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

Salt Lake mayor launches another anti-idling campaign

Anti-idling crusader Mayor Ralph Becker rolled out a new statewide campaign Monday with the clean-air advocacy group Breathe Utah and Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a continuing effort to battle the Wasatch Front’s notoriously bad air.

They’re asking Utah motorists to turn off the ignition for health’s sake

Vehicles at 20 Enterprise locations will be equipped with literature aimed at reminding drivers to limit idling time and why it matters.

"This is an incredible example of corporate citizenship on the part of Utah’s Enterprise [Rent-A-Car] operators," Becker said. "This company is helping spread the message across the state … that by working together, and taking this small and easy step, we can all make a difference in our air quality while also saving money and conserving non-renewable resources."

Earlier this month, Becker joined education and community leaders in designating September as "Idle Free Awareness Month."

Last fall, the Salt Lake City Council passed Becker’s proposed ordinance restricting idling to 2 minutes. In February, however, State Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan, introduced legislation that s ought to undo the ordinance.But in compromise legislation by State Sen. Ben McAdams, cities could pass such regulations but they could not enforce them in personal driveways.

Copyright 2012 The Salt Lake Tribune

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Anti-idling campaign revs into high gear

Deseret News
Amy Joi O'Donoghue

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

Turning off our cars when idling is an important and easy step all of us can take to help reduce emissions, save fuel and make a positive impact on our local air quality.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker

Becker was joined by education leaders Monday in a kick-off campaign at Rose Park Elementary to inaugurate September as "Idle Free Awareness Month" and to celebrate the fifth year of the program that initially partnered with 63 schools.

Since 2008, the program has spread to other regions of the state to tap the involvement of 34 mayors and nearly 300 schools.

The kickoff, too, underscores the city's Idle Free Ordinance that prohibits unnecessary idling for more than two minutes on public property within city limits or publicly accessible property. Passed in October of 2011, the ordinance calls for fines on violators in an attempt to reduce city pollution — 50 percent of which comes from vehicle exhaust, according to city leaders.

"Turning off our cars when idling is an important and easy step all of us can take to help reduce emissions, save fuel and make a positive impact on our local air quality," Becker said. "This decision is especially important when we're picking up or dropping off students at our schools."

Irene Rizza, northern coordinator of Utah Clean Cities, said experience has taught the advocacy group that increasing children's awareness about air pollution issues is among the most effective ways to create change.

"It is good to get the kids involved because eventually they will be drivers," she said. "That age group is sometimes a lot more receptive to those messages."

Initially, the group targeted school bus drivers in efforts to reducing unnecessary idling and now hope to reach parents through their children.

Schools, she added, are great incubators of campaigns because they bring a community of together of both children and adults.

"Even if we get one person to change their behavior, it adds up," she said.

Parents coming to pickup their children at Wasatch Elementary are reminded to me idle free Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.   (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

 

Parents coming to pickup their children at Wasatch Elementary are reminded to me idle free Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.   (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

 

Parents coming to pickup their children at Wasatch Elementary are reminded to me idle free Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.   (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Photos: Tom Smart, Deseret News

Copyright 2012, Deseret News Publishing Company

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Salt Lake City Kicks off Idle Free Month

KUERMon September 10, 2012

Salt Lake City officials announced the beginning of idle free awareness Month this morning. Mayor Ralph Becker kicked off the event by talking to elementary school students in Rose Park about the importance of turning off a car when parked for more than a few seconds.

City leaders explained to 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Rose Park Elementary that Idling a vehicle increases dependence on oil, reduces the fuel economy of a car, costs more money and produces harmful pollutants. Mayor Ralph Becker offered tips on how they can help their parents minimize those effects.

“When you’re parked and waiting somewhere, whether it’s your parents picking you up from school, whether it’s when you go to a grocery store when you go out and play at a playground and people are turning their key, the idea is to be idle free," Becker said.

Nicole Warren is principal at Rose Park Elementary.  She says in a survey the school conducted last year, parents said one of their biggest concerns is the amount of pollution their children breathe in the city.

“The sooner we can make our kids aware, the more helpful they’ll be in terms of changing their parent’s bad behavior," Warren said. "I won’t call it bad behavior, but their parent’s habitual behavior and also mapping out what their behavior will be in the future."

Last year, the Salt Lake City Council passed a law to make it illegal to idle for more than two minutes. 

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No idle request: Mayors say turn engines off

The Spectrum
David DeMille
Aug 30, 2012

Utah Clean Cities Executive Director Robin Erickson shows students at Santa Clara Elementary School the declaration signed by Gov. Gary Herbert that proclaims September as Idle Free Awareness Month in Utah during an air quality assembly at the school Thursday.
Image courtesy of The Spectrum

SANTA CLARA — Local leaders voiced support Thursday for a statewide effort to encourage drivers to save gas and help the environment by turning off their vehicles rather than letting engines idle.

 Mayors and other officials from St. George, Washington, Santa Clara, Ivins and Hurricane visited with students at Santa Clara Elementary School to help promote “Idle Free Awareness Month,” which they described as an easy way for residents to have a positive environmental impact each day. 

 If each car in the U.S. were to reduce idling by 6 minutes per day, it would save 3 billion gallons of fuel and amount to $10 billion in savings, said Robin Erickson, executive director of Utah Clean Cities, a clean air advocacy group based in Salt Lake City. 

 While northern Utah is notorious for its air quality issues — Salt Lake City ranked seventh-worst in the country according to a recent American Lung Association report — Southern Utah has relatively clean air at the moment, Erickson said. But more than 50 percent of Utah’s air pollution comes from motor vehicles, according to UCC figures, and clean air advocates have pointed out that with its high populations of young children and older adults, Washington County is particularly susceptible to health issues caused by poor air conditions. 

 And while pollution comes from many sources, from industry to wildfires to regional haze, smaller efforts such as the idle-free campaign can make a big difference, Erickson said. 

 “We have cleaner vehicles than we used to, we have cleaner air, but I think every little thing helps,” Erickson said. 

 This is the third year of the idle-free campaign, which promotes turning off vehicle engines any time it makes sense, such as in parking lots or drive-through lines. Idling more than 10 seconds uses more gas than turning the engine off and restarting, according to recent studies, and the average driver idles five to 10 minutes each day. 

 Santa Clara City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hafen and Ivins Mayor Chris Hart said their cities have policies in place for city employees not to idle, and the two municipalities are working on bringing natural gas-powered vehicles into their fleets. In Hurricane, Mayor Tom Hirschi has been known to hide the keys when he catches city employees idling.

The Washington County School District has joined the effort as well, and the state's school bus drivers have been trained in idle-reduction in recent years, saving the state an estimated 92,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to UCC.

 The idea is to be proactive, said Bill Swenson, air quality coordinator for St. George City. 

 Air quality is still something of an unknown in Washington County, where officials have had a single air monitor available only part of the year to measure dust and other small particulates, but St. George has approved funding to purchase its own monitor, and Hurricane is planning to put one up near its city offices. 

 So far, the air has looked pretty good. Swenson said the air monitor is currently being used in the SunRiver subdivision and is registering levels of large particles (PM10) of 0.25 micrograms per cubic meter. The national standard is 150 micrograms per cubic meter. 

 The county does not have readings on its PM2.5 particles, which are smaller and have been associated with serious health problems.

Copyright © 2012
www.thespectrum.com

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Officials say don't let your engines run idle

SANTA CLARA -- Area leaders voiced support Thursday for a statewide effort to encourage drivers to save gas and help the environment by turning off their vehicles rather than letting engines idle.

Mayors and other officials from St. George, Washington, Santa Clara, Ivins and Hurricane visited with students at Santa Clara Elementary School to help promote "Idle Free Awareness Month," which they described as an easy way for residents to have a positive environmental impact each day.

If each car in the U.S. were to reduce idling by 6 minutes per day, it would save 3 billion gallons of fuel and amount to $10 billion in savings, said Robin Erickson, executive director of Utah Clean Cities, a clean air advocacy group based in Salt Lake City.

While northern Utah is notorious for its air quality issues -- Salt Lake City ranked seventh-worst in the country according to a recent American Lung Association report -- Southern Utah has relatively clean air at the moment, Erickson said. But more than 50 percent of Utah's air pollution comes from motor vehicles, according to UCC figures, and clean air advocates have pointed out that with its high populations of young children and older adults, Washington County is particularly susceptible to health issues caused by poor air conditions.

And while pollution comes from many sources, from industry to wildfires to regional haze, smaller efforts such as the idle-free campaign can make a big difference, Erickson said.

"We have cleaner vehicles than we used to, we have cleaner air, but I think every little thing helps," Erickson said.

This is the third year of the idle-free campaign, which promotes turning off vehicle engines any time it makes sense, such as in parking lots or drive-through lines. Idling more than 10 seconds uses more gas than turning the engine off and restarting, according to recent studies, and the average driver idles five to 10 minutes each day.

Santa Clara City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hafen and Ivins Mayor Chris Hart said their cities have policies in place for city employees not to idle, and the two municipalities are working on bringing natural gas-powered vehicles into their fleets. In Hurricane, Mayor Tom Hirschi has been known to hide the keys when he catches city employees idling.

The Washington County School District has joined the effort as well, and the state's school bus drivers have been trained in idle-reduction in recent years, saving the state an estimated 92,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to UCC.

The idea is to be proactive, said Bill Swenson, air quality coordinator for St. George City.

Air quality is still something of an unknown in Washington County, where officials have had a single air monitor available only part of the year to measure dust and other small particulates, but St. George has approved funding to purchase its own monitor, and Hurricane is planning to put one up near its city offices.

So far, the air has looked pretty good. Swenson said the air monitor is currently being used in the SunRiver subdivision and is registering levels of large particles (PM10) of 0.25 micrograms per cubic meter. The national standard is 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

The county does not have readings on its PM2.5 particles, which are smaller and have been associated with serious health problems.

On the Web Learn about the Idle Free Utah effort at www.utahcleancities.com.

Copyright © 2012
www.thespectrum.com

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Idle Free Awareness Month at Santa Clara Elementary School

Emily Siegel
08/26/12
Santa Clara Elementary School

Santa Clara Elementary School

(Santa Clara, UT) - Samantha Mary Julian- Director of Office of Energy Development, Ivins City Mayor Chris Hart, Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson, Hurricane City Mayor Tom Hirschi, City of St. George Mayor Dan McArthur, Santa Clara City Councilwoman Mary Jo (Tode) Hafen, Santa Clara Elementary School 4th and 5th Graders, Southern Utah Air Quality Task Force members, concerned citizens and parents will be on hand for Idle Free Awareness Month at Santa Clara Elementary School, 2950 West Crestview Dr., Thursday, August 30th 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mayors throughout Southern Utah will be joining forces to declare September’s Idle Free Awareness Month at Santa Clara Elementary School. This campaign works to educate drivers about adopting these idle-free behaviors not just for the month of September, but hopefully they will be longer lasting driving practices that are incorporated into daily life.

A few simple steps are all it takes to reduce idling, improve health and our air quality. In fact, idling for more than 10 seconds actually uses more gas than turning the engine off and restarting it. The average driver idles for five to ten minutes a day, contributing to elevated air pollution levels that aggravate respiratory illnesses and damage health. The campaign especially focuses on educating drivers in school loading zones, as children are particularly susceptible to health problems associated with air pollution. Schools throughout Utah will be participating in the Idle Free Campaign by having volunteers hand out “Turn Your Key, Be Idle Free” decals and providing parents with information to raise awareness.

Utah Clean Cities has had substantial success with idle-reduction since 2008, especially through the training of Utah school bus drivers. On average, drivers decreased their idling times by 21 minutes/day, saving 92,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption, amounting to a savings of nearly $300,000 for school districts per year.

One idling vehicle realistically isn’t the main culprit of air pollution, but thousands of them are. Small changes, awareness and individual actions, however, all add up to make a significant difference.

What can you do?

•Avoid idling in loading zones and when waiting to pick up kids at school.

•Limit engine warm up time to 30 seconds and don’t idle to keep air conditioner running.

•Avoid drive-thrus. Instead, park and walk inside to order.

•Spread the word to family and friends and start your own idle free campaign. 

copyright © 2012 KCSG 

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September is Idle Free Awareness Month

St. George News
August 29, 2012

Photo by Margarit.Ralev.Com

Photo by Margarit.Ralev.Com

ST. GEORGE – Utahns statewide are gearing up for September’s Idle Free Awareness Month for a chance to breathe easier, save money, and clear the air. If each car in the United States were to reduce idling by 6 minutes per day, 3 billion gallons of fuel would be saved every year, amounting to $10 billion dollars in savings.

On Aug. 30, mayors throughout Southern Utah will be joining forces to declare September’s Idle Free Awareness Month. This campaign works to educate drivers about adopting these idle-free behaviors not just for the month of September, but hopefully they will be longer lasting driving practices that are incorporated into daily life.

A few simple steps are all it takes to reduce idling, improve health and our air quality. In fact, idling for more than 10 seconds actually uses more gas than turning the engine off and restarting it. The average driver idles for five to 10 minutes a day, contributing to elevated air pollution levels that aggravate respiratory illnesses and damage health.

The campaign especially focuses on educating drivers in school loading zones, as children are particularly susceptible to health problems associated with air pollution. Schools throughout Utah will be participating in the Idle Free Campaign by having volunteers hand out “Turn Your Key, Be Idle Free” decals and providing parents with information to raise awareness.

Utah Clean Cities has had substantial success with idle-reduction since 2008, especially through the training of Utah school bus drivers. On average, drivers decreased their idling times by 21 minutes/day, saving 92,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption, amounting to a savings of nearly $300,000 for school districts per year.

One idling vehicle realistically isn’t the main culprit of air pollution, but thousands of them are. Small changes, awareness and individual actions, however, all add up to make a significant difference.
What can you do?

  • Avoid idling in loading zones and when waiting to pick up kids at school.
  • Limit engine warm up time to 30 seconds and don’t idle to keep air conditioner running.
  • Avoid drive-thrus. Instead, park and walk inside to order.
  • Spread the word to family and friends and start your own idle free campaign.

Utah Clean Cities is one of nearly 100 Coalitions sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.  The mission of the Coalitions is to reduce the use of imported oil, develop regional economic opportunities, and improve air quality. To find out more about the Clean Cities program go to www.cleancities.energy.gov. Learn more about the Utah Clean Cities Coalition and the Idle Free Campaign by visiting their websites.

© 2010-2013 StGeorgeUtah.com

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