HANOVER, MD – Delivering on the commitment of Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., to improve the environment, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is supporting an innovative program aimed at reducing emissions generated by large trucks. Traditionally, many truck operators leave their engines idling while they are stopped for required breaks. This allows them to run their heating or air conditioning and generate electrical power needed in the cab. Idling engines release pollution into the air, create noise heard by surrounding communities and waste fuel. Operators stopping at two Maryland truck stops now have another option as a result of a $3.1 million state grant to help install new devices that allow truck engines to be turned off during rest breaks.
“Everyone wins through the Ehrlich Administration’s support of this program,” said Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan. “Communities near these truck stops experience less air and noise pollution. Truck operators save fuel and get better rest during their breaks. Rested drivers are safer drivers when they head back on the road.”
The state grant, to be repaid over 15 years, is assisting IdleAire Technologies in its effort to install its IdleAire Service Modules at truck stops located in Baltimore City and Jessup in Howard County. For a reasonable fee to the operator, the service modules provide heating, cooling and electrical power to the truck cab through a simple adapter that fits into the side window. The modules also provide telephone and TV connections, Internet access and movies-on-demand. Between the two Baltimore area truck stops, a total of 192 parking spaces equipped with IdleAire are available for truck operators.
“The Maryland Department of the Environment applauds MDOT for working diligently to bring this technology to Maryland,” said Kendl P. Philbrick. “This is another progressive and exciting project that the State is implementing to provide the emissions reductions necessary to ensure that all Marylanders have clean air to breathe.”
A single idling diesel truck burns nearly one gallon of diesel fuel per hour. With the current cost of diesel fuel at an average of around $2.71 per gallon, extended idling quickly adds up for the driver. For a single truck, the EPA estimates that reducing extended idling could save more than $3,000 in fuel costs. In addition, less idling means less engine maintenance. Nationally, truck idling consumes more than 838 million gallons, or about 20 million barrels of fuel annually.
By allowing the engine to be turned off, IdleAire provides immediate improvements to air quality by eliminating emissions associated with extended diesel idling, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (C02). It is estimated that an idling truck will emit over 1,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and nearly 400 pounds of carbon monoxide each year. These pollutant reductions will help Maryland achieve its air quality goals and will have a positive effect on air quality at this truck stop and in the neighboring communities.
IdleAire Technologies is based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Additional information on the IdleAire system can be found online at:www.idleaire.com.