New North Carolina Rule Limits Truck Idling

State Encourages Use of APUs

North Carolina enacted a new rule last week that places limits on unnecessary idling of heavy vehicles.

The new rule applies on-road vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds, and prohibits idling more than five consecutive minutes in a one-hour period, the state's Division of Air Quality said in a statement. It exempts idling for safety, health or economic reasons.

The state estimates the rule will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in North Carolina by as much as 1,300 tons per year. It will save vehicle operators up to 9 million gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 100,000 tons per year.

In announcing the rule, which took effect July 12, North Carolina officials urged truck owners to use auxiliary power units to reduce the need for idling.