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March 04, 2008 (rt23 news) - TRENTON - Advancing efforts to improve New Jersey’s air quality, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today launched a statewide campaign that focuses on reducing harmful diesel emissions from idling construction vehicles.

"Nearly one third of all diesel vehicle emissions in New Jersey come from the construction industry," Commissioner Jackson said. "This is a significant initiative given the fact that scientific studies consistently show a link between exposure to harmful diesel emissions and increased incidents of respiratory disease."

Construction vehicles produce about 1,600 tons of the 5,700 tons of diesel particulate emissions that are generated every year in New Jersey. Beginning March 1, the DEP will work with construction trade organizations and interest groups throughout the state to raise awareness about the benefits of lower diesel emissions. Construction vehicle operators can save money in fuel costs and repair expenses from reduced idling.

The education and outreach campaign will continue for six months, followed by an enforcement sweep to ensure compliance with idling regulations. New Jersey law prohibits engines from idling for more than three minutes in most instances.

DEP also announced today that it distributed $750,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant money to fund the purchase of auxiliary power units, bunk heaters and tailpipe retrofits for heavy-duty trucks. In September 2006, the DEP partnered with the New Jersey Motor Truck Association to purchase these devices to reduce harmful diesel emissions inside and outside truck cabins. Auxiliary power units and bunk heaters provide heating, cooling and electrical power to truck cabins while the engine is shut down.

The construction sector anti-idling campaign and the DEP’s partnership with the New Jersey Motor Truck Association are part of a larger effort to reduce the public’s exposure to harmful diesel exhaust. In September 2005, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring emissions controls on diesel vehicles. The landmark program funds the installation of air pollution controls on transit buses, garbage trucks and school buses with revenue generated from the state’s Corporate Business Tax.

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March 04, 2008


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