Pennsylvania’s Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act

Limiting unnecessary idling of diesel vehicles is important since diesel pollution creates serious public health hazards.  In 2009 GASP, the American Lung Association, and Clean Air Council, with funding and support provided by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, launched IdleFreePA, a state-wide campaign to educate drivers of diesel vehicles and the general public about PA’s Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act, or Act 124 (see Title 35 P.S., Chapter 23B after clicking the link).

What is the idling requirement?
No idling for more than five minutes in any continuous 60-minute period.

Who must comply?
The owners and drivers of any diesel-powered motor vehicle with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more engaged in commerce. Owners and operators of locations where subject vehicles load, unload, or park are also responsible for compliance with the law.

Are there any exemptions?
Yes.  Certain vehicles, such as those used in husbandry or farming, are exempt from Act 124.  Buses can idle for up to 15 minutes during a 60-minute period when passengers are aboard.  Any vehicle can idle for mechanical, traffic, maintenance, vehicle equipment inspection, emergency, utility service functions, and security reasons, among others.

Who enforces the law?
DEP and state and local law enforcement officers are authorized to enforce Act 124 requirements. Local law authorities can issue non-traffic summary citations for violations.

For more information about the law and to download outreach materials, visit IdleFreePA.