Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

County no-idle policy looks to save fuel, money

BROOKSVILLE — Soaring prices for diesel fuel have prompted Hernando County officials to consider a new policy on when workers can allow their county vehicles to idle.

"When gas was cheap, we would not think twice about leaving the engine on and letting the air conditioning run,'' county fleet manager Jack Stepongzi said Monday. "This would bring it to mind and make you think about it when you do it.''

County commissioners will discuss the "no-idle policy" during today's regular meeting.

While Stepongzi said idling trucks and cars have not been identified as a major problem, employees need to think about what it costs when they run the vehicles needlessly.

"Less idling means less wasted fuel,'' he wrote in his memo to the county administrator. "A six-cylinder diesel vehicle that idles for one half hour a day wastes more than $1,600 worth of fuel over the course of a year.''

For a lightweight vehicle with a six-cylinder gasoline engine, the cost is about $800 a year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The proposed policy would suggest that a vehicle should be shut off as soon as county employees get to a job site and should not be restarted until everyone traveling in the vehicle is inside and ready to go. Early morning warmup of vehicles would be limited to no more than three minutes in warm weather and no more than five minutes in cold weather.

Engines on all delivery vehicles should be shut off during a delivery.

Exemptions would be granted if conditions would compromise passenger safety or work requirements. Vehicles can idle in traffic or if extreme weather threatens the health of employees or if a vehicle needs to be running to operate affiliated equipment such as with a bucket truck.

Each department will be charged with the responsibility of policing the policy if enacted.

Just last month, Florida's Environmental Regulation Commission enacted a rule limiting idling by heavy-duty diesel engines for vehicles that weigh 8,500 pounds or more to no more than five minutes except under specified conditions.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

County no-idle policy looks to save fuel, money 06/30/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 7, 2008 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Looking Back: St. Petersburg does the Calypso with Jacques Cousteau (July 15, 1975)

    Celebrities

    This story appeared in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times on July 15, 1975. What follows is the text of the original story, interspersed with photos of the event taken by Times staff photographer Weaver Tripp.

    Jacques Cousteau (center), Sen. John T. Ware, R-St. Petersburg (left) and an unidentified man (right) speak to the media about potentially moving the Cousteau Society to the city of St. Petersburg.

TIMES | Weaver Tripp
  2. Hernando commissioners question sheriff's accounting of federal inmate dollars

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — As Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis and his staff presented his proposed 2017-18 budget earlier this month, county Commissioner Steve Champion threw out an unexpected question.

    Sheriff Al Nienhuis and the county fought over his department’s budget last year.
  3. Unused county property in Pasco could soon sprout community gardens

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Unused property in Pasco County may soon sprout community gardens that beautify neighborhoods and promote healthier lifestyles among residents, thanks to an ordinance passed unanimously Tuesday by the County Commission.

    A new Pasco ordinance allows the public to build community gardens and farms on county-owned property and also provides design, operations and maintenance standards for them.
  4. Treasure Island city manager search to start from scratch

    Local Government

    TREASURE ISLAND — City commissioners, disappointed with the number and quality of applicants for city manager, decided Tuesday to start over and hire an executive search firm.

    Treasure Island Commissioner Ken Keys thought adding former Madeira Beach city manager Shane Crawford to the pool would "bring a little too much drama.''
  5. Family escapes fire that destroys New Tampa home

    Fire

    A family is safe after an overnight fire destroyed a single-story home in New Tampa on Thursday, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

    An overnight house fire destroyed a home at 10265 Estuary Dr in New Tampa on Thursday. The family's smoke detectors helped everyone get out of the house safely, fire officials said. [Tampa Fire Rescue]