Grewal sues EPA over suspension of federal law on polluting trucks

TRENTON, NJ — N.J. Attorney Gen. Gurbir S. Grewal sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 19 over its decision to suspend a rule limiting the production of super-polluting trucks known as “gliders,” according to a press release from Grewal’s office. Former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt ordered the suspension on July 5, his final day in office.

The super-polluting glider trucks combine older engines with newer truck bodies, which means their engines lack critical modern pollution control equipment and fail to satisfy current emissions standards. Although EPA previously adopted rules to limit glider production to promote public health, this summer EPA issued a memorandum suspending that rule.

In a multi-state motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Grewal joined attorneys general from 15 other states and the District of Columbia in challenging EPA’s “blatantly unlawful” suspension of that rule, according to the press release.

“As his final attack on the environment, Scott Pruitt decided to suspend one last Obama-era rule: a restriction on super-polluting glider trucks,” Grewal said in the press release. “But while Administrator Pruitt may be gone, the effects of his policies are still with us. By letting more of these super-polluting trucks on the road, EPA is putting politics before the public’s health and safety. And even worse, EPA is completely disregarding the statutes and procedures it is required to follow. I’m proud to stand with my fellow attorneys general in challenging the unlawful suspension of the Glider Rule.”

“Glider trucks are a dangerous throwback to a bygone era. They emit significantly higher amounts of particulates and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, putting at risk the health of people, particularly those who live along highways and in urban areas,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said in the press release. “The suspension of rules limiting glider kits reverses all of the hard work we’ve done in New Jersey to reduce diesel emissions. This is unacceptable and we vigorously oppose it.”

According to the press release, the suspension will allow for a massive increase in the number of highly-polluting, heavy-duty trucks on American roads. Based on EPA’s own estimates, the brief notes, each additional glider truck sold will cause an average of between $300,000 and $1.1 million in health impacts, including “hundreds of premature deaths and heart attacks and thousands of asthma exacerbations and lost work days.”