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CARB Proposes Engine Certification Program for Specially Constructed Vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is considering a proposed rule that would allow OEM engines from previously certified, on-road vehicles to be installed in “specially constructed vehicles” (SCVs). Under the proposal, CARB officials would also create a program for certifying engines that are not from certified vehicles (e.g., crate engines).

Agreement Reached on Future Fuel-Economy Standards

The federal government, California regulators and auto industry representatives have agreed on fuel economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits for model year ’17–’25 vehicles. The fleetwide average will rise from 35.5 mpg at the end of ’16 to 54.5 mpg for model year ’25—a nearly 5% annual increase with slightly lower standards for light-duty trucks.

Iowa Bill to Restrict Consumer Information on Ethanol Content in Gasoline Dead for the Year

SEMA-opposed legislation in Iowa to change labeling requirements on gas pumps across the state to only require labeling for unblended gasoline and E85 was successfully defeated this year.

SEMA Encourages Racing Community to Help Save the Bonneville Salt Flats From Destruction

The history of the Bonneville Salt Flats is well known. Since 1914, racers have gone to Utah to set land-speed records and achieve personal best times. In addition to its professional racing programs, Bonneville remains at the heart of every racer’s dreams. For decades, the Salt Flats have decreased in size, strength and thickness because salt has been removed by an adjoining potash-mining operation.

NHTSA to Correct Lighting Standard References to Blue and Green Colors

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposed rule to restore the blue and green color boundaries within the federal lighting standard. The boundaries were inadvertently removed from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108 several years ago when the agency reorganized the lighting standard.

House Committee Passes Bill to Strengthen Small Business Protections From Burdensome Regulations

The U.S. House Small Business Committee approved two SEMA-supported bills to close loopholes that federal agencies may use to avoid compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

House Committee Approves Legislation to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a SEMA-supported bill that would require federal judges to impose monetary sanctions against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits. Under current law, federal judges are allowed, but not required, to impose penalties.

Federal Reserve Limits Debit Card Fees

The Federal Reserve Board issued a final rule to limit swipe fees imposed on retailers when accepting debit card payments at $.21 per transaction, effective October 1, 2011. Banks and payment processors may also charge $.01–$.03 more to cover fraud prevention and other adjustments, bringing the total potential fees to $.24.

EPA Issues E15 Fuel Pump Labeling Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require an orange-and-black label be placed on fuel pumps dispensing gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15).

House Panel Considers the Benefits of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation

A House Natural Resources Subcommittee recently held a hearing entitled, “Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation on Public Lands.” The main topics of discussion were protecting recreational access to federal lands and recognizing the economic benefits derived from such activities. Witnesses included representatives from the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and other OHV organizations. The hearing included testimony in support of multiple-use federal lands and responsible OHV recreation.
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