Glider repeal rule ‘lacked transparency,’ EPA audit finds

December 6, 2019

Greg Grisolano

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s actions regarding the proposed glider repeal rule “lacked transparency and deprived the public of required information,” according to a report from the agency’s own Inspector General.

The findings were part of a report published Thursday, 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 Greenhouse Gas rule, which set emissions standards and production limits for gliders beginning January 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. “We hope EPA will address the report’s recommendations in a timely manner and propose an updated rule that will revise current production limits on glider vehicles and engines.”

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 by the executive orders.

“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.

The report notes that the EPA has already provided “sufficient planned corrective actions” for the first two recommendations, while the final recommendation remains “unresolved.”

As of the date of this report, the proposed glider repeal rule is listed on the EPA’s Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda as “economically significant.”

Read the EPA Inspector General’s full report here.

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.