Lawmaker looks to exempt glider kits from looming emissions regs

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Updated Jul 15, 2015

freightlinersThe U.S. House last week added an amendment to a government funding bill that would keep glider kits exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently unveiled Phase 2 greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) represents the 6th District of Tennessee, which includes the city of Byrdstown, where Fitzgerald Glider Kits is located. Fitzgerald is the largest truck glider kit manufacturer in the country.

Black introduced the bill Wednesday in a speech on the House floor.

“I recently toured a business in my district that manufactures these kits,” she said. “For those who don’t know, a glider kit is a group of truck parts that can include a brand new frame, cab, or axles, but does not include an engine or transmission. Since a glider kit is less expensive than buying a new truck, and can extend the working life of a truck, businesses and drivers with a damaged or older vehicle may choose to purchase one of these kits instead of buying a completely new vehicle. Unfortunately, the EPA is proposing to apply the new Phase 2 standards to glider kits, even though gliders are not really new vehicles.”

The amendment was added to an appropriations bill that funds the Department of Interior, Environment and related agencies in the 2016 fiscal year, and would bar the EPA from enforcing any of the Phase 2 regulations on glider kits.

The bill as a whole, however, still has not passed the House.

The Senate has passed a 2016 Department of Interior appropriations bill, but it did not include the amendment.