SEMA eNews Vol. 20, No. 46, November 16, 2017

SEMA President Urges Congress to Protect American Motorsports

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

  Chris Kersting
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified before the U.S. Senate Clean Air Subcommittee on November 14 in support of S. 203, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act.
   

SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified before the U.S. Senate Clean Air Subcommittee on November 14 in support of S. 203, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. The RPM Act clarifies that it is legal under federal law to manufacture, sell, distribute and install race parts that modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle that is used solely for racing.

In a separate action, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Environment Subcommittee approved a nearly identical version of the RPM Act (H.R. 350) on November 15, and sent it to the House Energy & Commerce Committee for further action.

“The RPM Act is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation that would provide much-needed certainty to the motorsports community,” Kersting said.

Congress never intended for race vehicles, which have minimal environmental impact, to be regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule in 2015 stating it is illegal to convert a motor vehicle into a racecar if the vehicle’s emissions system no longer remains in its certified configuration. The EPA also asserted that marketing race parts was illegal if such products were capable of being installed on street vehicles. Although the EPA removed the proposal from the final rulemaking, the agency still asserts it has authority under the CAA to regulate emissions modifications to converted vehicles used solely for competition.  

“The EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act would have a devastating impact on motorsports since most racecars start life as street vehicles,” Kersting said. “It would also decimate small businesses that supply the products used in motorsports, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions in local revenue for communities.”

The RPM Act would simply clarify the original intent of the CAA, which was never meant to apply to race vehicles. For more information, visit www.sema.org/epa-news.

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