UPDATED: Congress Reps and Senators Introduce Bill to Allow Racecar Conversion
“RPM Act” to Make Legality of Modifying Road Cars Clear
UPDATEA companion bill to the RPM Act was introduced in the Senate March 9. Sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Dean Heller (R-NV), Senate Bill 2659 affirms the Environmental Protection Agency "cannot regulate vehicles used solely for competition, and for other purposes." Constituents can draft a prewritten letter to their senators and representatives through the SEMA Action Network at this updated link.
Representatives from North Carolina, Texas, and Florida have introduced a bipartisan act to the United States House of Representatives to exempt competition-only cars from certain provisions of the Clean Air Act, including racecars converted from street vehicles.
The cleverly named Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016, or RPM for short, clarifies wording in the Clean Air Act that has been construed to prohibit the conversion of road cars into racecars. It affirms that it has always been legal to modify a street vehicle into a track-only machine.
The SEMA Action Network is urging those within its sphere of influence to ask their local representatives to support the act. SEMA has a website that allows people to directly contact their congressional representatives with a pregenerated letter extolling the act.
The Clean Air Act hasn’t changed since its passing several years ago, but a few detail-oriented enthusiasts discovered wording in its text that suggests the Environmental Protection Agency could ban modifying a certified vehicle’s emissions controls, even if that vehicle is never again used on public highways. Although we're all for clean air, given that race vehicles comprise such a small amount of vehicle emissions, the rule does seem very far-reaching. (Particularly since rolling coal, while irresponsible and inconsiderate on the road, is one of the coolest parts of sled pulling, dyno days, or drag racing.)
That rule, which has yet to be enforced insofar as we’re aware, has set off a firestorm of concern and worry throughout the amateur motorsport community, particularly at SEMA. The organization publicized a White House petition last month that asked the president to keep the EPA from carrying out the rule, and the petition garnered more than 100,000 signatures in 24 hours.
The RPM act, 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), solidifies the industry’s response to the challenge presented by the Clean Air Act, whether that threat is real or perceived. We’ll be writing that letter to our congressmen, just in case.
Source: SEMA Action Network