In case you missed it.. Everyone’s been talking about the EPA’s crackdown on race cars. In July 2015, the EPA proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into race cars.
On February 8, 2016, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) brought this issue to public light in their article.
The EPA’s Stance
EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen released the following statement on the recently uncovered EPA language:
“People may use EPA-certified motor vehicles for competition, but to protect public health from air pollution, the Clean Air Act has – since its inception – specifically prohibited tampering with or defeating the emission control systems on those vehicles. The proposed regulation that SEMA has commented on does not change this long-standing law, or approach.”
What SEMA Has To Say About It
According to SEMA, the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into race cars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal. This would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track.
“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”
Will It Affect You?
As Tim Odell at Hooniverse points out, the law is not slated to go into effect until 2018. So even if it does pass, it will never apply to current racing-modified production cars, only to those produced in 2018 or later and purchased with the intent of being raced. That is, if the law passes at all.
SEMA stated that they will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.
The EPA has indicated it expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.