Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act Update


As the auto enthusiast-industry driven push back against the EPA’s proposed legislation to alter the Clean Air Act to prevent vehicle modifications heats up, seven states have sent letters to the agency requesting they cease their pursuit of these alterations.

According to the West Virginia Record, West Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan and George have signed a litter sent to the EPA on April 1 objecting to proposed changes in the legislation because it could potentially threaten the racing and aftermarket industry.

The EPA proposal is directed at cars used on public roads, and aims to continue enforcing the law that prevents owners and builders from removing or working around emissions control systems for those vehicles.

From the EPA:

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. Instead, the proposed language in the Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas rulemaking simply clarifies the distinction between motor vehicles and nonroad vehicles such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Unlike motor vehicles – which include cars, light trucks, and highway motorcycles – nonroad vehicles may, under certain circumstances, be modified for use in competitive events in ways that would otherwise be prohibited by the Clean Air Act.”

U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Henry Cuellar  (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) have introduced the bipartisan “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016” (RPM Act), H.R 4715, which makes clear Congress’ intent to exclude competition-only cars from the scope of the Clean Air Act, including converted street vehicles.

If you would like to support the SEMA sponsored legislative response to the proposed legislation, the petition can be found here:

That being said, the aim of the legislation does not seem to be to strip anyone of their race car or race car parts but to clarify and enforce emissions standards which have been in place since the 1970s.  That being said, the language suggest that further regulation is possible and leaves some ambiguity on the table for vehicles that are road to track regulars, so keep yourself informed.

Read the legislation, read the responses, and decide where you stand.

About Andreanna Ditton 182 Articles
Andreanna Ditton is the Content Manager for MotorHead Media and the Editor-in-Chief for She's been working in the automotive publishing industry since 2007 focusing on racing and performance for motorcycles and cars.

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