Department of Public Works, 680 Peverly Hill Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03801 Phone: (603) 427-1530, Fax: (603) 427-1539 | Contact Us |

Policy to Reduce City Vehicle Idling and Pollution

PORTSMOUTH - In an effort to reduce pollution, fuel consumption and engine wear, the Department of Public Works has issued a new policy designed to control the amount of idling time of City-owned and contracted vehicles.

The policy reminds City employees and contractors that under most circumstances, engines should only be on when vehicles are moving. Any warm-up idling should follow manufacturer recommendations, which is generally limited to no more than five minutes.

However, the policy lists five exceptions when vehicle idling may be necessary:
  • For turbo-diesel engine cool down or warm-up, in accordance with manufacturer specifications;
  • If the outside temperature is between 32 degrees and minus-10 degrees, idling to operate heaters is allowed for 15 minutes. There is no time restriction if the temperature is below minus-10;
  • If for safety and health considerations it is necessary to operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners or other equipment;
  • If necessary to verify a vehicle is in safe operating condition as part of the daily pre-trip vehicle inspection, or as otherwise required -- such as to measure vehicle emissions; and
  • If running the vehicle is necessary to perform a job function, such as the garbage truck at the Recycling Center, emergency lights at work zones, or running construction equipment. Employees are asked to use common sense and recognize when the vehicles should be turned off.


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