Enviro Commissioner: Require ‘No Idling’ Signs At Township Warehouses

A township Environmental Commissioner wants stricter enforcement of the state’s anti-idling laws at township warehouses.

Commissioner Arnold Schmidt will write a recommendation to the Township Council, with the backing of his fellow Commissioners, asking that developers and owners of warehouses be required to install “No Idling” signs wherever trucks are located on the properties.

A state law that’s been on the books since 1986 prohibits most gasoline or diesel-powered engine idling of more than three consecutive minutes.

There are a number of exceptions, including a vehicle that’s being repaired or serviced, buses discharging or picking up passengers, and motor vehicles stuck in traffic, or in a queue.

Drivers of commercial vehicles – and the owners of properties on which the idling occurs – can face fines of between $250 and $1,500. Property owners can avoid fines if they have “no idling” signs on their property.

But the signs are recommended, not required, under the state law.

That’s where Schmidt’s idea comes in.

Schmidt said the signs should be required at all warehouse entrances, loading and unloading bays, and parking areas.

“I also suggest we recommend the township ask the county health department to work with the (state Department of Environmental Protection) to do routine monitoring at these sites to make sure regulations are being adhered to,” he said. “We can’t stop these trucks from coming and going, but we can limit the amount of pollutants that are emitted.”

Schmidt said his idea stems from the fact that Franklin is home to a number of large warehouses, with more gaining approvals in the last several months, and potentially more in the offing.

Schmidt said he ran a program targeting truck idling for three years when he worked for Union County.

“It was a pretty effective program,” he said.

“Trucks will stay there overnight and idle overnight,” he said. “Or they’ll start them up in the morning and let them run for a half an hour.”

“It’s a very common practice until someone knocks on their door and says you can’t do that,” he said.

“It’s not only warehouses, sometimes we go to a place because of complaints, sometimes it’s school buses idling in different places and enforcement is done on those also,” he said.

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