The New York City Administrative Code, Title 24, Section 24-163 establishes that no person should allow the engine of a motor vehicle to idle for longer than three minutes while parking, standing, or stopping. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. The exceptions apply to the following:

  1. Legally authorized emergency motor vehicles, and
  2. Vehicles whose engine is used to operate a loading, unloading or processing device.

In addition, the legal idling time is reduced from three minutes to one minute around public and private school facilities as set forth in the Local Law of the City of New York

Businesses in the construction industry, and commercial, cultural, and manufacturing establishments that own, rent, and/or use motor vehicles should become familiar with the Idling Regulations. Failure to comply with Idling Regulations might result in significant financial penalties, as set forth in the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY) Title 15, Air Code Penalty Schedule.

On February 27, 2020 Mayor De Blasio joined forces with singer Billy Idol on a new campaign to enforce existing New York City anti-idling laws which includes rewarding people who report infractions. The new campaign aims to prevent trucks and buses from idling by getting New Yorkers to file complaints with environmental authorities. The Citizens Air Complaint Program requires participants to capture several minutes of cellphone footage of the idling commercial vehicle in question and send it to the Department of Environmental Protection using the on-line Idling Complaint System. Local Law 058 of 2018 details the award amount for submitting this type of complaint. If the information leads to a fine, the complainant is eligible to receive 25% of the collected fines.

With the potential of significant financial penalties and the impact on air quality, it is paramount that companies and business educate their employees on current anti-idling regulations. For more information, contact Walden Environmental Engineering.