Town of Norwich, Vermont

Town offices:

300 Main St.
(802) 649-1419


Idling Policy

Policy to Reduce Public Works Vehicle Idling and PollutionPolicy Pollution

In an effort to reduce pollution, fuel consumption and engine wear, the Department of Public Works has issued a new policy designed to control the amount of idling time of Public Works and contracted vehicles. The unnecessary idling of vehicles pollutes the air, contributes to noise pollution, wastes fuel and money, and causes excessive engine wear.

The policy reminds Public Works employees and contractors that under most circumstances, engines should only be on when vehicles are moving. Any warm-up idling should follow manufacturer recommendations, which is generally limited to no more than five minutes.

However, the policy lists five exceptions when vehicle idling may be necessary.

  • For turbo-diesel engine cool down or warm-up, in accordance with manufacturer specifications
  • If the outside temperature in between 32 degrees and minus 10 degrees, idling to operate heaters is allowed for 15 minutes. There is no time restriction if the temperature is below minus 10.
  • If for safety and health considerations it is necessary to operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners or other equipment
  • If necessary to verify a vehicle is in safe operating condition as part of the daily pre-trip vehicle inspection, or as otherwise required—such as to measure vehicle emissions.
  • If running the vehicle is necessary to perform a job function, such as the garbage truck at the Recycling Center, emergency lights at work zones, or running construction equipment. Employees are asked to use common sense and recognize when the vehicles should be turned off.

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