EPA Seeks to Prohibit Conversion of Vehicles into Racecars

RANDALL

Banned
Credit hotrodhotline.com

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation that would prohibit the conversion of street vehicles to racecars. This regulation would also make illegal the sale of certain products for racing purposes on street vehicles. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation titled "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles - Phase 2."

If passed, this regulation would impact all vehicle types such as sports cars, sedans, and hatchbacks most commonly converted for use at the race track. The Clean Air Act already prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, but this act clearly did not intend to regulate vehicles built or modified for racing as long as they were not used on the streets.

"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."

Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose this regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.

The EPA expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.

ETA: SEMA has a petition to sign opposing this legislation. Follow the link: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/tell-epa-withdraw-its-proposal-prohibit-conversion-vehicles-racecars-0
 

Mike T

Well-Known Member
I don't know how such a proposal gets started...... all I can picture is a bunch of people sitting around with nothing to do trying to top each other with their brilliant ideas:rolleyes:.
 

novaderrik

Well-Known Member
the official stance of the EPA director is that it has always been illegal under the clean air act to remove emissions control devices from street vehicles when converting them to race cars or other forms of off road vehicles but that they never bothered to actually enforce it.

yup, he thinks that they were doing the country a favor by not being over bearing dicks for the last 53 years..

so basically, every kind of race car built out of a titled vehicle that had a non original drivetrain installed and had any of it's factory emissions control devices removed has been illegal... millions of dirt track cars, offroad trucks, drag cars, demolition derby cars, swamp buggies, monster trucks, and any other kind of off road vehicle made out of a vehicle that left a factory with a VIN tag are considered by a government agency with no real oversight to be illegal..

this is just reason #4,690,582,398 why the EPA needs to be dissolved and replaced with an agency that is held on a very short leash and not allowed to grow beyond their original mission..
 

Darth Fiero

3800 Series II Turbo
This isn't just about race cars, folks!

If I'm reading it right, these new rules would give the EPA the authority to shut down the automotive performance aftermarket industry as we know it!

SEMA's review of these new regs makes it sound like the EPA is claiming you can NEVER TOUCH ANYTHING that was at any point certified emissions legal or modify any car that was ever issued a VIN number.

Basically anybody here that has a modded Turbo Buick would be in violation of the law if these new regs get approved. And any company offering performance products and services for vehicles such as ours would be forced to close.

Read what SEMA has to say about it in their breakdown here: https://www.sema.org/sema-enews/201...rect)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=194345189
 

RANDALL

Banned
SEMA fears that proposed rules for 2018, stashed deep inside a 629-page EPA rules proposal titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2” would effectively outlaw the removal of OEM emissions equipment for track-only competition vehicles, while also making the sale of aftermarket parts that circumvented those emissions systems illegal. SEMA says this would have a massive impact on the $36-billion aftermarket parts industry. This would mean your modified turbo Buick (and any other car that has been modified) would be illegal, even if it never saw public roads.

Steve McDonald, SEMA’s vice president of government affairs, who pointed out a section of the proposed EPA rules for Heavy- and Medium- duty trucks above a GVRW of 8,500 pounds. On page 40,566, section 86.1854-12, under Prohibited Acts, the EPA is proposing that: “Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become nonroad vehicles or engines.” It is important to note that the EPA defines “nonroad” vehicles as locomotives, dirt bikes, ATVs, and other machinery that isn’t commonly considered a motor vehicle to begin with; but McDonald contends that the EPA clarified in a January 20, 2016, meeting with SEMA that the proposed rules would reach out to the “light-duty” market—vehicles with a gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) of less than 8,500 pounds—despite the proposed rules aiming at larger Heavy- and Medium-duty trucks.

The EPA has responded to SEMA’s claims, and states that they are merely clarifying the language in the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas rule set. EPA released this statement:

“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.

SEMA still asks that you write to your local congressman for support. While the EPA is not likely to pull your dragster from your cold, dead hands, SEMA fears that the EPA would be more inclined to fine larger aftermarket companies that failed to comply with proposed rules.


That could mean suppliers of high performance parts for your turbo Buick powered car (or any other make/model) go out of business for fear of EPA fines.
 

SpeedRacerX

Well-Known Member
One possible compromise could be like the gun laws here in NJ.

Transport your Buick in an enclosed trailer but make sure the keys are kept separate in the tow vehicle. Use the Buick under controlled conditions at a track or show and then transport back to house in the same way. Do not stop anywhere along the route.

I hope my JOKE NEVER EVER comes true.
 

novaderrik

Well-Known Member
One possible compromise could be like the gun laws here in NJ.

Transport your Buick in an enclosed trailer but make sure the keys are kept separate in the tow vehicle. Use the Buick under controlled conditions at a track or show and then transport back to house in the same way. Do not stop anywhere along the route.

I hope my JOKE NEVER EVER comes true.

no, according to the EPA you are breaking the law by merely owning that car. they already put emissions devices on lawn mowers and you can get in pretty deep trouble for altering the tune on new factory built dirt bikes that weren't even built for street use in the first place if they want to go after you..
 

gordyzx9r

Member
So why haven't more motorsport groups aside from SEMA jumped on this? What about NHRA, IHRA, AHRA, NASCAR, etc.? Any mention of what their stance is as this would affect their bottom line if the sport(s) dried up.
 

Darth Fiero

3800 Series II Turbo
So why haven't more motorsport groups aside from SEMA jumped on this? What about NHRA, IHRA, AHRA, NASCAR, etc.? Any mention of what their stance is as this would affect their bottom line if the sport(s) dried up.

These new regs don't affect the major racing sanctioning bodies.

From SEMA:
Fact: The EPA’s proposal would not affect purpose-built racecars, such as sprint cars, open-wheel dragsters and the cars that currently compete in NASCAR.

The EPA agrees that vehicles that were originally manufactured for racing are excluded from regulation under the Clean Air Act. However, the EPA believes this exclusion extends only to vehicles that were never certified for on-road use or issued a VIN.

It would probably only have an immediate impact on amateur drag and circle track racing. But that's not where the big money is. All the professionals would be unaffected since they build their own stuff anyway. Basically these new regs hurt the people who can't afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on racing.

In the long term though, it would probably eventually hurt the major racing sports too. I believe many people who go to racing events and buy products advertised at these events are interested in doing so because they like to mod their own cars. If most (except the rich) are banned from doing so, then many will probably lose interest in racing altogether. NASCAR would probably survive the longest, but I'm sure they would eventually suffer too. Many of the sponsors of the major racing teams make a lot of their money selling goods or services to average, everyday people who like to mod their cars. Do you think any of these industries can survive if they are banned from selling anything made for a pollution controlled vehicle or engine, or selling to people who could use these products in such vehicles?

I just don't see how the racing industry can survive on professional sports business alone. There are big money players there, but they are currently supported by sponsors who make their money off the average Joe. And I just can't picture everyone being able to stay in business without average Joe's dollar.
 
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gordyzx9r

Member
I would think it would affect the members of NHRA, IHRA, and the AHRA as those are the groups for the enthusiasts themselves (well...maybe not the NHRA so much anymore) but the IHRA and the AHRA still represent the average car guy (or at least they're supposed to).
 

RANDALL

Banned
This legislation could effect major sanctioning bodies; stock, super stock, some comp elim cars... possibly bracket racing or test and tune at your local NHRA/AHRA/IHRA sanctioned track, NMCA: LSX, CP Stock, True Street, Buick events, local dirt hobby stock, dirt street stock... aftermarket parts manufacturers; absolutely. Most all mentioned are members of SEMA, in part to protect their interests (and ours) against legislation such as this. As Darth Fiero states, it won't have much impact on professional catagories (these cars don't have a VIN as you and I know it).
 
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RANDALL

Banned
From Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 133, EPA 40 CFR proposed legislation...

Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their
certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become nonroad vehicles or engines; anyone modifying a certified motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for any reason is subject to the tampering and defeat device prohibitions of 40 CFR.

For a manufacturer or dealer, we (EPA) may assess a civil penalty up to $37,500 for each engine or piece of equipment in violation. For anyone else, we may assess a civil penalty up to $3,750 for each engine or piece of equipment in violation.
 

novaderrik

Well-Known Member
this affects EVERYTHING that isn't a purpose built off road vehicle...

wanna build a demo car? gotta keep the emissions stuff intact.

pulling truck? better have the emissions stuff on it.

bracket racer? yup, those too..

think that amateur road racing looks like fun? that $300 Cavalier that you want to build into a track rat better pass a sniffer test..
 

RANDALL

Banned
I'm sure you have read about the potential impact of this proposed legislation. If you oppose, and if you haven't already, please sign the petition, it takes less than two minutes.

Follow the link: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/tell-epa-withdraw-its-proposal-prohibit-conversion-vehicles-racecars-0

I have also written my state Representative and Senator (via email) voicing my opposition to this proposed legilation. I am more than willing to help anyone else that would like to do the same. I will look up your contacts in Congress and provide you with form text and email contact info. This only takes a couple of minutes as well. If interested send me a PM request.
 
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