December 2004

New Jersey to Offer Electrification Bays at Truck Stops

Paulsboro, NJ— Highlighting the importance of reducing diesel idling, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced a diesel emission reduction project, the first of its kind in New Jersey. Under this DEP-led project, the Travel Centers of America truck stop in Paulsboro, Gloucester County has installed 98 truck electrification bays, providing truck drivers a cost-effective means to reduce harmful emissions from diesel idling.

“The introduction of electrification technology at the Paulsboro truck stop marks another step toward the protection of public health in New Jersey,” said Commissioner Campbell. “Particulate pollution causes more premature deaths than homicides or traffic fatalities among residents of our state. By offering truck drivers an affordable alternative to diesel idling, we can reduce the amount of harmful soot in the air that we breathe.”

The IdleAire electrification system enables truck drivers to enjoy amenities that are otherwise available only by continuously operating a vehicle’s engine and releasing harmful diesel fumes. Using a console that can be mounted on the cab’s passenger window, the system delivers heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to the truck cab and sleeper compartment. The console also provides power to the trailer refrigeration unit, appliances inside the cab and hookups for cable television, telephone, and internet service.

Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company agreed to provide $1 million toward the installation of the truck stop electrification technology as part of a 2003 settlement with DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Truck idling consumes about one billion gallons of fuel annually, costing almost $2 billion and emitting more than 11 million tons of pollution, which poses serious threats to air quality and human health,” said Jane M. Kenny, EPA regional administrator. “This innovative electrification project represents a very positive outcome to an enforcement action and will protect the air we breathe. EPA and the New Jersey DEP will continue to oversee these types of projects and will encourage their implementation throughout the State.”

Reducing idling saves money by conserving fuel and reducing the frequency of maintenance and replacement of trucks. Idling vehicles unnecessarily consume fuel and increase long-term engine maintenance costs. Idling is also an occupational hazard as it exposes drivers to dangerous levels of particulate matter and other toxins.

The Paulsboro travel center electrification project is part of DEP’s coordinated program to decrease diesel idling through education, enforcement and outreach. DEP aims to eliminate engine idling to help fulfill Governor McGreevey’s pledge to reduce harmful soot by 20 percent during the next decade.

DEP is urging school districts and school bus operators to voluntarily eliminate school bus idling while waiting to load and unload students. In addition, DEP recently conducted a compliance and enforcement sweep that targeted excessive idling of diesel-powered vehicles at locations including bus staging areas, convenience stores, truck yards and warehouse distribution centers. DEP will identify truck stops located throughout the state and develop strategies to reduce idling at each site.

As part of the Paulsboro truck stop electrification project, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and MetaComet Systems developed a web-based software application that will enable the DEP to quantify the potential benefits of the electrification of the Paulsboro truck stop.

Diesel exhaust ranks among the air pollutants that pose the greatest risk to public health. Diesel emissions are a likely carcinogen, and include fine particles, commonly called soot. Research has shown that fine particles are harmful because they bypass the body’s natural defense mechanisms and penetrate deep into the lungs. These pollutants are known to cause asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart disease and premature death.

“IdleAire is the only comprehensive electrification technology that provides immediate value to all our customers, while conserving fuel, improving drivers’ lifestyles and reducing emissions,” said Peter Greene, Travel Centers of America’s senior vice-president of Development and Franchising.

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