Put a CAP on
Harmful Vehicle Emissions:
Freeport Clean Air Project (CAP)
What are the
can improve the health of your community as well as its air quality by reducing
how much you idle your vehicle.
Idling a medium-duty gasoline vehicle for
five minutes each day can emit as much
as 30 pounds of harmful pollutants and 300 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.
Freeport households have over 7800 registered
vehicles which together could produce up to 2.6 million pounds of toxics and
carbon dioxide every year if all of the vehicles were idled five minutes a day.
Vehicle emissions are the largest contributor
to outdoor air pollution.
emissions of air toxics account for half of all cancers attributed to outdoor
sources of air toxics.
contribute more than 50% of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in Maine.
NOx in the presence of
sunlight and high temperatures reacts with volatile organic compounds to
for harmful ground-level ozone (smog).
general, children are more sensitive to air pollution because they breathe 50%
more air per pound of bodyweight than adults.
In Maine, 9.3% of children
currently suffer from asthma, the highest rate in New England according to a
2004 study report. Vehicle emissions can trigger asthma attacks and other
What are the
benefits of taking action to reduce idling?
- By turning off your vehicle's engine when parked, you and others around you,
especially children and people with respiratory problems ó won't have to
breathe unhealthy exhaust fumes from a vehicle that is going nowhere. Fumes
can trigger asthma attacks and cause respiratory illnesses. Exposure to most
auto pollutants is higher inside the vehicle than outside the vehicle. Toxic
fumes from idling vehicles that are drawn into buildings through the ventilation
system cause indoor air pollution.
- Over 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
Idling a medium-duty vehicle for even 5 minutes a day wastes more than 13
gallons of gas a year. Just by turning your key you can save money.
Reduce Wear and Tear on
Your Vehicle's Engine
- Excessive idling can damage engine components, including your vehicle's
cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust system. Only 30 seconds of warm-up time
is needed on cold winter days before driving away. Once the vehicle is running,
the best way to warm it up is to drive it. Many components, including wheel
bearings, tires and suspension systems only warm up when a vehicle is moving.
Protect Our Climate and
Air -An idling
vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling 32 miles per hour.
By turning off your engine, you can help stop global warming, acid rain, and
IT ALL ADDS UP TO
Anne D. Burt, Maine Council
of Churches •772-1918/882-6848 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Saxe, Sierra Club,
Maine Chapter • 865-3648 •
Resources for this facts sheet: US Environmental Protection
Agency, Natural Resources Canada, 2004 Report of the New England Asthma Regional
Council, INFO ME.