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ABG: Court blocks EPA plan to undo limits on polluting ‘glider trucks’ Though 25% cheaper, they're 450 times dirtier

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:04 pm
by GRA ... er-trucks/
A federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily blocked a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that would have lifted strict limits on the number of remanufactured heavy-duty vehicles known as "glider trucks."

The big rigs in question have older, used engines installed into otherwise new trucks. Rules introduced under former President Obama said nearly all new trucks on the road must use more-efficient, less-polluting engines.

The glider trucks emit up to 450 times more diesel particulate matter and up to 40 times more smog-forming nitrogen oxides than new trucks on the market, the EPA has said.

The EPA issued a memo on July 6 — Scott Pruitt's last day as head of the agency — that said the agency would not enforce a limit of up to 300 gliders per manufacturer . . . The EPA, which said Wednesday it was reviewing the court's decision, had said in its memo that enforcing the rules would result "in the loss of jobs" and threaten the viability of companies making the glider trucks.

Volvo Group North America, Cummins and Navistar International and others said last year they opposed efforts to reverse the limits on glider trucks. Glider kits "should not be used for circumventing purchase of currently certified powertrains." The move could inflict "uncertainty and damage to our industry," the companies said.

But Pruitt, as head of the EPA, granted an exemption to the limits as an apparent political favor to the Fitzgerald family of Tennessee, political donors who run several glider-truck dealerships. . . .

Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said the "decision today is an important step towards protecting the health of all Americans from super-polluting diesel freight trucks."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the EPA must respond to the lawsuit from environmental groups by July 25. The court order said the "stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion" and not a ruling "on the merits" of blocking the memo.

The EPA has previously said that if gliders were allowed through 2025, they would make up 5 percent of the freight trucks on the road but would account for one third of all nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions from the heavy truck fleet. . . .

Re: ABG: Court blocks EPA plan to undo limits on polluting ‘glider trucks’ Though 25% cheaper, they're 450 times dirtier

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:10 pm
by LeftieBiker
As I understand it, the engines in glider trucks aren't usually "used" - they are new engines manufactured to meet much lower emissions standards in other countries like Mexico. This makes them more attractive than used engines.

Re: ABG: Court blocks EPA plan to undo limits on polluting ‘glider trucks’ Though 25% cheaper, they're 450 times dirtier

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:12 pm
by GRA
Via GCR:
EPA reinstates limitations on dirty diesel glider trucks ... der-trucks
In a reversal of its reversal, the EPA said Thursday that it would enforce limits on dirty "glider" trucks after all.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler put the brakes on his predecessor's decision to not enforce an Obama-era rule on dirty diesel big-rigs. . . .

On Thursday, Wheeler reversed that ruling in a three-page memo to his deputies, according to a report in the Washington Post.

According to the Post, Wheeler said in the memo: "I have concluded that the application of the current regulations to the glider industry does not represent the kind of extremely unusual circumstances that support the EPA’s use of enforcement discretion," referring to the EPA's long-held discretion to decide which environmental regulations to enforce and which not to.

The memo reportedly notes that the agency suspends enforcement only in rare circumstances and that after consulting with EPA lawyers and policy experts.

Pruitt's decision to suspend enforcement of the glider rule was based on a discredited study by Tennessee Technological University, funded by Fitzgerald Gliders, the largest manufacturer of glider trucks. The university later disavowed its own study.