The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday created a loophole in the law which allows increased manufacturing on a kind of diesel freight truck known as “super polluting.”
The move, which came on embattled administrator Scott Pruitt’s last day on the job, is being harshly criticized by environmentalists and lung health advocates.
The EPA confirmed to The New York Times that through the end of next year, the agency will not enforce a previous cap on manufacturers making “glider trucks,” and hopes to permanently repeal the cap.
Glider trucks use an old type of engine and install it on new truck bodies.
Small fleet owners want glider trucks in order to evade emissions regulations, as they are cheaper to run.
Molly Block, a spokeswoman for the EPA, told The Times that the agency is “exercising its enforcement discretion,” allowing companies to ignore the legal limits.
Environmental groups criticized the move, saying that the loophole will allow for dramatically increased air pollution from diesel trucks.
The move came late Friday, hours after Pruitt submitted his resignation following a series of ethical scandals. Pruitt had long pushed for the loophole, saying that the EPA did not have the authority to tamper with manufacturers’ production.