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Environmental Groups Sue the EPA for Giving Super-Polluting Trucks a 'Free Pass'

The Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to stop enforcing a regulation limiting the production of high-polluting diesel trucks.

The EPA announced on July 6th—the last day of work for Scott Pruitt, the agency's scandal-plagued administrator—that it would not enforce a 2016 regulation that limits the manufacture of "glider trucks," diesel freight trucks refurbished with older engines that pollute significantly more than newer engines.

"Wheeler, like Pruitt, is trying to pull the wool over the American people’s eyes, this time passing off a wolf in sheep's clothing," Sierra Club Chief Climate Counsel Joanne Spalding said in a statement. "[T]he outside of these trucks may look new, but inside, they're run by old, dirty engines."

Last Friday, the attorneys general of 14 states sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, calling the decision "an unlawful rule suspension masquerading as an exercise of enforcement discretion."

"Giving super-polluting freight trucks a free pass to pollute will put Americans' health and lives at risk," EDF Senior Attorney Martha Roberts said in a statement. An analysis commissioned by the EDF found that the production of additional glider trucks over two years "could result in more than 1,700 premature deaths over the life of those vehicles."