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University asks EPA to withdraw study on glider kits

The president of Tennessee Tech has informed the Environmental Protection Agency it should not use the university's study on glider kits in developing federal emissions regulations.

President Philip Oldham said in a letter posted online experts “have questioned the methodology and accuracy of the report.” He added the school was pursuing a peer review of the report and investigating claims of research misconduct.

The study was commissioned by Fitzgerald Glider Kits and has been cited as evidence that EPA should rescind regulations limiting the sale of gliders. Fitzgerald has reportedly offered to build a new research center for the university on land owned by the company.

During the Obama administration’s development of the Phase 2 greenhouse gas regulations, EPA said gliders spew far greater pollution than trucks with more modern emissions systems.

However, the Tennessee Tech study claimed some gliders could outperform vehicles with newer engines. Last year, new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, citing “the regulatory overreach” of the Obama administration, proposed gliders should not be regulated under the Clean Air Act, and opened a public comment period that ended Jan. 5.

EPA has not yet taken any additional action.

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