Opponents of EPA loosening glider kits rules get a quick stay from DC court

Photo: Fitzgerald Glider Kits

Photo: Fitzgerald Glider Kits

Attorneys representing the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, fighting the recent EPA decision loosening regulations on glider kits, have won a stay in the EPA move to ease rules on the rebuilt truck engine emissions. 

According to news reports from Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where the lawsuit was filed, said Wednesday it is requiring the EPA to respond to the lawsuit from the environmental groups by July 25. The Reuters report said the stay "is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion" and is not ruling on the merits of the case.

The court ruled on the stay just one day after it was filed. The defendants in the original case--the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center of Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club--filed an emergency request for the stay on July 17. 

The EPA handed down its decision on glider kits July 6. As FreightWaves summarized the EPA action in an earlier story, "EPA officials told the New York Times they will not enforce a rule that prevents manufacturers from building more than 300 glider trucks per year through the end of 2019, giving the EPA time to permanently repeal the cap. The cap applies to glider trucks that do not meet the nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and CO2 emissions limits for the year during which the truck was assembled. It went into effect in January and still legally exists. The agency has simply decided to forgo enforcement."

The glider kit move was seen as the final significant action by former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned soon after.

In its request for a stay, the environmental groups summed up the crux of their argument. The EPA action "encourages the production and sale of thousands of super-polluting, heavy-duty diesel freight trucks in violation of the agency’s own Clean Air Act regulations," the request said. "EPA’s decision not to enforce those regulations nationwide paves the way for immediate production and sale of these 'gliders,' which will operate for decades and emit orders of magnitude more pollutants than trucks compliant with current pollution-control standards."