Idle Reduction Laws and Incentives in Federal

The list below contains summaries of all Federal laws and incentives related to idle reduction.


Clean Cities and Communities

The mission of Clean Cities and Communities is to foster the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. Nearly 100 volunteer coalitions carry out this mission by developing public/private partnerships to promote alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy, improvements, and emerging transportation technologies. Clean Cities and Communities provides information about funding opportunities, coordinates technical assistance projects, updates and maintains databases and websites, and publishes technical and informational materials. For more information, see the Clean Cities and Communities website.

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the DERA Program to reduce pollution emitted from diesel engines through the implementation of varied control strategies and the involvement of national, state, local, and tribal partners. DERA includes programs for existing diesel fleets, regulations for clean diesel engines and fuels, and regional collaborations and partnerships. For information on available grants and funding opportunities, see the DERA Funding website.

Point of Contact
DERA Helpline
Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (877) 623-2322

SmartWay Transport Partnership

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-based public-private collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the domestic freight industry. This partnership is designed to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and operational practices which increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from goods movement. EPA provides partners with performance benchmarking tools, fleet management best practices, technology verification, public recognition and awards, and use of the SmartWay Transport Partner logo to demonstrate their leadership to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. The SmartWay Transport Partnership is working with partners to test and verify advanced technologies and operational practices that save fuel and reduce emissions. Grants are available to states, non-profits, and academic institutions to demonstrate innovative idle reduction technologies for the trucking industry. For more information, see the SmartWay Transport Partnership website.

Point of Contact
SmartWay Transport Partnership
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4767


Clean School Bus

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus program provides funding to eligible applicants for the replacement of existing school buses with clean, alternative fuel school buses or zero emission school buses. EPA may award up to 100% of the cost of the replacement bus, charging equipment, or fueling infrastructure. Alternative fuels include electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, or propane. Eligible applicants are school districts, state and local government programs, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and eligible contractors. EPA will prioritize funding for high-need local education agencies; low income, rural and tribal schools; and, applications that cost share through public-private partnerships, grants from other entities, or school bonds. For more information, including funding availability, timeline, and application materials, see the EPA Clean School Bus website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 42 U.S. Code 16091)

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program

The CMAQ Program provides funding to state departments of transportation (DOTs), local governments, and transit agencies for projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act by reducing mobile source emissions and regional congestion on transportation networks. Eligible activities include transit improvements, travel demand management strategies, congestion relief efforts (such as high occupancy vehicle lanes), diesel retrofit projects, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, and medium- or heavy-duty zero emission vehicles and related charging equipment. Projects supported with CMAQ funds must demonstrate emissions reductions, be located in or benefit a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-designated nonattainment or maintenance area, and be a transportation project. For more information, see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law CMAQ fact sheet and CMAQ Improvement Program website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58, Public Law 112-141, and 23 U.S. Code 149 and 151)

Idle Reduction Equipment Excise Tax Exemption

Qualified on-board idle reduction devices and advanced insulation are exempt from the federal excise tax imposed on the retail sale of heavy-duty highway trucks and trailers. The exemption also applies to the installation of qualified equipment on vehicles after the vehicles have been placed into service. For a list of eligible products and additional information about product exemption eligibility criteria, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SmartWay Technology Program Federal Excise Tax Exemption website. The exemption applies to equipment that EPA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation, identified as reducing the idling of the tractor at a motor vehicle rest stop or other location where such vehicles are temporarily parked or remain stationary. Only equipment sold on or after October 4, 2008, is eligible. For more information, see IRS Publication 510 and the instructions for IRS Form 720, which are available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference 26 U.S. Code 4053)

Point of Contact
Excise Tax Branch
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
Phone: (202) 317-6855

Truck Emissions Reduction Study and Grant at Port Facilities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Truck Emissions at Port Facilities (RTEPF) Grant Program provides funding to test, evaluate, and deploy projects that reduce port-related emissions from idling trucks. Eligible projects include port electrification and efficiency improvements, focusing on heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and other related projects. Grant funding is available for up to 80% of eligible project cost. Awards will be treated as Federal-aid Highway Program projects. Additional funding eligibility and considerations apply.

Eligible applicants for RTEPF funds include entities that have authority over, operate, or utilize port facilities or intermodal port transfer facilities; have authority over areas within or adjacent to ports and intermodal port transfer facilities; or test or evaluate technologies that reduce truck emissions at port facilities or intermodal port transfer facilities.

For more information see the FHWA Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 23 U.S. Code 151)

Laws and Regulations

Idle Reduction Technology Weight Exemption

States may allow heavy-duty vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology to exceed the maximum gross vehicle weight limit and the axle weight limit by up to 550 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. This allowance does not impact state highway funding eligibility. (Reference Public Law 112-141 and 23 U.S. Code 127(a)(12))

More Laws and Incentives

To find laws and incentives for other alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, search all laws and incentives.