The Environmental Protection Agency has formally proposed to repeal the Obama-era emissions regulations placed on glider kit tractors. The glider-specific emissions regs have yet to take effect but are scheduled to begin being phased in starting next year. The emissions standards placed on glider trucks were part of the broad Phase 2 emissions rule enacted by the EPA in 2016, which calls for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by tractor-trailers by 2027.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt earlier this year announced the agency’s intentions to reevaluate the glider-specific portions of the Phase 2 standards. The agency followed through on Friday. It filed a proposal with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to repeal the “emission requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits,” according to a notice posted on the OMB’s regulations portal.
The rule’s glider kit restrictions would have forced glider vehicle makers to dramatically alter their operations to meet Phase 2 standards, as reported on in-depth last year by Overdrive. Glider manufacturers, such as Fitzgerald Glider Kits, have tried to engage Congress on the issue, arguing they make up such a small percentage of truck sales that they should be exempt from Phase 2 regulations. They have said the rule would “decimate” the glider kit business.
Friday’s development is a win for Fitzgerald and other glider vehicle manufacturers who fought the Phase 2 emissions standards.
The EPA also said it intends to evaluate the Phase 2 rule’s stipulations regarding trailer aerodynamics and emissions, following an ongoing and still unsettled lawsuit brought by the Truck and Trailer Manufacturers Association, which argues the EPA lacks statutory authority to regulate trailer emissions.