Loophole in Trump EPA rule allows trucks to bypass emissions standards and regulations

A truck dealership in central Tennessee is currently showcasing the fact that “glider” trucks are easily able to bypass emissions rules because of a loophole the Trump administration and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt are pushing to keep in place after the Obama administration enacted a rule to eliminate it.

Glider trucks contribute heavily to air pollution in the Houston area and across the country, filling the air with smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter and other harmful pollutants. This pollution contributes to various respiratory problems and can even lead to premature death.

According to a Feb. 15 New York Times article, these super-polluting trucks are continuing to see a heavy sales volume. These trucks are equipped with rebuilt diesel engines that are not required to abide by rules on modern emissions controls. The dealership claims these trucks burn less fuel per mile and are cheaper to repair.

The Fitzgerald dealership’s trucks were originally meant to reuse new or moderately used engines and other parts after an accident. These are known as “gliders” because they are manufactured without engines before incorporating the rebuilt ones. However, while they are cheaper to operate, these trucks emit 40-55 times the pollution of other new trucks, including toxins known to cause asthma, lung cancer and other conditions. They are able to legally evade the regulations because of the fact that their 1990s-era parts predate the requirements.

The fact that Pruitt’s EPA is pushing to keep this loophole in place is an example of the current administration’s prioritizing profits and politics over public health and environmental safety. Air Alliance Houston urges Pruitt’s EPA to uphold the stricter regulations and will continue our work to raise awareness about the health effects of hazardous air pollutants.