The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that current regulations to reduce ozone air pollution are insufficient. The agency issued a proposed rule to tighten the standard from 0.08 parts per million, averaged over eight hours, to around 0.07 ppm. The EPA may even reconsider whether to set limits to 0.06 ppm as had been recommended by the agency's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.
Law & Order
SEMA defeated legislation that would have required the development of a statewide program to mandate that replacement tires for passenger cars and light trucks be as energy efficient as tires sold as original equipment.
SEMA-supported legislation to exempt composite vehicles from emissions inspections was signed into law by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell. Under current Connecticut law, composite vehicles are those constructed from the component parts of two or more motor vehicles of different model year or vehicle type.
For details, contact Steve McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMA-model legislation to amend the vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods was introduced in Delaware. Under the bill, a street rod is defined as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949. Importantly, replica street rods would be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.
For further details, contact Steve McDonald at email@example.com.
SEMA and other members of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) unveiled a comprehensive agenda to address intellectual property theft. The CACP is a coalition of more than 300 businesses and associations working together with the U.S. government to address the threat of counterfeiting and piracy. The six-part plan calls on Congress to strengthen legal protection and increase resources to ensure effective enforcement. Many of the recommendations are already incorporated in legislation being considered by Congress.
Highlights of the plan include:
California legislation (AB 616) to require annual smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older has been approved by the California Assembly and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. The bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars. You may recall that in 2004, a new law was enacted in California to require the lifetime testing of all '76 and newer model-year vehicles. Pre-'76 motor vehicles would remain exempt under AB 616.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) moved to a new location on May 31. The old address was "400 Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20590." The new address is:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, D.C. 20590
The NHTSA's phone numbers are unchanged. If you have any questions, contact Stuart Gosswein at StuartG@sema.org.
A version of SEMA-model legislation to create a registration category for replica motor vehicles was approved by the Nevada State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jim Gibbons. Under the bill, replicas are defined as vehicles manufactured after 1968 to resemble vehicles manufactured before 1968. Replicas will be exempted from all emissions inspection requirements applicable to other vehicles in the state. Registration as a replica vehicle will be open to 100 such vehicles each year and use will limited to occasional transportation and other hobby-related activities.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on an energy bill during the week of June 11 that includes a provision to dramatically raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. If enacted into law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be required to increase the combined CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks by 4% a year through 2030, to a combined average of 52 mpg. The current standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 for light trucks, SUVs and minivans.
President Bush signed into law a SEMA-supported measure that balances a minimum wage hike with $4.8 billion in small-business tax breaks. The wage will increase to $7.25 per hour over two years in three $.70 increments. The wage will rise to from $5.15 to $5.85 on July 24, 2007, followed by yearly increases to $6.55 and $7.25.
The tax-relief package increases the tax code’s annual expensing limits to $125,000 through 2008. The current limit is $112,000. Other provisions include incentives to hire disabled veterans and welfare workers.