EPA Rollback of Glider Truck Rule Puts Health, Lives at Risk for a Single Company’s Gain

Statement by Dave Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 9, 2017

WASHINGTON (October 27, 2017)—The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its intention to undo a rule limiting dangerous emissions from “glider trucks”—new truck bodies that often contain older engines. By withdrawing this rule, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt would be willfully defying his duty to listen to the facts and protect the public, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Dave Cooke, senior analyst in the Clean Vehicles program at UCS.

“It’s unacceptable for the EPA to expose families across the country to dangerous pollution levels, but that’s exactly what Administrator Pruitt is doing with this decision. Glider vehicles that are simply new truck bodies containing outdated engines emit 20 to 40 times more pollution than other new trucks, causing smog and contributing to heart disease and respiratory disease. These trucks endanger people’s health—especially for low-income neighborhoods and communities of color who often live closer to major highways. The EPA’s own research indicates that the particulate matter pollution from just one year’s production of glider trucks could cause 1,600 premature deaths. If the EPA is going to do its job and protect public health, glider vehicles need to be held to a strong standard just like vehicles with newer engines.

“The health impacts are even more galling when you consider that this is essentially just a handout to one company, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, which manufactures the largest share of glider vehicles. Fitzgerald’s CEO met with Administrator Pruitt in May to push him to reverse this rule. It looks like Administrator Pruitt listened, and he’s willing to do one company a huge favor, protecting a polluter at the cost of our health. It’s a betrayal of the thousands of people who could face hospitalization or premature death from pollution.”