Common Dreams has reported that the EPA after seeing the court cases going against them has finally done the right thing and closed the ridiculous loophole that would allow older massively polluting engines to be placed into new tractor trailers! The reason for allowing this loophole to go through appears to be an effort to please special interests which is nothing new. What was new was the absolutely brazen nature of the action against any common sense.
From Common Dreams:
“These super-polluting diesel freight trucks fill our lungs with a toxic stew of pollution. EPA’s effort to create a loophole allowing more of them onto our roads was irresponsible and dangerous,” declared Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) president Fred Krupp. “This is a huge win for all Americans who care about clean air and human health.”
Late Thursday, Wheeler released a memoannouncing that the agency will, in fact, impose restrictions on what the industry calls glider trucks—which are old diesel engines dropped into new freight bodies and, according to the New York Times, “account for about five percent of all heavy-duty trucks on the road.”
Wheeler wrote that after considering “administrative and judicial petitions and motions,” and consulting with various offices, “I have concluded that the application of current regulations to the glider industry does not represent the kind of extreme unusual circumstances that support the EPA’s exercise of enforcement discretion.”
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but the proposed rule to indefinitely exempt some of the dirtiest trucks on the roads that emit 55 times the air pollution of new trucks, is still on the table.”
—Sen. Tom Carper
The move follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issuing (pdf) an administrative stay last week after EDF, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Sierra Club filed an emergency motion (pdf) requesting that the court block Pruitt’s last act as head of the agency.