The Weston Public Schools Green Team encourages everyone to follow the no idling initiative. Please turn off your engines.
Here's the law: State law (Ch. 90, Sect. 16A) and DEP regulations (See 310 CMR 7.11(1)(b) in the complete Air Pollution Control Regulations) now limit vehicle idling to no more than five minutes in most cases. (There are exceptions for vehicles being serviced, vehicles making deliveries that need to keep their engines running (to power refrigerators, for example), and vehicles that need to run their engines to operate accessories, such as power lifts.)
Local boards of health, local police, and state and federal officials are authorized to enforce the state anti-idling law, while the DEP enforces its own regulations. Law enforcement personnel may issue civil fines to violators. The law provides for fines of $100 for a first offense and $500 for second and subsequent offenses.
The aim of the law is to reduce airborne pollutants on school grounds. In Massachusetts, more than 9,000 school buses and other vehicles transport nearly 750,000 children to school every day. Additionally, staff, faculty, students, visitors and delivery trucks add to the outdoor environmental pollutants emitted on school grounds.
The anti-idling law, signed in February prohibits the “prolonged idling of a motor vehicle engine on school property.” Less idling will reduce pollutants that trigger asthma attacks and impair lung function growth in children.
The DEP reports that 10 percent of Massachusetts residents have asthma, 2 percentage points higher than the national average. Asthma management requires a large investment of time for many school nurses.
The source for this information is the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA).
For some very basic tips,click here for a link to the Environmental Defense Fund's website.