The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments officially launched its diesel idle-reduction campaign Tuesday, running throughout the summer.
The effort aims at decreasing diesel emissions and improving air quality in the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-Baltimore areas.

Several trucking associations and industry groups showed up in support of the initiative.

"Reducing discretionary diesel engine idling is a simple yet very effective means of reducing emissions and helping the region improve its air quality and meet its clean air goals," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, one of the sponsors of the campaign. "Simply put, the best way to reduce emissions is to turn an engine off.

"The Diesel Technology Forum intends to work both regionally and nationally to increase idle reduction awareness and promote the goals of this important campaign to enhance clean air and the environment. As a member of the EPA's SmartWay transportation program, we have been participants in the national anti-idling effort for several years."

The campaign hopes to increase idle-reduction awareness and control diesel emissions, while also promoting idle reduction as a positive behavior. The campaign will also focus on improving public health, protecting the environment, and enhancing the quality of life.

Other supporters include the American Trucking Associations, the Maryland Motor Truck Association, the National Association of Truckstop Operators, the National Private Truck Council, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the Virginia Trucking Association.

"In just the past 10 years, new clean diesel fuel and engine technologies have reduced emissions of fine particles and nitrogen oxide diesel emissions by 98 percent, which is a monumental accomplishment," said Schaeffer. "New technologies and cleaner fuel have made clean diesel a reality."