Stakeholders state their case during EPA public hearing on glider kits

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Monday, December 04, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on Monday, Dec. 4, regarding emissions requirements for glider kits. Dozens of stakeholders spoke to a panel in Washington, D.C., making arguments for or against a proposed rule to repeal current emissions regulations that include glider kits.

In a public hearing where approximately 60 speakers weighed in, the overwhelming majority were against a proposed rule to repeal regulations. If EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt gets his way, the repeal would leave glider kits exempt from emissions requirements for brand new trucks.

In fact, only two speakers supported the proposed repeal: the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and D&B Trucks and Equipment Sales, Glasgow, Ky.

During oral comments, OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Nile Elam pointed out that roughly 96 percent of all U.S. motor carriers are small trucking companies. Elam argued that glider kits are favored by small trucking businesses because of their affordability and reliability.

“Since 2002, federal emission reduction standards have increased the cost of a new truck between $50,000 and $70,000, as additional components and systems have become required,” Elam said. “Given a glider kit’s unique assembly, prices for these vehicles are typically 25-30 percent less than a new truck, allowing independent owner-operators to save tens of thousands of dollars on their purchase, enabling them to devote more resources to other business and safety priorities.”

According to OOIDA’s 2016 member survey, for those OOIDA members interested in purchasing a new truck in the future, 14 percent of respondents stated their next truck will be a glider kit, versus only 12 percent for a brand new truck. OOIDA also stated that a new truck could cost roughly $140,000. Conversely, a used truck will cost around $45,000.

Those opposed to the repeal included environmental groups, health groups, equipment and truck sales businesses, and the American Trucking Associations. Arguments ranged from environmental/health concerns to leveling the playing field for new truck sales and manufacturers.

According to EPA’s rule summary, the agency is proposing to repeal the emission standards and other requirements for heavy-duty glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits based on a proposed interpretation of the Clean Air Act under which glider vehicles would be found not to constitute “new motor vehicles” within the meaning of the act. Glider kits also would not be treated as “incomplete” new motor vehicles.

In August, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would revisit provisions of the upcoming Phase 2 of the greenhouse gas regulations. The Phase 2 proposal builds upon a Phase 1 final rule for model years 2014 through 2018 and for equipment manufacturers to increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions by about 23 percent by model year 2027.

Public comments on the proposal will be received through Jan. 5. Comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827 may be submitted at Regulations.gov.

 

 

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