Letters from Washington lawmakers are asking Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) officials to investigate potential improper 
contacts between EPA staffers and Volvo Trucks regarding research 
into glider kit truck emissions. The effort was highlighted in an 
edition of Overdrive magazine, which was published last week.
    Those lawmakers who have been involved in this effort include U.S. 
Representative Jamie Comer from Kentucky, as well as Representative 
Bill Posey, of Florida, Representative Steve King, of Iowa, and 
Representative Brian Babin, of Texas.
    According to the article, these letters are the latest development 
in an ongoing debate over whether the EPA should strip Obama-era 
emissions regulations placed on glider kit trucks, which opponents 
argued threatened the glider kit industry. It is an important issue 
for Wayne County, since Fitzgerald Industries has announced plans to 
open a facility here and bring 250 jobs to this community. The 
company, headquartered in Sparta, Tenn.,  is a major manufacturer of 
glider kits.
    While plans for the local facility are to produce aluminum dump 
truck beds, things have basically been put on hold while officials 
with Fitzgerald Industries wait to see the result of the effort to 
repeal the emissions regulation that could kill their glider kit 
business. Company officials have previously stated that they would 
have to cut production company-wide by 90 percent by the end of 2018 
if the rule does not change.
    In the recent article in Overdrive magazine, one of the letters sent 
by Congress stated that EPA career employees were in email 
communication with Volvo employees to arrange a study to test the 
emissions of glider kits "without the knowledge or approval of EPA 
leadership." The article stated that Volvo supplied glider kits to 
EPA staff members for the test, which could make the study's 
conclusions questionable given Volvo's active opposition of repealing 
glider kit emissions regulations.
    In a statement to Overdrive, Volvo said, "Like most of the trucking 
industry, the Volvo Group for several years now has argued that the 
improper use of glider kits is bad for the environment and unfair to 
manufacturers who have invested in the latest environmental 
controls.  All our communication and cooperation with the EPA on this 
issue has been an entirely appropriate part of a broad trucking 
industry advocacy effort—we did nothing improper."
    As it stands now, the article noted that glider makers are left in 
limbo, given that the emissions regulations took effect in January. 
Absent a final rule from the EPA, glider kit makers would have a 
yearly cap of 300 units that do not comply with Phase 2 regulations.
    Local officials have been in contact with Senators and congressmen 
from Kentucky to show support for the repeal of the emissions 
regulations.  Wayne County Fiscal Court officially drafted letters to 
show their support for the repeal.
    Anyone who is concerned about this issue is asked to contact their congressman to show their support.

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