Some fleets use glider kits to get the benefits of the latest aerodynamic trucks with less-troublesome pre-emissions-regs engines. Photo: Deborah Lockridge
Two Democratic senators who oversee environmental issues sent a letter on Monday to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging him to reverse his November 2017 proposal to repeal air emission standards for glider kits.
The EPA’s November proposal would eliminate provisions affecting glider kits within the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards. The Phase 2 rules as written would allow glider kits only for their original purpose, which was seen as reclaiming powertrains from wrecked trucks and reusing them in new bodies and chassis. Increasingly they are being used to avoid using more costly and repair-prone cleaner-emissions engines.
Calling them “zombie trucks,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees EPA, cited adverse health effects and faulty research in their call to withdraw the rule.
In addition, two former EPA Administrators, Carol Browner and Christine Todd Whitman, who served under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt expressing deep concerns over EPA’s failure to use the best science available in its decision to repeal the final glider regulations.
Pollution and Politics
The Carper-Udall letter noted that “according to internal agency research not released until after EPA published this proposal, a new 2017 glider kit can emit up to 450 times the particulate matter (PM) pollution and up to 43 times the nitrous oxide (NOx) pollution of model year 2014 and 2015 trucks. Other EPA analyses concluded that, if left unregulated, glider vehicle emissions could prematurely kill thousands of people, and increase instance of lung cancer, chronic lung