After AG Grewal Sues, EPA Withdraws Scott Pruitt's Final Act and Reinstates Federal Rule Limiting Production of Super-Polluting Trucks

TRENTON – After Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal joined Attorneys General for 15 other states and the District of Columbia in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s “blatantly unlawful” suspension of a rule that limited the production of super-polluting trucks known as “gliders,” yesterday EPA caved and agreed not to suspend by fiat the caps on glider production.

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, last month EPA issued a memorandum suspending that rule.

On July 19, Attorney General Grewal sued EPA on the grounds that its memo to suspend the rule “cannot be squared with its mandate under the Clean Air Act to protect the public from emissions which endanger their health and welfare.”  Yesterday, EPA agreed, withdrawing the memo that had pledged not to enforce prior caps on glider production and admitting “that the application of current regulations … does not represent the kind of extremely unusual circumstances that support the EPA’s exercise of enforcement discretion.”

“I was proud to stand up and challenge Scott Pruitt’s final act as EPA Administrator, which put personal politics before the public’s health and safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “States like New Jersey have been standing up to EPA ever since I took office, and EPA’s decision to admit defeat and continue enforcing important limits on super polluting trucks shows why our work matters. I was proud to challenge the unlawful suspension of the Glider Rule, and I’m even prouder that our challenge proved successful.” Attorney General Grewal added, “Going forward, whenever EPA or any federal agency disregards the statutes and procedures it must follow and that conduct harms New Jersey, I am committed to challenging those unlawful actions in court—just like we did in challenging the suspension of the Glider Rule.”

“Today, everyone in New Jersey can breathe easier knowing that production of glider trucks will continue to be limited,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Reducing and responding to climate change are a priority for the state, so we are pleased that the EPA has not taken a step backward in New Jersey’s progress toward a clean, renewable energy economy. However, this issue is not yet settled and the DEP will continue to work with the Attorney General to challenge the EPA to enforce these important protections for clean air and public health.”

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