NACAA Comments on EPA Glider Repeal NPRM

January 5, 2018 – NACAA submitted written comments to the EPA docket on the agency’s November 16, 2017 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to repeal the glider requirements adopted in October 2016 as part of the Phase 2 truck rule.  In its letter, NACAA responds to EPA’s request in the NPRM for comments “on the relative expected emissions impacts if the regulatory requirements at issue here were to be repealed or were to be left on place.”  NACAA highlights the specific estimated emission reductions to occur if the glider requirements remain intact and notes that “[e]very single state in the country will accrue more polluting emissions if these requirements are repealed.”  The association further notes that those areas working to reduce emissions to attain and maintain health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards may be forced to seek reductions elsewhere.  This may mean more regulation and higher costs for stationary sources, possibly power plants, manufacturing facilities and small businesses, among others.  In addition, in some areas, there are no alternatives for making up the lost reductions at any cost.  NACAA also offers some technical observations on glider emissions testing cited by glider industry petitioners that requested that EPA reconsider the glider requirements and on EPA glider emissions testing results released in late November 2017.  Further, In the NPRM, EPA proposes an interpretation of the Clean Air Act under which EPA would lack the authority to regulate gliders.  NACAA does not comment on whether or not EPA has legal authority to regulate gliders but does note that “if EPA’s legal authority does not extend to the regulation of glider vehicles, glider engines and glider kits, then state and local agencies are not preempted from regulating them and may do so.  Given the magnitude of emissions at stake states and localities may avail themselves of this authority if the federal glider requirements are repealed, potentially resulting in dozens, if not hundreds, of individual and varied state and local requirements.”  EPA also seeks comment on whether, if the agency were to determine not to adopt the proposed interpretation of the Clean Air Act, EPA should revise the promulgated glider requirements to increase the exemption available for small manufacturers above the current limit of 300 glider vehicles a year and/or delay the deadline for compliance with the requirements.  NACAA notes in its comments that any increase above the 300-glider-per-year limit, or any delay in implementation of the glider emission requirements, will result in an increase in NOx that many states and localities can ill afford.