SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Gary R. Herbert put the brakes on vehicle emissions on May 31 by signing an executive order requiring all 7,300 state vehicles to be turned off whenever they are expected to idle more than 30 seconds. The order signifies Utah’s commitment to improve air quality through the Governor’s statewide initiative Utah Clean Air Partnership.
“By committing our employees to a common sense idle reduction policy, we hope to meaningfully reduce vehicle emissions across the State.” said Governor Herbert. “Now, I hope that both businesses and individual Utah drivers will follow suit, as we partner to improve air quality and breathing. Air quality affects us all. Together, we can make a big difference.”
By mandating all state agencies comply with the idle reduction order, the Governor also anticipates fuel savings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, passenger vehicles can use up to .48 gallons per hour by idling. With 7,300 state vehicles, up to 60,000 gallons of fuel per year could be saved through the Governor’s idle reduction executive order.
The initiative will be enacted on an agency-by-agency basis. The order targets State employees through outreach and education provided by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Utah Department of Administrative Services’ Division of Fleet Operations. Exceptions will be made to certain fleet vehicles that require their engines to be on for safety and specific job functions (e.g. Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Deptartment of Transportation Incident Management vehicles).
For more information about the dangers of idling vehicles and to make a pledge, visit: ucair.utah.gov.