The hot rodding community spoke — and the EPA has listened!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it has removed language regarding converting emissions-controlled, street-driven vehicles for racing. The EPA statement said:
“…EPA supports motorsports and its contributions to the American economy and communities all across the country. EPA’s focus is not on vehicles built or used exclusively for racing, but on companies that don’t play by the rules and that make and sell products that disable pollution controls on motor vehicles used on public roads. These unlawful defeat devices pump dangerous and illegal pollution into the air we breathe.
“The proposed language in the July 2015 proposal was never intended to represent any change in the law or in EPA’s policies or practices towards dedicated competition vehicles. Since our attempt to clarify led to confusion, EPA has decided to eliminate the proposed language from the final rule.
“The Agency will continue to engage with the racing industry and others about ways to ensure that EPA supports racing while maintaining the Agency’s focus where it has always been: reducing pollution from the cars and trucks that travel along America’s roadways and through our neighborhoods.”
The EPA’s decision means you can convert any street-driven car you like into a track-only car without fear of penalty from the EPA. However, SEMA, Summit Racing, and other aftermarket parts interests are still pushing for Congress to ratify the recently introduced RPM Act into law. The RPM Act will essentially protect your right to build competition-only vehicles from EPA overreach. SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting released the following reaction to the EPA announcement:
“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.”
We’ll be following the proceedings as hearings on the RPM Act continue and we’ll keep you informed as things progress. You can give your Congressman a nudge to support the RPM Act. The SEMA Action Network has a handy online form you can use to ask your local members of Congress to support the RPM Act. We’ve also created a template you can use to write a letter directly to your Congressional representative and Senator. You can copy and paste the text into an email, fill in the appropriate information where noted, and send it to your rep.