By avoiding vehicle idling for three minutes every day of the year can reduce 1.4 million metric tons annually, which is equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year (Canada.ca, 2016). The Automobile Idle Reduction Program (AIRP) is an outreach initiative to prevent carbon emissions from being released into the air by automobiles idling in Maricopa County. The initiative establishes a campaign to promote behavioral changes that target high idling industries: freight and delivery, schools and drive- thru facilities.
Globally, carbon emissions negatively alter the air we breathe and is a leading cause in climate change. These problems adversely affect the global environment and human health. Additionally, they have cancer causing agents in the particulate matter. Unfortunately, over the years, Maricopa County has failed to meet air quality standards for particulate matter pollution which effects the health of residents. By not meeting the air quality standards, Maricopa County can receive sanctions and the Environmental Protection Agency can reject Arizona’s State Implementation Plan. This looming threat can financially impinge the economy of Maricopa County, potentially costing taxpayers a substantial increase in taxes.
Strategy and Solution
To battle the creation of carbon emissions and particulate matter, AIRP has developed a strategy for each industry. In partnership with the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, AIRP will introduce the freight and delivery companies to the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Grant promotion to facilitate and fiscally assist with changing older diesel engines into higher efficiency engines that burn cleaner. Provide educators a fifth to eighth grade state approved education program to teach students the importance of vehicle idling reduction at no cost. And work with community organizations to offer a discount at their stores for those patrons who choose to turn their engine off and order inside, rather than idling in the drive-thru facilities. The campaign will market the interest of AIRP to the general public through purposefully placed billboards, light rail wraps, social media pushes, handouts and vinyl stickers.