You did it, gearheads! By signing the petition and staying on top of our representatives, Congress has pushed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove wording from its 629-page proposal that would ban modified street cars that are used solely for racing. The proposal, which had wording buried on page 321 stated the following:
§ 86.1854-12 Prohibited acts.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(5) Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become nonroad vehicles or engines; anyone modifying a certified motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for any reason is subject to the tampering and defeat device prohibitions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section and 42 U.S.C. 7522(a)(3).
What that meant for us enthusiasts was that any vehicle sold for street use could not be legally modified, even if the vehicle was used for racing and not registered for street use. Furthermore, it had language that would affect aftermarket performance part suppliers as well. Bottom line, if it weren’t for SAN (SEMA Action Network) and the RPM Act of 2016 (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports) researching this catastrophe in government, many of us might have dismissed it as “nothing to worry about”, as some automotive media sources claimed.
But because of SAN, we were able to get to the bottom of it all to understand how it truly would affect us all. Our voices were heard, and over 170,000 signatures were sent to congress. Just yesterday, we received an email from SEMA stating that the EPA withdrew its proposed regulation on modified racecars.
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting released this message:
“We want to thank Congress for pushing EPA to withdraw an ill-conceived proposal. However, confusion reigns: the agency continues to assert new-found authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate modification of vehicles for use in competition. This means that those converting and racing competition vehicles, and the parts and services industries that support them, do so under new EPA policy that considers the activity illegal. Only clarifying legislation, such as that offered under the RPM Act, will confirm that such activity is legal and beyond the reach of future EPA regulations. The racing industry and public need a long-term solution to eliminate any uncertainty regarding how the Clean Air Act is interpreted.”
Are We Out Of The Water Yet?
Well, we could be, but there is still some confusion because Kersting fears this could be a short-term fix, rather than a long-term solution. While the EPA has stated that their concern was for street vehicles modified for performance, and not purpose-built race cars, the language didn’t exactly say that. The EPA has remove the section that brought about this reaction from the motorsport industry; and while we do see this as a small victory, we still need to stay on top of this issue and make sure the RPM Act is heard. You can find out more and show your support of the RPM Act of 2016 (HR 4715) by visiting the SAN website regularly.