In an effort to reduce the harmful emissions from idling trucks and buses the City of Philadelphia proclaims April, 2010 to be IdleFreePhilly Month. Citizens are asked to report trucks and buses they witness idling for more than five minutes to Clean Air Council’s www.idlefreephilly.org website. In the proclamation, which was signed April 1, 2010, Mayor Michael A. Nutter urges “all citizens to learn more about anti-idling in Philadelphia as well as the entire state of Pennsylvania to increase awareness among friends, neighbors and family members.”
The Council is working with the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the City’s 311 Contact Center to expand the anti-idling enforcement efforts currently being handled by Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. The Parking Authority is empowered to enforce prohibitions against idling under the City’s Traffic Code. Meanwhile the 311 Contact Center will provide a second option for citizens to report idling complaints in addition to www.idlefreephilly.org. 311 will forward complaints to the Air Management Services and – in the most serious of instances – the Philadelphia Police Department.
“Diesel idling is an unnecessary source of air pollution in Philadelphia,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director of Clean Air Council. “It causes adverse respiratory problems for those who live and work in the City and, frankly, it wastes money. Clean Air Council applauds the City’s efforts to raise greater awareness of this problem and to increase enforcement of its anti-idling laws.”
Additionally, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has adopted its own anti-idling law that covers the suburban counties outside of Philadelphia. This summer the Council, working with Pennsylvania, will be educating municipalities about the statewide anti-idling law, which local police departments are authorized to enforce.
Vehicle operators are taking heed of both the City and Commonwealth laws. As one of the most visible bus fleets in the area, SEPTA says it is committed to reducing unnecessary idling by its operators.