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Idling Ban Proposed To Stop Pollution

Today is the 9th air quality alert day of the summer in Central Ohio and an environmental group thinks it has a solution to improve air quality. The group wants the Columbus City Council to ban engine idling to decrease air pollution and improve the environment.

Hot summer days increase ozone pollution and make it dangerous for some people to breathe outside. 5 year old Callan Nagel suffers with asthma and carries an inhaler to help him breathe.

"When you have asthma every time when you're on a school bus your tummy gets upset for about like a week,"said Callan.

Callan and his mother support the efforts by the Ohio Environmental Council. The council wants to pass a fuel conservation ordinance that would ban unnecessary idling of vehicles. David Celebrezze of the Environmental Council says air should also be held to a cleaner standard.

"Every day we breathe about 2,000 gallons of air. Now, if that was water and that water was contaminated or if that water had some type of pollutant in it some known carcinogens, they would have it roped off probably like one of the lakes that has some algae in it, telling people don't go in there," exclaimed Celebrezze.

According to Celebrezze if every car registered in Franklin County reduced its idling by 5 minutes each day for a year, it would save 21 million gallons of fuel. That's about $48 million in fuel costs. Celebrezze says the idling ban would be aminor misdemeanor with a fine of up to $150. But he says enforcement would be difficult.

"Certainly we do not want the police going around spending their time trying to find people idling. But we would like the city to put up signs to educate people about it," said Celebrezze.

Celebrezze adds drivers can turn off their engines while waiting at any drive through window or waiting for someone to pick up an item at a store. Some drivers already understand. In downtown Columbus outside of the Ohio Theatre none of the waiting trucks were idling.