Tell Your Community about the Dangers of Super Polluting Trucks

Photo: Jeremy Rempel. CC-BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's last act in office was to stop enforcing regulations on new trucks fitted with old dirty engines. Although the new EPA Acting Administrator has reversed course and will moved to continue to enforce regulations for now, we are still waiting to see if Acting Administrator Wheeler will make any permanent changes to the glider rule. We won’t know the final outcome of this until the rule is finalized. We must act to protect public health by ensuring that billowing black smoke from semi-trucks doesn't become the norm.

You can highlight the dangers of these polluting trucks by writing a letter to the editor (LTE) of your local newspaper. Talking points are below to help you get started, and you can also learn more about how to write a successful letter to the editor.

Talking points

  • These dangerous vehicles, known as "glider vehicles," have the exterior shell of a new truck but an older engine inside. These vehicles only make up five percent of the heavy-duty truck fleet but account for one third of ALL nitrogen oxides (or, NOx, a smog-forming pollutant) and particulate matter emissions from the fleet.
  • The used engines in glider vehicles can emit as much as 40 times the pollution of modern engines.
  • This is a clear-cut case of a danger to public health—and it's the EPA's job to protect us. Former Administrator Pruitt decided to ignore his responsibility. Andrew Wheeler, the new acting Administrator, needs to do his job.
  • If this loophole is left open until 2025, the EPA's own estimates indicate that it would result in as many as 12,800 premature deaths, not to mention countless additional emergency room visits and other health issues.
  • This loophole gives manufacturers of these polluting vehicles an unfair advantage over law-abiding truck manufacturers who are fitting their trucks with cleaner, more advanced engines that meet modern pollution standards.
  • The bogus industry-funded study that former EPA Administrator Pruitt cited in his decision is now the subject of an academic inquiry and has been disavowed by the Tennessee Technical University, which produced it.
  • [YOUR STATE SENATOR] should push to keep these dangerously polluting trucks off of our roads by putting pressure on new acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

Learn more about these glider trucks, their dirty diesel engines, and how scientists are standing up against the shoddy science.

Please tell us when you submit an LTE, and provide details so we can measure the impact of these critical efforts.