Idle-Free VT Successes & Collaborations

JANUARY 2016: Idle-Free VT worked with Black River High School/Middle School and the town of Ludlow, VT to resolve an issue where school buses were idling at the school pick up area in violation of Vermont's school bus idling rule.

 

AUGUST 2015: High Meadows Fund and the Vermont Community Foundation awarded Idle-Free VT an $18,500 grant for Vermont Idle-Free Schools. This allowed the project to continue giving idling awareness and eco-driving educational sessions in schools, coordinate idle-free campaigns, and seek to increase the number of schools with official no idling guidelines.

 

MAY 2015: Following final data collection of idling vehicles on school grounds by six schools participating in the Vermont Idle-Free Schools project, it had been determined that idling was reduced at the six schools combined by 32%. Over a 180 day school year, this would potentially result in avoiding consumption of 216 gallons of fuel and reduction of 4,300 pounds of CO2 emissions.

 

MAY 2015: The Idle-Free VT Vermont Idle-Free Schools project, working with Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union superintendent Jeanne Collins, helped adopt a restricted idling administrative procedure for its seven-member school districts.

 

MARCH 2015: Idle-Free VT provided support for appellants in an East Hardwick, VT residential community that won a judgment order from the State of Vermont Environmental Court against the owners/operators of heavy-duty trucks that idled daily for many years in their neighborhood.

 

OCTOBER 2014: Fox Brook Condominium of Colchester, VT owner reported that ongoing 18-wheeler truck idling by condominium complex along shoulders of Roosevelt Highway (Rt. 7) by exit 17 of I-89 has finally been cut by 90% after installation of no parking signs and ticketing of violators. This followed efforts of Idle-Free VT since January 2013 on behalf of complainant of working with Colchester Police Dept. and VTrans to mitigate the situation.

 

AUGUST 2014: High Meadows Fund awarded Idle-Free VT a $17,500 grant for Vermont Idle-Free Schools. The project will conduct 60 idling awareness educational sessions for 800 students, and seek to increase the number of schools with official no idling guidelines by 35.

 

MAY 2014: Vermont's prohibited idling of motor vehicles law became effective, a culmination of years of advocacy for a state idling law by Idle-Free VT and other organizations and individuals.

 

OCTOBER 2013: The Vermont Dept. of Health / CDC awarded a $7,500 grant to Idle-Free VT to implement School No Idling Policies, a project that seeks to increase the number of Vermont schools adopting the model policy in the school bus idling rule for vehicles other than school buses on schools grounds, from October - September 2014.

 

JULY 2013: Idle-Free VT was among five national idle-free efforts recognized by Sustainable America

 

JULY 2013: As suggested by Idle-Free VT, the DMV included green driving and idling reduction language in the Vermont driver's manual in the latest manual reprint.

 

JUNE 2013: The Vermont Dept. of Health awarded a $5,000 small grant to Idle-Free VT to implement Idle-Free for Fleet$, a project showing business and municipal fleet operators in Addison, Lamoille, Orange and Washington counties the benefits in idling reduction, from June - August 2013.

 

MAY 2013: When Gov. Shumlin signed legislation to prohibit the unnecessary idling of motor vehicles into law, it signified a culmination of long hard work (as one Idle-Free VT advisor put it, "policy change is like the slow, messy process of sausage making") by the American Lung Association and Idle-Free VT, along with other groups and individual idle-free advocates. Our educational efforts will continue, now with the backing of a law.

 

MAY 2013: Idle-Free VT shared in the success of FairPoint Communication's Anti-Idling Initiative (see July 2012) which received an Honorable Mention award at the 2013 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award event at UVM.

 

APRIL 2013: Idle-Free VT achieved IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

 

JULY 2012: FairPoint Communications partnered with the American Lung Association and Idle-Free VT to reduce the idling of their northern New England fleet. After presentations at company garages on the benefits of reducing idling, FairPoint saw its total idling time drop more than 42 percent from the first four months of 2011 as compared to same months this year. FairPoint operates 1,232 fleet trucks across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

 

FEBRUARY 2012: Worked with the Windsor Central Supervisory Union (WCSU) to deal with Butler Bus Company, their contractor, based on a complaint from citizen to Idle-Free VT of daily excessive idling (approximately 50 minutes each morning) of a school bus in Springfield. The citizen reported thereafter that excessive idling ended. Not only were toxic diesel fumes and noise entering into this person's home, but Vermont taxpayers were incurring up to $3,500 annually for the excessive idling of this one bus (based on a combination of fuel use at $4.00/gal diesel and engine wear, for 180 day school year).

 

DECEMBER 2011: Since 2010, 15 Chittenden and Rutland County business and municipal fleets have adopted formal idling reduction policies through the American Lung Association's Vermont Idle-Free Fleets, with Wayne Michaud as program coordinator. This is having a positive impact on up to 570 vehicles.

 

DECEMBER 2011: Three more 30 second idling awareness PSAs were voiced by Wayne Michaud for Radio Vermont WDEV, getting the message out to thousands of listeners in the Central Vermont region, thanks to an arrangement by David Polow of Polow, Polow, Mahoney, Hyde Park. In January, mp3 files of the PSAs were sent to 27 other radio stations in Vermont.

 

SEPTEMBER 2011: Idle-Free for Fleet$, an Idle-Free VT project, was launched with a speaking engagement at the Vermont Truck and Bus Association's annual convention at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, VT. Funding may be sought to implement this project statewide.

 

APRIL 2011: The American Lung Association in Vermont held their annual State of the Air press conference at Statehouse featuring 12 municipal and business fleets being awarded plaques for adopting idling reduction policies under the ALA Vermont Idle-Free Fleets program, coordinated by Wayne Michaud.

 

MARCH 2011: In a third collaboration with the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, 5,000 Idle-Free VT flyers were printed thanks to funding by the Sierra Club. 2,500 of the flyers were delivered to the DMV in Montpelier to be distributed at DMV office locations around the state, thanks to the help of Deputy Commissioner Howard Deal. Previous printings and distributions occurred in 2008 and 2009.

 

DECEMBER 2010: Notification by Wayne Michaud to the Dept. of Education of idling school buses at Hinesburg Community School, in non-compliance with the School Bus Idling Rule, led to the DOE issuing a statewide clarifying memo detailing the parameters of the rule.

 

NOVEMBER 2009: Wayne Michaud spoke at the Vermont Law School before the Vermont 4-H Youth Environmental Council (V4-HYEC) which chose as their area of study the issue of unnecessary vehicle idling. The V4-HYEC went on to make a presentation at the Statehouse, advocating for idling legislation.

 

NOVEMBER 2009: The Dept. of Energy newsletter, National Idling Reduction Network News, featured Idle-Free VT in a news item: "Idling Guidance 'Straight from the Horse's Mouth'" for the newly created Owner's Manuals webpage which shows actual owner's manual pages from various 2009 model vehicles recommending and in some cases warning that motorists limit idling to save fuel and avoid increased engine maintenance and possible engine damage.

 

AUGUST 2009: The American Lung Association in Vermont recognizes Wayne Michaud as their Air Quality Champion for his commitment to lung health.

 

AUGUST 2009: In the Burlington Free Press' new Green Mountain section of all things environmental/sustainable/localvore, Wayne Michaud and the Idle-Free VT Inc. campaign was featured in the story, "No Downtime for Anti-Idling Activist", written by Free Press Staff Writer Matt Sutkoski.

 

DECEMBER 2008: Idle-Free VT moderated a no idling workshop at the Community-Based Approaches to Energy and Climate Change conference at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Wayne Michaud was one of three panelists of the workshop titled, "Implementing a No Idling Campaign".

 

SEPTEMBER 2008: The Idle-Free VT campaign was a front page feature titled "No Time to Idle" in both the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus which are having an ongoing series on ways Vermonters can improve our environment. Staff writer Kevin O'Connor interviewed Wayne Michaud, Idle-Free VT director for the more than 1,700 word story.

 

MAY 2008: After being contacted by Wayne Michaud, under the Idle-Free VT pilot project, Business Idle-Free, Merchants Bank of Burlington, Vermont, placed notices in drive-thru windows of their more than 30 ATM locations, encouraging customers to shut off engines during their transaction. The notices include mention of Idle-Free VT as an information resource.

 

AUGUST 2007: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital installed three no idling signs after contact by the Idle-Free VT Business Idle-Free pilot project. The unique design of the signs were used with permission of Washington County-based Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU) which uses no idling signs at their drive-thru ATM locations.

 

JUNE 2007: As a result of a statewide press release about Vermont enacting a school bus idling law, Mke Eldred, Senior Staff Reporter for the Deerfield Valley News, a West Dover based weekly publication, interviewed Wayne Michaud and wrote a story about the just enacted law, along with some background on the Idle-Free VT campaign.

 

MAY 2007: Idle-Free VT pilot project Business Idle-Free launched. Hardcopy letters were mailed to more than 200 Vermont business fleets and stores that serve patrons that may tend to idle on the premises. Follow up calls and emails ensued into the fall in a collaborative partnership of three idle-free advocates.

 

FEBRUARY 2007: Idle-Free VT was part of the Vermont Statehouse lobbying effort that leads to passage and enactment of Vermont's school bus idling rule.

 

ONGOING: Vermont print media has published more than 25 submissions by Wayne Michaud on vehicle idling reduction.