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Court places EPA’s glider truck assurances on hold

Agency must respond to lawsuit by July 25

Posted July 20, 2018

On July 6, 2018, an EPA “no action assurance” memo promised glider truck manufacturers the Agency would not enforce a manufacturing limit of 300 glider trucks per year.

However, on July 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia effectively removed that assurance by temporarily blocking the memo.

Several green groups, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Sierra Club filed an emergency motion for a stay against EPA’s decision to stop enforcing the limits on glider trucks.

The Court directed EPA to respond to the groups’ lawsuit by July 25, 2018. The Court also noted that the purpose of the stay was to give it more time to consider the emergency motion, not that the Court was making a ruling on the merits of the motion.

Glider trucks are a special class of diesel freight truck that uses older engines and powertrains in newer truck bodies. EPA’s own estimates show that glider trucks may emit 20 to 40 times more of the smog precursor nitrogen oxide and the soot-causing particulate matter than newer trucks.

In its memo, EPA indicated the Agency was working on a rulemaking to extend the timeframe for glider truck manufacturers to continue operating at pre-2018 levels. EPA said that pulling back enforcement was necessary to save jobs.

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