No Idle, No Top Off

No-Idle ZoneWhy You Should Care
Better Health
  • Gasoline refueling is a large source of the benzene in Oregon’s air. Gasoline in the Northwest region has double the benzene content of gasoline sold in other parts of the country, and three times the amount allowed in California.
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies benzene as a Class A carcinogen and has concluded that Oregon’s cancer risk "is dominated by the emissions of benzene."
  • Studies show that breathing air contaminated with benzene inflicts genetic damage linked to childhood leukemia.
  • Air monitoring equipment in Eugene shows that average ambient benzene levels are 10 times the benchmark level believed to spur cancer in humans over a lifetime of exposure as established by National Air Toxics Assessment.

Cost Savings
  • It’s estimated that not idling city vehicles would save 20,000 gallons of fuel a year – that’s $40,000 at $2 per gallon.

Sustainable Practices
  • Changing our behaviors to not top off and not idle vehicles will create sustainable benefits for our organization and our community.

What You Can Do
Don't Top Off
Don't top off a city vehicle or equipment past the point that the fuel nozzle overflow safety system shuts down the fueling process. Each time a vehicle is topped off, the space at the top of the tank that contains harmful fumes is filled with fuel, and the fumes are pushed into the air. Those fumes contain benzene which has been linked to cancer and more specifically leukemia.

Don't Idle
Turn off your motor if you are waiting in a parking lot, driveway, talking with a coworker, etc., more than 20 seconds, provided manufacturers recommended shutdown idling periods are met such as in the case of diesel vehicles fitted with turbo chargers. Do not leave vehicle idling while unattended (unless operationally required to safely perform a job function). Do not exceed a period of more than one minute of engine warm-up (provided required airbrake pressure and other critical settings have been reached).

  • Public Safety vehicles while on an emergency scene as required to respond to the emergency or when required for training operations.
  • During freezing weather conditions or any other time when the health and safety of employees or others may be jeopardized (for example, when the driver’s visibility is impaired and no other method to eliminate the impairment is available.
  • Idling while stopped for an official traffic control device or for traffic conditions over which the driver has no control.
  • If the vehicle / equipment is not expected to restart due to a mechanical problem (Fleet Services must be notified as soon as possible).
  • For vehicle maintenance and diagnostic purposes (to be kept to an absolute required minimum).
  • If the engine is required to power auxiliary equipment (for example, hoists, lift platforms, hydraulic tools, inverters compactors medical equipment, specialized public safety radio communication and computer systems, etc.).
  • When the vehicle / equipment manufacturer requires additional idle time for warm up or cool down for proper mechanical or functional operation of the unit.
  • Additional requests for exceptions can be made the Fleet Board for consideration and recommendation to the Public Works Director.

It's Our Policy

The No Idling and No Top-off Policy is an official City of Eugene policy. Supervisors will ensure all employees adhere to this policy and shall address all non-compliance issues. View our official policy document.