Workers driving Garfield County vehicles now must turn off their engines if they are stopped for more than 30 seconds. Photo via Garfield County.

Workers driving Garfield County vehicles now must turn off their engines if they are stopped for more than 30 seconds. Photo via Garfield County.

Garfield County in Colorado has a new vehicle idling policy that requires County fleet vehicle drivers to turn their engines off when they are stopped for more than 30 seconds.

"We want to serve as a role model to other government and industry fleets in the area," Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) chair John Martin said. The BOCC unanimously approved the policy on April 15.

"This policy is part of a larger effort to reduce all vehicle idling," said Morgan Hill, environmental health specialist with Garfield County Public Health (GCPH). "We're also in the process of placing reflective signs in the parking lots of all county buildings. The signs will suggest people turn their engines off when their vehicles aren't moving." GCPH is making the push for reduced idling because vehicle exhaust is linked to a number of poor health outcomes including asthma, lung damage, and cancer.

"If drivers take the simple step of turning engines off when parked, we can reduce vehicle emissions greatly," Hill added.

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