No Idling Signs in Lebanon
The City of Lebanon has posted signs alerting drivers to New Hampshire's existing Rules concerning the idling of vehicles. The acknowledgment and promotion of the State's program is part of the City's ongoing commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability and is another step toward implementing the City's Master Plan.
Regulating Emissions State- & Nation-Wide
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has created Rules to regulate emissions from motor vehicles and other mobile sources of air pollution in order to maintain compliance with State and federal air quality standards. The Idle Reduction Program is intended to protect the health of drivers, the public, and the environment from excessive exposure to exhaust emissions, while reducing wear on vehicle engines, decreasing fuel consumption, and minimizing operational costs.
Ambient Air Temperatures
The NHDES Rules (PDF) include Maximum Idling Time limitations for motor vehicles based on ambient air temperatures. When temperatures are 32oF (0oC) or higher, vehicles should not be allowed to idle for more than 5 minutes in a 60-minute period. When air temperatures are between 32 degrees F and -10 degrees F (0 degrees C and -23 degrees C), vehicles should not be allowed to idle for more than 15 minutes in any 60-minute period. When air temperatures are below -10 degrees F (-23 degrees C), there is no time limit on idling so long as no nuisance is created.
Some exemptions from the Maximum Idling Time limitations exist, including for vehicles being used as an emergency or law enforcement vehicle; when the vehicle's engine is being used to power auxiliary systems, such as refrigeration units or mechanical lifts; or when a vehicle is being operated solely to defrost its windshield to prevent a safety or health emergency.
Lebanon's Department of Public Works (DPW) already has an Anti-Idling Policy for City vehicles and equipment. The DPW Policy reduces City expenses, lowers emissions, and improves air quality for residents and employees. One action item in the City's 2012 Master Plan is to expand the DPW policy city-wide. As a result, simply recognizing the State's existing Idle Reduction Program helps address and implement the City's own Master Plan.
The City will be receiving the signs, free of charge, from the NHDES in order to help publicize the program. The first locations for installation will be in downtown Lebanon in order to address concerns raised by adjacent businesses about vehicle exhaust along West and North Park Streets and the Hanover Street Mall. Additional signage will be installed along Main Street in West Lebanon and other areas where parking spaces are located adjacent to public sidewalks such that vehicle exhaust could be directed toward the sidewalks and adjoining buildings.
For additional information or if you have questions concerning the NHDES Idle Reduction Program, please contact the Lebanon Planning Department at 603-448-1457 or the NH Department of Environmental Services, Air Resources Division at 603-271-4848 or at the following website: NHDES Transportation Emission Reduction Strategies