Glider kits harm public health

Administrator Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of the Administrator 1101A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827-2368: Proposed rule re: Repeal of Emission Requirements for Glider Vehicles, Glider Engines, and Glider Kits


Dear Administrator Pruitt,

PCC Community Markets is a chain of grocery stores in six cities of Washington state with annual sales of $280 million. As a business, we’re committed to the health of our communities and, therefore, we oppose the proposal to reopen a loophole that would allow the sale of super-polluting trucks without current pollution controls — known as “glider trucks” (freight trucks with a used engine in a new frame).

When we see trucks belching black soot, we’ve wondered how that kind of pollution could be legal. It’s not healthful for people or the environment and we were glad to see that EPA’s 2016 common-sense limits on pollution from heavy-duty freight engines earned broad support from truck manufacturers and dealers. We noticed that even America’s largest glider manufacturer, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, agreed the glider industry would “remain viable and intact” after closure of this loophole.

Reopening the loophole to let glider truck manufacturers use dirty old engines and circumvent pollution standards is the wrong direction for America. We’re aware other trucking industry leaders — including Volvo, Clarke, Navistar, and GATR —oppose the pollution and unfair competition the loophole would encourage. We understand the original intent of putting older engines in new frames has moved from a rebuilding mechanism to now mainly evade EPA diesel emission mandates. We realize this loophole would benefit the worst polluters at the expense of responsible companies that have invested in cleaner technologies. We understand these super-polluting engines emit harmful soot and pollutants – including cancer-causing diesel particulates – as much as 40 times that of new engines. We’re aware the loophole means that by 2025, glider trucks could be just five percent of the nation’s truck fleet but would cause one third of the air pollution. We know EPA’s own data shows that reopening the loophole could cause as many as 6,400 premature deaths by 2021.

As a grocery retailer, we do not have trucks of our own but we choose to work with vendors that make low emissions a priority. We urge you to retain the current emission requirements for gliders.

It’s important to our grocery business that transporting food does not harm public health. This is a bad proposal that would result in significant harm to public health and undermine the premise of a fair and competitive business environment. We strongly oppose this proposal.

Thank you,

Trudy Bialic
Director, Public Affairs & Quality Standards

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