N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
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Planning and Attainment >> Locomotive Idling Reduction Program

The purpose of the North Carolina Idling Locomotives Emissions Reduction Voluntary Program is to achieve actual emissions reductions from idling switchyard locomotives in North Carolina by installing idling reduction technologies. These technologies will assist the State in maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, but most importantly, they will protect the health of switchyard employees and the people that live and/or work near switchyards.
In 2005, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality decided to begin a voluntary partnership program with the railway industry to reduce the emissions of idling switchyard locomotives in the State. To accomplish our purpose, the voluntary program:
  • Will implement switchyard locomotives idling reduction projects in the State of North Carolina with the collaboration of the State and Federal Government, the Railway Industry and all other interested parties.
  • Will leverage funds from a variety of sources that include, but are not limited to, the NC Mobile Source Emissions Reductions Grants.
  • Will pursue measurable emissions reductions.
  • Will increase public awareness of the NC railways participation in the Voluntary Partnership through regional events, articles, and awards.
Why is locomotive idling a problem?
Locomotive idling is a problem because it generates unnecessary noise and emissions of pollutants such as Particulate Matter (PM) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). EPA has estimated that long-duration locomotive switcher idling emits 12,000 tons of NOx and 500 tons of PM annually. In addition, idling increases the overall transportation costs of the railway industry by increasing the company's fuel, oil consumption and engine overhauls.
Project Guidelines
  1. Idling reduction projects must utilize recognized idling reduction technologies. An idle reduction technology consists of the use of an alternative energy source in lieu of using the main locomotive engine or a device designed to reduce long duration idling (EPA's definition).
  2. Emissions reductions must be demonstrated.
Contact Information
For more information about this voluntary program, please contact:
Bob Wooten
Division of Air Quality
Planning Branch
1641 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1641
Tele:/Fax: (919) 707-8704
Additional Information
Reducing Idling Locomotives Emissions [PPT]
Suggested Idling Reduction Technologies
NC Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants
EPA Smart Way Program

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Last Modified: Fri October 21 16:53:25 2011
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