giving away a total of $500 of IdleAir service to reduce vehicle emissions and help improve air quality along the Wasatch Front. 

The Idle Free Awareness campaign began as a weeklong initiative in 2008 with the support of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. Since its inception, the program has grown into a month long endeavor with the support of Governor Gary Herbert and over 40 Utah mayors. 

“Reducing our idling time is an action each of us can take to help improve our local air quality,” Mayor Ralph Becker said. “As our Council continues to consider an ordinance to establish a citywide idle free policy, we appreciate Utah Clean Cities, IdleAir and Sapp Bros. Travel Centers partnering with us to promote practices that will lead to cleaner, healthier air here in Utah.” 

Since 2008, Utah Clean Cities and its partners have actively promoted Idle Free education in Utah schools. Now IdleAir and Sapp Bros are helping take the message to the long haul driver community. 

“The surrounding community is very important to us here at Sapp Bros,” said Holly Cunningham, general manager. “Our goal for the IdleAir project is to reduce the unnecessary idling that detracts from the local air quality, and to use this opportunity to educate drivers about the financial and environmental benefits of being Idle Free.” 

IdleAir is an electrification station that allows drivers to turn off their engines and plug in, giving them an alternative to idling during rest periods. With IdleAir, drivers enjoy the comfort of conditioned air and entertainment options while saving money and getting better sleep without the noise, vibration, and exhaust fumes from idling. Local drivers can use IdleAir at the Sapp Bros travel center, located at 1953 California Avenue in Salt Lake City (I-215, Exit 21/California Ave), as well as at 20 other locations around the country.

 “Reduced idling is a simple and easy way we can improve our air quality,” said Mayor Corroon. “I applaud Utah Clean Cities, IdleAir, and Sapp Bros Travel Centers for raising awareness and giving truck drivers an opportunity to be idle free right here in Salt Lake County.”

© 2013 Utah Pulse

Utah Governor Lauds Idle-Free School Buses

School Transportation News
Ryan Gray

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gov. Gary R. Herbert proclaimed September as "Idle Free Awareness Month," and the state's fleet of school buses are taking center stage as the poster child.

In his proclamation, Herbert noted that nationally school buses travel 4 billion miles each year while transporting more than 26 million students. Nearly 3,000 of those buses operate in Utah, which three years ago implemented a statewide school bus idling reduction program. The Utah Clean Cities Coalition says that a single vehicle dropping off and picking up children at school emits three pounds of pollution each month.

September is the third consecutive year the state has celebrated Idle Free Awareness Month. It is supported by 40 mayors across the state.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute in Washington, D.C., along with the Utah State Office of Education developed curriculum for school bus drivers to reduce idling, and the program as implemented in the state has limited idling by up to 100 fewer hours per bus per year. Fuel savings have also been more than 100 gallons per bus per year while pollution has been reduced by 20 percent. Greenhouse gases are also down by 5 to 10 percent.

Murrell Martin, the pupil transportation specialist with the Utah State Office of Education, said those savings equate to 276,000 gallons of fuel and $700,000 for school districts since the program began. An estimated 15 tons of particulate matter have also been reduced

"The success of the program has been used a model for other states and has been presented at three national conference of significant importance during the past year," he added.

The Environmental Protection Agency National Clean Diesel 10 Conference in Washington, D.C., presented data from the program during a video conference last October, and NASDTPS followed on Nov. 1 with a formal presentation during the association's annual conference held in Portland, Ore. The U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities also presented the program during a summit this past June in Indianapolis.

He said the Department of Energy has identified that $5,000 of the original grant be used to forward the curriculum and resources to other states.

Meanwhile, the Utah Retrofitting and Replacing of School Buses Project has funded projects for more than 1,200 school buses for a reduction of nearly 310 tons of particulate matter, 855 tons of hydrocarbons and 4,700 tons of carbon monoxide over the life of the fleet. The funds have also helped replace another 27 school buses, which will reduce about 85- tons of nitrogen oxide, 34 tons of particulate matter, 44 tons of hydrocarbons and 285 tons of carbon monoxide over the life cycle.

© 2008-2011 STN Media Group

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September is ‘Idle Free Awareness Month’

The Digital Universe - BYU
Madeleine Brown

Sept 06, 2011
September is “Idle Free Awareness Month” across the state of Utah, and Provo City officials are asking people to turn off their cars when picking people up or going through drive-thrus.

Utah Clean Cities Coalition started the campaign to reduce vehicle idling three years ago.

“It’s about educating the public on the reasons to cut back on idling, to turn off your engines when you’re going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds,” Helen Anderson, Provo City public information officer, said. “There are benefits like saving money, improving the air and protecting the environment.”

Cutting back on idling will save money by reducing use of fuel, preventing exhaust build-up around the car, and reducing fuel emissions that contribute to smog.

The California Energy Commission said idling the car for two minutes equals the amount of gas used to drive one mile.

“Research indicates that the average person idles their car five to 10 minutes a day,” the commission said.  “Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. An alternative to idling is to park your car, walk inside, do your business and then go back to your car.”

The sustainability committee of Provo is working with the Provo City School District to educate people about the issue of vehicle idling. Mayor John Curtis and volunteers gathered to spread the word at Timpview High School on Sept. 1.

“What we’re hoping to do today is to promote awareness that this is an issue and to help educate people,” Curtis said. “We all have a responsibility to be good stewards and this is a great way for people to participate.”

Volunteers talked to people dropping off their children and handed out window clings with the campaign’s slogan: “Turn the key, be idle free.” They also held signs with the same logo that will soon be in every school parking lot.

Morgan Davis, a volunteer, said pollution is no surprise to Utah residents.

“If anyone’s lived here more than a year, you know we have serious inversion problems and clean air problems,” Davis said. “This is just one small way that we can try to keep our air a little cleaner here.”

His son, Reuben Davis, a freshman at Timpview High School, joined him in raising awareness. Reuben Davis liked the neighborhood effort and said that he would tell his mom or dad to turn off the car if they ever forget.

To promote the campaign, the mayor took part in a press conference with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and other mayors at Mountain View Elementary in Salt Lake City. He also posted a blog post at provomayor.blogpost.com.

It’s not uncommon to see idling cars on BYU campus. The drop-off zone in the parking lot of the Jesse Knight Building usually has at least one or two cars waiting to pick someone up.

Kailene Larsen said she turns off her car while waiting to pick up her husband.

“Normally I do turn off my car if I’m waiting for longer than five minutes.” Larsen said.

Many people waiting in the JKB parking lot did not know about the “Idle Free” campaign. Even after hearing about the campaign, people may not want to change their ways.

“I’m only here for about five minutes so it probably wouldn’t change much,” Lindsay Seguine, an Orem resident idling in the parking lot said. “Plus I have a baby in the car so I don’t want it to get too hot in the car.”

© The Universe - Brigham Young University

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Campaign aims to curb car idling in school zones

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lt. Governor Greg Bell speaks with students at Mountain View Elementary as he and several other officials hold a press conference launching Idle Free Awareness Month on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The campaign promotes decreasing excess exhaust contributing to smog by not idling in cars.

Now that school is back in session, city and county officials in Utah have an assignment for parents: Stop letting your cars idle while waiting to pick up your children.

School zones are the focus of this year’s “idle-free” campaign, which kicked off Thursday morning at Mountain View Elementary in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joined Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, Provo Mayor John Curtis, Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall and Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell in encouraging parents to turn off their cars to help reduce air pollution to which children are particularly vulnerable.

“With vehicle exhaust contributing some 50 percent of the problem, we can make a difference with the simple turn of a key,” Becker said.

Salt Lake mayor and city council have made reducing idling time a priority. City policy limits idling time for operators of city-owned vehicles and the council is considering a proposal that would institute a citywide ordinance aimed at limiting idling time.

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