The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter of support to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to reconsider emission requirements for glider kits.
OOIDA, which represents 160,000 members, supports a proposed repeal of the Phase 2 emissions standards for glider kits. The repeal is based on a proposed interpretation of the Clean Air Act under which glider vehicles would be found not to constitute “new motor vehicles,” glider engines would be found not to constitute “new motor vehicles,” and glider kits would not be treated as “incomplete” new motor vehicles.
Under this proposed interpretation, the EPA would lack the authority to regulate glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits.
“For many small business truckers, glider kits offer a more affordable and reliable alternative to increasingly expensive new vehicles,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA acting president and chief executive officer. “Their regulation under Phase 2 would effectively destroy the American glider kit industry, eliminating the opportunity for our members to continue purchasing the vehicles that best fit their unique needs.”
The letter goes on to point out that while glider kits provide appealing cost savings for drivers, they are also reliable, efficient, and meet all of the required environmental and safety standards necessary for operation, as documented in a recent study by Tennessee Tech University. In this study, an array of remanufactured engines and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) “certified” engines were evaluated for fuel efficiency and emission standards. Ultimately, researchers discovered remanufactured 2002-2007 engines performed as well as OEMs, and in some cases, outperformed their newer counterparts in emissions reductions.
This environmental benefit is compounded when considering glider kits utilize many remanufactured components, resulting in the reuse of approximately 4,000 pounds of cast steel per unit.