Monday, June 8, 2015

NJDEP crackdown on air-polluting construction equipment

If your construction equipment is idling for more than three minutes at a time, you are at risk for air pollution fines, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection warns in an industry alert.

High levels of of nitrogen dioxide
The Department announced today that.high levels of nitrogen dioxide have been recorded at DEP air monitors on several occasions in the last ten months. DEP’s investigations determined that the elevated levels were caused by emissions from idling construction vehicles/equipment located near the air monitors. Therefore, DEP will be taking action to ensure that construction vehicle/equipment operators and owners are complying with the idling limits to protect the air quality across the state. 
What those levels do
The Department says that nitrogen dioxide from the emissions of cars, trucks, buses and off-road equipment "contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulates -- pollutants that cause adverse health effects, including respiratory ones.Idling construction vehicles/equipment consume fuel, increase long-term engine maintenance costs, and expose workers and others to harmful air pollutants."
DEP says it plans to...
... respond to citizen complaints and to conduct periodic idling enforcement sweeps. Call the DEP 24-hour hotline (1-877-WARN-DEP) to report suspected violations of the idling standards. Local police also have the authority to issue penalties for idling violations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:3-70.2. Failure to comply with the idling standards may result in enforcement actions and civil administrative penalty assessments, starting at $250 per day, for the property owner and the vehicle/equipment operator.
What you can do...
  • Ensure that construction vehicles/equipment do not idle for more than three consecutive minutes if the vehicle/equipment is not in motion or not in use.
  • Adopt a no-idling policy for your vehicle/equipment operators and encourage them to follow this policy. It will save you money and protect their health.
  • Explore the use of automatic shut-down devices for vehicles/equipment
Read the full alert here

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