WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has reversed an order issued by Scott Pruitt in his last days as agency administrator that allowed manufacturers to equip new semi-trucks with old, super-polluting diesel engines. New EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler concluded Pruitt improperly issued the rule for so-called "glider trucks," the EPA said in a statement early Friday.
The rule allowed truck manufacturers to rig new tractor-trailer trucks with older, dirtier diesel engines built before tighter pollution rules. The EPA's own calculations estimated the glider trucks would cause an extra 1,600 premature deaths yearly because of pollutants.
Pruitt's order, issued in his last days at the agency before resigning earlier this month amid ethics scandals, prompted lawsuits by more than a dozen states.
"After consulting within EPA and in light of the pending administrative and judicial petitions and motions...Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler found that the application of current regulations to the glider industry do not represent the kind of extremely unusual circumstances that support EPA's exercise of enforcement discretion," the EPA statement said.
The agency said it would work with glider-truck makers to prevent "inadvertent economic harm" from the reversal, while protecting air quality.