Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.14
Liaison Jessa Gagne
Submission Date April 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stonehill College
OP-2: Outdoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Jessa Gagne
Energy Manager
Operations & Finance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and/or guidelines in place to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources?:

A brief description of the policies and/or guidelines to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources:

The College implemented the Vehicle Idling Policy below in 2014.

Vehicle Idling Policy

Stonehill College has undertaken a number of efforts to reduce air pollution on campus. Among them, we are attempting to reduce idling time of commercial vehicles on our grounds. We ask that you adhere to the following practice when performing services at the College.
Vehicle engine emissions are increasingly connected to a wide variety of health illnesses, the release of pollutants in the atmosphere, and climate change. Turning off a vehicle is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce noise, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect health, and extend engine life.
Stonehill College is committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors on our campus. This policy is intended to improve the health and safety of all individuals in or around the college and reduce risks associated with exposure to exhaust fumes and to help minimize air pollution and maximize fuel efficiency.
Please limit vehicle idling time on campus grounds to no more than three minutes. Drivers of buses and commercial vehicles are asked to turn off engines upon arrival and restart them near departure time or at a time recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. We recognize the need for operation of heating and cooling and auxiliary equipment, but ask that idling for these purposes be minimized.
Our Campus Police personnel will be reminding drivers of our desired practices. We ask for your cooperation in our efforts and ask that you share our goals to reduce pollutants in the air on our campus. If you have further questions, please refer them to the College’s Environmental Stewardship Council (jgagne@stonehill.edu).

This policy applies to the operation of all college-owned vehicles, Stonehill College employees, students, external contractors, vendors, and others who deliver supplies or convey passengers to and from campus facilities.

Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to tailpipe emission from vehicle exhaust, even at low levels, is a serious health hazard and can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Diesel exhaust from idling engines can accumulate in and around the emission source and pose an exposure risk to the students, staff, driver, operator and the community at large.
Carbon dioxide is an environmental pollutant and greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to climate change. Every gallon of gasoline burned, for both driving and idling, releases twenty pounds of carbon dioxide, which makes the transportation sector responsible for about a quarter of overall United States carbon dioxide emissions.
Additionally, Massachusetts’ idling law stipulates that no vehicles (with explicit exceptions) may idle more than five minutes. Stonehill College’s idling policy ensures compliance with this law.
Excerpt from Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 90, Section 16A:
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes. This section shall not apply to (a) vehicles being serviced, provided that operation of the engine is essential to the proper repair thereof, or (b) vehicles engaged in the delivery or acceptance of goods, wares, or merchandise for which engine assisted power is necessary and substitute alternate means cannot be made available, or (c) vehicles engaged in an operation for which the engine power is necessary for an associate power need other than movement and substitute alternate power means cannot be made available provided that such operation does not cause or contribute to a condition of air pollution. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the first offense, nor more than five hundred dollars for each succeeding offense.

Vehicle Idling Wastes Money & Natural Resources
• Thirty seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.
• An idling car is the most inefficient car on the road -- it gets zero miles per gallon.
• Idling a vehicle ten minutes a day uses more than twenty-five gallons of gasoline a year.
Damages our Vehicles
Modern engines only need thirty seconds or less of idle at startup. Your vehicle is made up of many moving parts, thus the best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. Contrary to popular belief, idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The notion that idling is good is passé – in fact it hasn’t been the right thing to do since the advent of electronically controlled engines. The truth is that excessive idling can actually damage your engine
Affects the Environment
• Keep in mind that every gallon of gas you use produces about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
• An idling engine produces twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion.
Harms our Health
Three major pollutants are emitted by automobiles—hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide, which pose dire risks to human health. When hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide mix in sunlight and high temperatures, ground-level ozone is created. This leads to coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation, and can result in chronic lung problems. Carbon monoxide decreases levels of oxygen in the bloodstream and affects mental and visual functions.
Children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution because they breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight.
Many people believe that they are protected from air pollution if they remain inside their vehicles. Not so according to a report by the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA). CTA found that exposure to most auto pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO), is much higher inside vehicles than at the road side. VOCs and CO are linked to serious health problems--like respiratory infections and cancer--are known to shorten life. The highest exposure occurs when sitting in traffic congestion on highways or in a line-up of idling vehicles at a school or drive-through.

Policy Implementation
Beginning immediately:
1. No vehicles shall idle on College grounds more than three minutes, except as noted under “Exceptions”
2. All drivers of college owned vehicles shall receive a copy of this policy from their manager at the beginning of every fall semester.
3. This policy shall be posted in the Facilities Management, Campus Police, Mail Room, and Dining Services break rooms.
4. Purchasing shall attach this policy to contracts that require vehicles to access the Stonehill College campus.
5. This policy shall be posted on http://www.stonehill.edu/green.
Adhering to these limits will improve surrounding air quality, protect the health of drivers, students and others, conserve fuel (save money) and decrease engine wear.
Guidelines to Reduce Exposure to College Bus Exhaust Emissions
1. When bus drivers arrive at loading or unloading areas to drop off or pick up passengers, they should turn off their buses as soon as possible to eliminate idling time and reduce harmful emissions. The bus should not be restarted until it is ready to depart and there is a clear path to exit the pick-up area.
2. Limit the idling time of buses during early morning warm-up to what is recommended by the manufacturer (generally three to five minutes) in all but the coldest of weather.
3. Signs should be prominently posted on college grounds to remind all (car, bus, truck) drivers of the college idling policy.
4. Visitors to campus, including buses and contractor/vendor vehicles, are subject to the same policy as employees and students and will be asked to comply.
5. Vehicles should not be left running while unattended. The operator of the vehicle/equipment should turn off the unit and remove the keys from the ignition.
Conflict Resolution
Employees, students, visitors, vendors and contractors are expected to honor the anti-idling policy while on campus by shutting off their engines upon arrival. Individual complaints or concerns regarding violation of this policy should be directed to Campus Police. Facilities Management is also responsible for supervising its staff and reporting those in violation of this policy.

Enforcement of Policy
All persons share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. Any person violating this policy may be fined and will be subject to the similar disciplinary actions that accompany other infractions of college policies.
The following instances are the only times a vehicle on Stonehill College’s campus may be allowed to idle. They include:
• It is forced to remain motionless because of traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties.
• It is necessary to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment to ensure the health or safety of its occupants, ten minute maximum idle time limit when ambient temperature is below 32°F.
• It is necessary to operate auxiliary equipment located in or on the vehicle (i.e. hoist, lift, safety lighting and internal equipment).
• It is necessary to bring the vehicle to the manufacturer's recommended operating temperature.


Responsible Department
Campus Police and Facilities Management

Date Adopted

Has the institution completed an inventory of significant air emissions from stationary sources on campus?:

A brief description of the methodology(ies) the institution used to complete its air emissions inventory:

Weight of the following categories of air emissions from stationary sources::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) ---
Sulfur oxides (SOx) ---
Carbon monoxide (CO) ---
Particulate matter (PM) ---
Ozone (O3) ---
Lead (Pb) ---
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) ---
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) ---
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations ---

A brief description of the institution’s initiatives to minimize air pollutant emissions from stationary sources, including efforts made during the previous three years:

Several buildings have had their heating systems changed from oil-fired cast iron boilers that were 20-40 years to to gas-fired high efficiency condensing boilers. Direct digital controls have been added to most of the major hot water systems on campus in order to run them at peak efficiency and monitor their performance.

The website URL where information about the institution’s outdoor air quality policies, guidelines or inventory is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.