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City; County Anti-Idling Education Campaign Begins

Anti-Idling.JPG
Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg speaks about the city's campaign Tuesday morning

The city’s anti-idling ordinance will take effect in January. This week the city and an eastside auto parts business will begin a campaign to educate residents on who the ordinance effects and how to help the city’s air-quality. It’s one of the first steps the city and county are taking to stay within EPA air regulations.

 

 

Large vehicles weighing 14,000 lbs or more will no longer be able to idle for more than five minutes starting next year without facing a $500 fine.

 

In the coming months, the San Antonio area is expected to reach non-attainment status on ozone pollution. “This is a voluntary move that the city and the county have made,” said District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg. “Once we’ve reached non-attainment, the federal government will begin to mandate action here at the local level.”

 

Echoing that sentiment, District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez says non-attainment could lead to costlier city projects. “There will be more things that we’ll have to do to be able to prove to the federal government that what we’re doing is in the best interest of the environment. That’s going to cost us money and time.”

 

Not all vehicles are affected. It’s mostly large trucks like 18-wheelers. But it can be confusing. For instance, tour buses can idle up to 30 minutes instead of five so they can run their air-conditioning. It also doesn’t apply to vehicles waiting in traffic jams.

 

The city is working with AMPARTS, a company that sells parts to large trucks, to spread information through flyers. AMPARTS manager Dane Huges says the ordinance is good for the environment. “This day and age we have more trucks on the road than ever before. I think it’s more important that everyone comes together and works together and not look at it as a bad thing. Look at it as a good thing.”

 

San Antonio is one of the last major cities in the country still in compliance with air regulations.