Off-road diesel vehicles are now barred from idling longer than five minutes in Allegheny County.
Allegheny County Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole says the new regulation was adopted to cut down on unnecessary emissions from industrial equipment.
“These emissions contain small particles and also toxic air pollutants that can be a big health risk to children, the elderly, and others sensitive to air pollution,” says Cole.
Cole says this rule will mostly apply to construction, mining, and manufacturing vehicles that aren’t meant to drive on the road. He says a similar regulation already prohibits on-road diesel engines from idling longer than five minutes.
A first violation results in a $100 fine. Subsequent citations will each bring a $500 penalty to the person or business. Operators won’t be fined if idling is necessary for the well-being of the vehicle or the driver, or if the equipment is used in an emergency.
Cole says the County’s Board of Health, County Council, and the County Executive approved the rule, after getting input from the construction industry and environmental organizations.