EPA audit says glider repeal rule ‘lacked transparency’
An audit revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions regarding the proposed repeal rule “lacked transparency and deprived the public of required information.”
The findings from the EPA’s Inspector General were part of a report published Dec. 5. The investigation took place from December 2018 through July 2019.
According to EPA managers and officials, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt directed that the rule be “promulgated as quickly as possible,” the report states.
The proposed repeal rule would relieve industry of compliance requirements of the Phase 2 rule, which set emissions standards and production limits for gliders beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
The inclusion of glider kits created opposition as many owner-operators have turned to the customizable, less expensive option when purchasing a “new” truck.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has supported repealing the glider rules. Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs, says that for many small-business truckers, glider kits offer a more affordable and reliable alternative to increasingly expensive new commercial motor vehicles.
“In an effort to provide expedited regulatory relief for glider kit manufacturers and consumers, EPA unfortunately did not perform various analyses and reviews that are required by the federal rulemaking process,” Grimes said.
The report states that EPA officials were aware that available information indicated the proposed rule was “economically significant;” however, Pruitt directed the Office of Air and Radiation to develop the proposed rule without conducting the analyses required.
“The lack of analyses caused the public to not be informed of the proposed rule’s benefits, costs, potential alternatives and impacts on children’s health during the public comment period,” the report states.
The report recommends that the agency “identify for the public the substantive change to the proposed rule made at the suggestion or recommendation of (the Office of Management and Budget), conduct the required analyses prior to finalizing the repeal, provide the public a means to comment on the analyses supporting the rulemaking, and document the decisions made.” LL