July 17, 2018 2:15 PM, EDT

Environmental Groups Ask Court to End EPA Delay of Glider Truck Rule

John Sommers II for TT

Environmental groups asked a federal court July 17 to stop the EPA from giving new trucks with rebuilt engines a break from meeting air pollution standards.

The Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, and Sierra Club sued the Environmental Protection Agency over a July 6 agency memo from EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine, suspending for a year enforcement of a cap on the production and sale of glider kits.

RELATED: Limit of 300 gliders per small manufacturer suspended, EPA says

These kits are essentially new truck chassis and cab assemblies that don’t have engines and transmissions installed yet. Truck manufacturers can install previously used engines and transmissions on new glider kits and avoid modern pollution control requirements.

“Glider trucks emit far more diesel pollution thanks to their failure to incorporate pollution controls,” said the groups’ lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

‘Unlawful Attempt’

The agency issued a rule in 2016 establishing that new glider vehicles must meet the same emission standards as comparable vehicles entering the market for the first time.

RELATED: EPA advisory board to review science behind the agency’s glider truck rule repeal proposal

Bodine’s decision to suspend enforcement of a 2016 rule was “an unlawful attempt by EPA to circumvent the Clean Air Act’s requirements and institute a shadow regulatory regime under the guise of exercising ‘enforcement discretion.’” the groups said.

Truck manufacturers have been critical of the EPA’s suspension as well, calling it a threat to their efforts to meet air emissions limits with new engines.

The Sierra Club has received funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization founded by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg Environment and Bloomberg News is operated by entities controlled by Michael Bloomberg.

The EPA didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Environment’s request for comment.