Automotive & Aftermarket News / News & Car Culture

Congressional Bill Seeks to Protect Race Car Enthusiasts

Known as the RPM Act, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 was drafted to ensure that turning street vehicles into race cars driven exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act.

Supporters may contact members of Congress and urge them to support the RPM Act by clicking here. SEMA has already voiced its support for the bill in a statement released earlier today:

Washington, DC (March 8, 2016) – SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting today praised Congressional members for their introduction of a bipartisan bill that would protect thousands of American racecar enthusiasts from overreaching U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

“The EPA’s new interpretation of the Clean Air Act would essentially rewrite the law and 46 years of policy and practice,” said Kersting.  “Without congressional intervention, the racing community and racing parts manufacturers would be operating outside of that new law and could be targeted for enforcement.” The language in H.R. 4715 makes clear Congress’ intent to exclude competition-only cars from the scope of the Clean Air Act, including converted street vehicles.

H.R. 4715, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPM Act) was introduced by U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to ensure that converting street vehicles to racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. The practice was unquestioned until last year when the EPA published draft regulations that would make vehicle and engine conversions illegal and subject to the law’s tampering penalties.

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually.  According to the National Speedway Directory, there are over 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks.  If the EPA regulations were to be finalized, the impact on racers, racetracks and businesses that cater to the racer community would be substantial.

The EPA recently re-opened the proposed regulations to receive additional public comment.  However, allowing public comment does not resolve the issue because the EPA has not withdrawn the problematic language in its proposed regulation, nor has it conceded that motor vehicles may be modified for competition use.

“SEMA thanks Representatives McHenry, Cuellar, Hudson, Posey and Zeldin for introducing this bill,” Kersting added.  “We intend to work closely with our congressional allies to ensure that the Clean Air Act continues to allow the conversion and use of street vehicles as racecars.”

The RPM Act has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.  The EPA proposed regulations are scheduled to be finalized this summer.

For updates and additional information:
– visit www.sema.org/epa-news
facebook/sema.org
twitter/semamembers
Instagram/semashow
– use #saveourracecars, #rpmact2016

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23 Comments

  1. The RPM Act is merely a start, but I think it’s inadequate. There’s no real reason I shouldn’t be able to put a 400 sbc with a carburetor into my 85 Camaro and legally drive it on the road. Protecting our rights to build race cars is admirable, but I have a bigger issue not being allowed to modify my street car.

    • Guy Cunningham says:

      I agree with you. As long as a car can pass C.A.R.B. or other State Regulations and the sniff test, then what good will destroying a huge market and participant base do?

      this is overreaching in it’s purest form.

    • Devan Russell says:

      Or put a more efficient LS motor in an old car

    • So you’re demanding the right to put an inefficient engine inside an ancient platform, and environmental concerns be damned… Perhaps you imagine that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by those damned commie liberals. Why not try building a vehicle with a better power to weight ratio and a more efficient engine? You might find that driving smaller displacement and more power per pound is more satisfying, as well as more cost effective. My four-banger might be able to turn your 85 Camaro inside out. Maybe not, but either way, I get to sixty in four seconds and drive thirty miles on a gallon. All of that said, I would definitely never give up my right to modify and tune my own powerful, efficient automobile for greater performance. Best of luck to you.

      • Careful, Derp. In 10 years or so, that 30 mpg you get may be deemed too inefficient, and you may have to give it up for street use even if you want to keep it.

      • The question I have Derpdorp is, although your car gets 30mpg, does it pass current EPA Emissions requirements? You can call your engine efficient but, you have to consider the amount of emissions that motor puts out too.

      • Just so you know, cars don’t contribute to global warming as much as you think. only a few %. What does is factories pumping out co2 by the tons.

  2. Ronald Blakeslee says:

    If you buy a used car(or truck)you should be able to modify it to your hearts content,as long as it’s safe,without the EPA sticking it’s nose under your hood! If vehicle is new then it should comply with current emissions standards,if the vehicle is older and no longer belongs to the original owner you should be able to do anything you want!

  3. I diss agree with the whole thing. First of all if u think race cars are ruining the clean air thats a joke on u guys for the E.P.A think about all the semis, diesel trucks, daily driver cars, factorys, people burning things outside, airplanes and more its not just race cars RUINING CLEAN AIR!!!!

  4. THE EPA CAN KISS ME WHERE MY GOOD LORD SPLIT ME!

  5. Robert smyder says:

    Changed my vote to trump he says he will eliminate the EPA

  6. If it can pass an emission test, which is part of a state inspection, that has to be paid for by you, also without cheating (vw) or is not required due to the age of the vehicle what is the big deal with leaving it the way it is?

    • Its just another way for the government to keep chipping away at any right to do anything that involves free will or anything that the government doesn’t know about their just slowly taking away every freedom that is rightfully ours and try to make us think we won something even suggesting something like that is unamerican and they been doing it for years on so many issues and just the people voting on subjects like this is a victory for the government if they write 5 different versions of it on their 6 version they just make a small change let’s say just for argument sake they only want 10 less cubic inchs for the engines after fighting it for say 5 years everyone’s all okay instead of a 572 cubic inch engine we can have a 562 cubic inch engine we say that’s okay and that starts a land slide that will never stop and the people that care about freedoms like that and other ones get older and older and less and less of them and the few that still do care then compromise because they still like to work on their cars and the new generation that doesn’t care and are even brain washed they think v8 cars are for dumb people and if nothing else don’t vote or care about that issue we as Americans lose and government wins without even trying they just have to wait us out the next generation is submissive and taught not to question anything government will be caught in lie after lie and in the same breath tell you but this is true and the American people don’t do anything about it super sad I’m 38 I grew up playing football and being able to buy any 60 or 70american v8 cars for 500$ and being able to work on them and peel out till

  7. Tylerkegley says:

    Screw the epa look what they have done for the river’s in Colorado. They are a bunch of monkey’s who don’t know there ass from a hole in the wall. Cars with mods usually have a cleaner more complete combustion that is better for the environment.

  8. Pingback: EPA and Racing - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums

  9. Engine mods = cleaner combustion = cleaner air = win win.

  10. Andrew Noah Schuster says:

    If the EPA does this to us, I am going to their front door step, where ever it may be. We should collect information from companies of their revenue and show it how it would improve the economy. How it creates jobs every day. My truck has a Chevy 350 tbi with an LT4 hot cam 400hp… It passes emissions better than stock and better than the 305 that was originally in it. I have a high flow cat with 3in stainless exhaust. It passes. What about the Dodge Challenger hellcat? 707 hp and it passes. Wtf. Seriously we need to get serious about this. I’m going to a college for high performance racing technology. What’s the point in going if the jobs will never be there. We all need to join together and get everyone to their front door step. We have the right to assemble and to speech, why not use it. It’s our rights to have hobbies like this and they are pretty much taking our rights from us.

  11. Pingback: Congressman Tim Ryan Visits Summit Racing to Express Support for Racers - OnAllCylinders

  12. It’s fun watching government move on to treating yet another group of people the same way they have been treating gun owners. This should wake up the “You don’t need a gun you right wing militia nutjob now check out this supercharger on my Camaro for use on public roads with speed limits” crowd.

    Sooner or later out of control government will get to something you care about.

  13. I sent a message to my two Senators and my Congressman. Only Senator Kirsten Gillibrand replied telling me that she is in favor of the ruling because we will pollute the air more. She forgot that every politician running for office right now is adding more pollutants than the rest of us as they travel from town to town trying to get us to vote for them. Apparently it is alright for the politician to pollute.

  14. Dan Williams says:

    How do you explain this to Bubba? His jacked up 1/2 ton truck with the mudders is NOT a race only vehicle, just because he says it is.

  15. Pingback: Update: Newly Reintroduced RPM Act Needs Your Support Again! - OnAllCylinders

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