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OSHA Abandons Noise Proposal

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew a SEMA-opposed plan that could have required companies to install soundproofing materials to comply with noise standards. Employers may currently meet the standard by providing workers with ear plugs or headsets.

SEMA Opposes EPA Expansion of E15 Waiver to MY 2001 and Newer Cars

Several weeks ago, SEMA requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspend its partial waiver to permit the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) for model-year (MY) ’07 and newer vehicles. Instead, the EPA has taken another step in the wrong direction by expanding the waiver to include MY ’01-’06 vehicles. The decision seems to conflict with President Obama’s Executive Order from earlier this week that requires government agencies to balance social and economic costs.

Pro-Hobbyist Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Bill Reintroduced in New York

SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles has been reintroduced in the New York State Assembly. Introduced by Assemblyman Bill Reilich, the bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948.

West Virginia Bills to Lower Personal Property Tax Assessments on Antique Motor Vehicles

Identical bills in the West Virginia Legislature to provide owners of antique motor vehicles with a fair and equitable personal property tax assessment have been introduced and referred to the House Roads and Transportation Committee. The bills seek to address recent unfair valuation practices, which have negatively impacted many West Virginia hobbyists.

West Virginia Introduces Bill to Protect Hobbyists From Unfair Exhaust Noise Citations

SEMA-model legislation that would allow West Virginia’s vehicle hobbyists to install and use aftermarket modified exhaust systems that meet a 95-decibel limit under a fair and predictable test was introduced in the West Virginia State Legislature by Delegate Gary Howell.

Washington State Bill to Increase Fees for Collector Cars and Horseless Carriages Defeated

SEMA-opposed legislation to require annual renewal fees for collector vehicle and horseless carriage license plates will not receive committee consideration this year. Under the bill, the initial $35 license plate fee for these vehicles would have remained and a new annual $30 renewal fee would have been added.

EPA Spray Paint Requirements Take Effect for Auto Body Shops

A rule issued in 2008 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate certain auto body refinishing operations took full effect on January 10, 2011. The rule targets metal compounds emitted as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) during paint coating or stripping operations. The compounds include chromium, lead, manganese, nickel and cadmium.

Government Increases Employer I-9 Audits, Updates Compliance Manual

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated its “Handbook for Employers” (M-274) on how to complete I-9 forms when verifying the authorized work status of new hires. All U.S. employers are required to process I-9 forms. The updated instruction manual contains new information about electronic storage and retention of I-9 forms.

White House and Congress Pledge Regulatory Review

President Obama issued an Executive Order directing all federal agencies to review their regulations in an attempt to eliminate rules that hinder economic growth. In Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the new chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Committee, has asked the business community, trade groups and research organizations to identify federal regulations that are restraining the nation’s economic recovery.

Former Auto Dealer Turned Lawmaker Covers Alt Fuels and Powertrain Issues

The following was written by Rep. John Campbell (R-CA).

I am not the world's greatest authority on the subject of cars and propulsion systems, but I'm probably pretty high on the list in Congress. Some people want cars to go away entirely. Others think we are headed to all electrics, all hybrids or fuel cells. Of course, there are 130 million cars and trucks in the United States today, which are almost entirely powered by gasoline. What should the U.S. policy on cars, and the energy to power them, follow? What are the practical alternatives? [Read more]
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