Newark launches anti-idling campaign
January 30, 2014, NEWARK: There was quite a crowd of students, a few teachers, DNREC employees, environmentalist and media representatives at this morning's campaign kickoff of the City of Newark's anti-idling campaign. Though quite overcast it was unseasonably warm even for a post-climate changed January, the perfect temperature for the outdoor event being held in the parking lot of Newark High School.
After being welcomed by Newark High Principal, the Christina School District Superintendent introduced DNREC Secretary O'Mara. Secretary O'Mara talked about new trails for people to walk and bike to around Newark. These, of course, don't cause any air pollution at all!
He also mentioned how inspirational it is for so many students to be getting involved and caring about the future of the environment. Though Delaware has reduced carbon emissions and air pollutions in recent years through improving fuel efficiency, retrofitting buildings, and increased biking, we haven't done enough. While he pointed out that lots of Delaware's air pollution blows in from other states, about 50% of the in-state air pollution comes from transportation.
Our EPA Region 3 Administrator, Shawn Garvin, a native of Newark, DE talked about both the health and economic savings of not idling.
He then gave the floor to Newark Mayor, Vance Funk. Mayor Funk said that it's important for students and other Newark residents to "have the courage to call the police" when they see someone idling.
These points were reinforced by Deborah Brown of the American Lung Association who also elaborated on the tangible positive health impacts of less idling. Engines, she said, release particulates which are especially dangerous for people who are very young, old or have a preexisting heart or lung condition. She had very specific numbers about asthma attacks, emergency room visits and premature deaths that could be avoided by reducing this type of air pollution.
The event was rounded off by the ceremonial placing of the very first of many new "No Idling" signs being placed in the Newark High parking lot.
Overall the event was well attended and it seemed that the message about the consequences of engine idling and need to reduce air pollution really got through to people.