EPA to review Pruitt’s last major move at the agency

After releasing a report critical of the $3.5 million spent on round-the-clock security protection for former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt,  the EPA’s Office of Inspector General isn’t finished with Pruitt’s actions.

Next up? Glider vehicle emissions testing conducted by the EPA in 2017 under Pruitt. The audit follows complaints from Congressional Republicans that the agency was targeting Tennessee manufacturer Fitzgerald.

The gliders aren’t the flying kind but rather new trucks built without an engine or transmission, allowing old engines and transmissions that are still in good shape to be installed into a new vehicle. The term “Glider Kit” comes from the face the units are unpowered from the factory.

The OIG plans  to examine the testing of glider kits or vehicles at the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory. The audit could take several months. The EPA is still giving consideration to easing or repealing the glider regulations which came out of the Obama administration.

A proposed easing of the rules by Pruitt was seen as one of his last major actions while in office. But the Sierra Club and environmental groups challenged the move and in July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered a stay of the EPA move. The ruling came just one day after the groups filed a lawsuit.

The environmental groups argued the EPA action as proposed by Pruitt encouraged the production and sale of thousands of what they called “super-polluting, heavy-duty diesel freight trucks in violation of the agency’s own Clean Air Act regulations.”

Later, the EPA said it would not enforce the rule preventing manufacturers from building more than 300 glider trucks a year through 2019.