The move has been denounced by public health groups, environmental groups, and many in the trucking industry, including the United Parcel Service, the largest truck fleet owner, and Volvo Group, one of the largest truck manufacturers.
Companies like Fitzgerald Glider Kits lobbied for this loophole, which allows them to ignore the 300-truck cap at least until the end of 2019.
EPA Press Secretary Molly Block told HDT on July 9 that back in November, the agency proposed to "repeal certain emission requirements for gliders". Glider trucks were introduced as a way to recycle older truck parts like engines from trucks damaged in accidents, but, as pollution controls on newer engines improved, some truck buyers saw them as a way to save on more expensive pollution controls that can reduce fuel economy.
Fitzgerald made about 3,000 of these trucks in 2017, a production rate that it will now be allowed to return to. First, EPA is considering an extension of the compliance date, which would set a new effective date of December 31, 2019. His calendar entries were released only after the Sierra Club and American Oversight filed public record lawsuits.
Pruitt helped decrease red tape that had previously harmed Nebraska farms and businesses, Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.
Andrew Wheeler became the acting EPA administrator Monday following Pruitt's departure.
Block did not respond when asked what role, if any, Wheeler played in the decision.
The EPA's former administrator, Scott Pruitt, broke with his predecessors' common practices of publishing a calendar online and announcing travel and speeches in advance. "In 2018, small manufacturers are limited to no more than 300 gliders" by the rule.
Had Pruitt stuck to cozying up to executives for polluters regulated by his agency, he'd probably still be running the EPA.
"The new truck industry conspired with the Obama EPA to try to put us out of business", he wrote, adding, "Our goose was cooked until President Trump and Pruitt came to town".
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