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State lawmakers target Salt Lake City's anti-idling law

Published: Friday, Feb. 24 2012 6:20 p.m. MST

Emerson Elementary students encourage parents to turn off their cars while they wait to pick up their children from school on Friday, October 28, 2011. Emerson Elementary has been running a no-idling campaign among its students and parents for a few years. The Utah House approved a bill Friday that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that target idling vehicles.

Laura Seitz, Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House approved a bill Friday that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that target idling vehicles.

HB104 aims to trump a new Salt Lake City law that makes it illegal to leave a car idling for more than two minutes. The House bill now moves to the Senate.

"We give authority to local entities and at certain times we take that back when we find it's inconsistent with state policy," said bill sponsor Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan.

Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake, opposed the measure, saying the Legislature shouldn't be micromanaging cities.

The Salt Lake City Council approved its ordinance in October making idling of vehicles engines a crime punishable by a fine of between $50 and $210, depending on the number of offenses and how quickly fines are paid. City leaders said the goal is to improve air quality in Salt Lake Valley, where more than 50 percent of air pollution comes from vehicle exhaust.

Dennis Romboy

Twitter: dennisromboy

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