Health and Safety

Air Pollution

SECTION 23-23-29.1

§ 23-23-29.1. Findings of fact.

The general assembly hereby finds as follows:

(1) Motor vehicle exhaust is the largest source of air pollution in Rhode Island, and idling vehicles emit higher concentrations of harmful pollutants than moving vehicles;

(2) Vehicle exhaust is hazardous to human health. Studies have linked pollution from vehicles to increased rates of cancer, lung and heart disease, asthma and allergies, urban smog and climate change;

(3) Fine particulate matter in diesel exhaust is particularly harmful to children and seniors. Tiny particles can lodge deep within human lungs, where they can trigger asthma attacks and stunt lung growth in children, and contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and heart attacks in seniors;

(4) Asthma is reaching epidemic proportions in Rhode Island. More than one hundred thousand (100,000) people in Rhode Island have been diagnosed with asthma, including one out of every ten (10) children. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and responsible for the most school absences in Rhode Island;

(5) Vehicle idling waste money. On average, an idling truck burns one gallon of fuel per hour. A locomotive or other heavy duty engine may burn anywhere from three (3) to eleven (11) gallons per hour;

(6) Excessive idling creates the need for more frequent oil and oil filter changes, and speeds engine wear, reducing the amount of time before an engine needs to be rebuilt;

(7) Even on the coldest winter days, modern engines need no more than five (5) minutes to warm up; and

(8) To date, other states including Connecticut and Massachusetts have passed laws that limit the amount of time vehicles are permitted to idle.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 557, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 67.)