| August 04, 2009

Navistar presses fight against SCR
Navistar is turning up the heat in its ongoing litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company charges the agency is trying to manipulate the record in the case to hide what Navistar calls EPA’s “secret collaboration” with competitors to advance selective catalytic reduction for 2010 emissions compliance.

In a July 2 motion, Navistar asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to deny EPA’s attempt to amend its own record in the case. EPA filed the “certified amended index to administrative record” – a list of documents the agency says are relevant to the case – on June 15, almost a month after it filed its original certified index.

Navistar’s lawsuit relates specifically to EPA’s Feb. 18 certification standards for SCR-equipped engines.

Navistar contends EPA adopted the Feb. 18 guidance improperly, without rulemaking procedures that were used in 2001 and 2007 to adopt the original 2010 requirements and earlier SCR guidance, respectively.

In its latest filing, Navistar argues EPA’s new index improperly removes many documents from the original index, “including documents likely to reveal EPA’s own conclusions effectively confirming the merits” of the lawsuit. Navistar says the removed documents reveal the “inefficacy and environmental hazard” posted by SCR, which EPA had called infeasible in 2001 “but later authorized in secret collaboration with certain engine makers outside of rulemaking.”

Much of Navistar’s July 2 filing revolves around establishing there was no public record surrounding EPA’s adoption of the Feb. 18 guidance – unlike the situation with the 2001 standard and the 2007 SCR guidance. What EPA submitted in May included documents the agency itself selected, many of which represented correspondence among EPA, the California Air Resources Board and the Engine Manufacturers Association, Navistar said. In filing the initial index, “EPA had the choice of conceding the truth – namely, that there is no administrative record – or of creating a record on the spot. EPA chose the latter course.”

Documents that EPA did include in its amended certified index include correspondence between EPA and EMA regarding the language of the 2009 SCR guidance and between EPA and CARB, referring in some cases to “the EMA guidance document.”

“EMA provided recommendations and comments regarding the development of additional guidance to supplement EPA’s original SCR guidance document prepared in March 2007,” says Joe Suchecki, EMA spokesman. “EMA regularly works with EPA, CARB and a wide variety of interested stakeholders regarding issues affecting the industry.”
- Avery Vise

Flying J to merge with Pilot
Flying J Inc. and Pilot Travel Centers plan to merge, the companies announced July 14. The plan would allow Flying J’s travel plaza business to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to a statement from both companies.

Under the plan filed with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, all Flying J creditor obligations would be paid in full. Pilot has also agreed to provide $100 million in financing for Flying J’s operations, subject to court approval and various conditions.
The preliminary merger agreement with the Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot doesn’t cover Flying J companies Longhorn Pipeline, Big West Oil, Flying J Oil & Gas, Haycock Petroleum and Transportation Alliance Bank. Flying J is considering alternatives for each of these other businesses.

Flying J filed for Chapter 11 Dec. 22 after a sharp drop in oil prices and turmoil in the credit markets damaged the company’s cash position.
- Lanier Norville

Shippers’ poll shows support for heavier trucks
More than half of Americans support raising interstate truck weight limits without making trucks larger, according to a national poll paid for by the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a group of more than 100 shippers and allied associations seeking increased federal weight limits on interstate highways.

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