OOIDA to testify at subcommittee meeting on glider regulations

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is scheduled to testify in a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the effects that glider vehicle regulations have on truckers.

Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs, will testify on behalf of the Association’s more than 160,000 members during a hearing for the Environment and Oversight subcommittees of the House Committee for Science, Space and Technology at 10 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, Sept. 13, in Washington, D.C.

Long will be taking the place of OOIDA President Todd Spencer, who had to cancel because of a death in the family.

The subcommittee meeting will be livestreamed here.

Regulations on gliders, which are used truck engines in new truck bodies, have been a hot topic for the past year.

In November 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to repeal emission requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits. The proposal was met with opposition from environmentalist groups and never became a final rule.

A study conducted by EPA researchers said that nitrous oxide emissions were 43 times higher on glider vehicles than they were on new heavy-duty trucks. Meanwhile, a Tennessee Tech University study concluded that gliders and new trucks have similar emissions. Both studies have met with scrutiny. The EPA study is being investigated for possible collusion, and the Tennessee Tech president requested a peer review of his university’s study.

On July 6, the EPA announced it had decided to delay through 2019 the enforcement of a cap that would limit the number of glider trucks that could be built. The agency said the delay was intended to reduce the impact on the industry until a resolution could be reached.

However, environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit on July 17 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against the EPA over its decision not to enforce the regulation. The environmentalist group also motioned for an emergency stay on the decision until the court made a ruling. The court granted the stay on July 18.

In response, the EPA opted on July 27 to pull back the decision not to regulate.

OOIDA has been supportive of the glider industry, contending that gliders give small-business truckers an affordable option when compared to new trucks. According to the Association, gliders are at least 25 percent less expensive than new commercial motor vehicles and can save owner-operators tens of thousands of dollars.

In addition to Long, the subcommittee will hear testimony from Linda Tsang, legislative attorney for Congressional Research Service; Paul Miller, deputy director and chief scientist for Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, Boston; and Richard Belzer, independent consultant in regulation, risk, economics and information quality.

 

 

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