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Emergency action by federal court shuts down EPA’s “glider rule” loophole

CARB and more than a dozen state attorney generals have sued the EPA over what they call a "dirty truck loophole."

EPA Sued

A federal court has issued emergency action to put a stop to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent “Glider Rule” order that environmental advocates were calling a dirty truck loophole.

On Tuesday, the State Attorney Generals for California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington joined with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to file suit against the EPA.

The lawsuit was in response to an order issued by former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on his last day in office which suspended the enforcement of the Obama-era “Glider Rule” for one year.

According to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, “The order effectively suspends the EPA’s 2016 Glider Rule for a year. The Glider Rule mandates that most engines installed in “gliders” – new heavy-duty truck bodies outfitted with refurbished or rebuilt pre-2010 highly polluting engines – meet the same emissions standards applicable to all newly manufactured engines. This cap is meant to protect our air from the excessive smog-forming and particulate-matter pollution emitted by outdated engines.”

The lawsuit against the EPA asked for the reversal of Pruitt’s last minute order to reverse the glider rule in the name of putting a stop to “dirty trucks”.

Stein stated, “I oppose the EPA’s dirty truck loophole and I’m urging the EPA to withdraw it. Not only will this rule make our air dirtier, it is unfair to Greensboro’s own Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, which play by the rules with their cleaner truck engines.”

On Wednesday, the environmental advocates got their wish when a federal court issued an emergency stay that will put the glider rule loophole on hold for now.

The EPA had previously claimed that “over the life of every 10,000 trucks without modern emissions systems, up to 1,600 Americans would die prematurely, and thousands more would suffer a variety of ailments including bronchitis and heart attacks, particularly in cities with air pollution associated with diesel-powered trains, ships and power plants.”

The trucking industry has long argued that the emissions burdens placed on them by the EPA are a major financial hardship.