On Pruitt's final day, EPA takes step to allow more glider kits

The Environmental Protection Agency last week took action to allow greater use of glider kits in heavy-duty trucks. 

Scott Pruitt, EPA’s administrator, resigned on July 5. However, EPA officials told the New York Times the next day he approved a measure preventing the agency from enforcing a previously proposed annual cap of 300 gliders per manufacturer. 

During the Obama administration’s development of the Phase 2 greenhouse gas regulations, EPA said gliders spew greater pollution than trucks with modern emissions systems.

Besides the annual cap, the final rule called for rebuilt engines installed in gliders to satisfy emission standards in the year they were assembled in relation to the engine. 

After becoming administrator, Pruitt sought to roll back limit on gliders, claiming EPA under Obama had overreached its regulatory authority and that gliders should not be regulated as “new motor vehicles.”

Fitzgerald Glider Kits of Tennessee was among the companies pushing for the reversal. 

EPA has previously estimated about 10,000 gliders are manufactured annually and make up about 5% of the entire Class 8 truck market. Despite that small number, gliders could account for about one-third of all nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions from the sector, according to the agency.

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