On November 9, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a proposed rule to repeal the Obama administration’s Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emission and Fuel Efficiency Standards for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits. The GHG Phase 2 rule was slated to go into effect on January 1, 2018.
The Trump administration’s EPA states that it lacks the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits. The Obama administration believed that, even though gliders are not complete vehicles by themselves, they are significant components of tractor-trailers and could be regulated by the Clean Air Act. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt stated, “the agency is taking comment on an interpretation of the Clean Air Act that recognizes the unique nature of a vehicle made up of both new and used component parts. Gliders not only provide a more affordable option for smaller owners and operators, but also serve as a key economic driver to numerous rural communities.”
Those who support the GHG Phase 2 rule cite environmental impact and public health as two major concerns regarding repeal. The Environmental Defense Fund states that used engine gliders can emit almost 40 times more pollution than modern engines. However, previous comments reveal that gliders are approximately 25% less expensive than new trucks, which makes them popular with small businesses and owner-operators.
The EPA is accepting comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking through January 5, 2018. EPA will be holding a public hearing on the proposed rule at 10 a.m. Dec. 4 at 1201 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington D.C. for those who wish to speak in person. Online comments regarding the proposed rule can be submitted at https://www.regulations.gov/.