No Idle Policies

Carmel Clay Schools'  No Idle Policy

Posted August 2012

Kudos to Carmel Clay Schools!  Our students can now breathe easy! The new district-wide No Idle Policy enlists parents and visitors to Carmel Clay Schools to turn off their vehicle when parked.

New No Idling signs are posted along carpool lines.  Parents are encouraged to wait until the line begins to move before restarting their engines.  Please visit the CCS website for policy details.

Reducing tailpipe pollution will improve air quality and respiratory health around our schools.  This new policy is in line with the school indoor air quality rule passed in April 2011, and compliments the existing No Idle for buses.

When a car sits idle with its engine running, it pollutes the air. Children are among those most affected by such pollution. In fact, because  children breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight, they are particularly affected by the poor air quality that often exists near schools when cars line up to drop off and pick up children. Children end up breathing the exhaust from idling vehicles often for extended periods of time. Air pollution can also trigger an asthma attack, an increasingly common ailment afflicting children that reduces quality of life and results in missed school.

But clean air benefits more than just children with asthma. Stopping unnecessary vehicle idling is an easy way to contribute to improved air quality and respiratory health throughout our community.

Not only does reducing vehicle idling make good health-sense, it can also save dollars and cents, at $3/gallon, idling just 10 minutes per day costs up to $180.00 per year. So, remember the costs as well as the health impacts the next time you contemplate letting your car run for several minutes at the school car pool line.


Carmel Clay Schools considering No Idle Policy for carpool line

Posted November 2011

Our school district is on a roll. Carmel Clay Schools implemented co-mingled recycling districtwide, received the Carmel Chamber Green Award in 2010, and is now exploring the next green step. The District is looking at ways to improve air quality for students. A no idle policy is being considered as a way of reducing tailpipe pollution in carpool lines to protect children from exposure to harmful vehicle emissions at school. The carpool policy would be in addition to the school bus no idle policy which has been in place for several years.

A new school indoor air quality rule was passed in April 2011 and can be found at: This is a good incentive for schools to deal with idling vehicles on campus.

On vehicle idling, it states:
410 IAC 33-4-3 Vehicle idling
Authority: IC 16-19-3-5; IC 16-41-37.5
Affected: IC 16-41-37.5
Sec. 3. Schools shall adopt and enforce a written policy to address any idling vehicles on school grounds. This policy shall be modeled after the state department's manual of best practices for managing IAQ in schools. This policy shall be available for the state inspector's review. (Indiana State Department of Health; 410 IAC 33-4-3; filed Apr 13, 2011, 11:18 a.m.: 20110511-IR-410090682FRA)

Here's the low down on no idling:
1) A No Idle Policy for School Buses has been in place for several years at Carmel Clay Schools. Buses arriving at school to load or unload students remaining at school for more than 3 minutes are to turn off their engines.  These procedures save fuel costs and reduce tail pipe pollution near our students.  Read policy  on p20

2) Improving Kids Environment is a great resource. We connected with IKE several years ago when they came to our Green Schools Committee to tell us about their Smart Schools Don't Idle program. They have also given presentations to some of our school PTOs.  For more information, contact Executive Director, Jodi Perras at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

3) CGI created a brief educational piece based on IKE's presentation. It was written so it could easily be submitted to your school newsletter which is usually very tight on space: Rethink Idling Your are welcomed to use it, with attribution to Carmel Green Initiative and Improving Kids Environment.

4) Idle Free Zones for Car Pool Line at Carmel Clay Schools. The CCS School District is considering implementing this to comply with the new indoor ai quality rule -- nothing is final yet.  Some schools already have it, and the School Board is thinking about doing it district wide. Hooray!  Stay tuned.

5) Other Resource:

Many thanks to Jodi Perras and Improving Kids Environment. for being such a great educational resource with regard to No Idle Policies for our schools.


City's No Idle Policy

Posted August 2008

On August 19, 2008, Hamilton County was added to the EPA’s list of counties in Indiana that failed to meet federal air-pollution standards. Mayor Brainard responds with an executive order to reduce city vehicle emissions and save energy.

Mayor Brainard’s No Idle Policy for all city vehicles will reduce our community’s impact on the environment as well as save city tax dollars.

The new policy will benefit public health through better air quality and improve the quality of life in Carmel. In addition, it will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our carbon footprint.

Carmel Green Initiative supports Mayor's "No Idle Policy" pdf

City of Carmel Media Advisory
Mayor Brainard Announces Management Policy to Help Air Quality

Carmel to ban idling of city vehicles
"When word reached Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard that Hamilton County is violating new clean air standards, he decided it was a good time to implement his newest plan to curb pollution..."

EPA: 19 counties don't meet new soot rule
"Federal officials intend to declare 19 Indiana counties - 14 more than the state had suggested - in violation of a new standard for tiny soot particles that can cause respiratory distress in children and the elderly....The 19 Indiana counties listed by the EPA are: Clark, Dearborn, Dubois, Floyd, Gibson, Hamilton, Hendricks, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Marion, Morgan, Pike, Porter, Spencer, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Warrick."

EPA issues list of Midwest counties it plans to name as not meeting new, health-based soot standard
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today issued a list of 76 counties that it plans to name as not meeting the new, health-based 24-hour outdoor air quality standard for fine particles (soot).... The new standard is designed to protect the public from exposure to these tiny particles ....

EPA Transportation and Air Quality

California Energy Commission, Consumer Energy Center
For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile.