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EPA Drops Language Banning Street-to-Race Car Modification from Proposal

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April 18, 2016—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday that it would eliminate language from its proposal for heavy- and medium-duty truck emissions ruling that would have potentially banned street cars being converted for track use.

The proposal was published June 2015. In February 2016, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) said the language would prohibit the type of modifications made to street cars converted for racing use by amateur racers for decades. The EPA received a number of comments from the public voicing displeasure with the proposed rules. 

“The proposed language in the July 2015 proposal was never intended to represent any change in the law or in EPA’s policies or practices towards dedicated competition vehicles,” the EPA said in a statement on its website. “Since our attempt to clarify led to confusion, EPA has decided to eliminate the proposed language from the final rule.”

In response to the announcement, SEMA president and chief executive officer Chris Kersting said, "We want to thank Congress for pushing EPA to withdraw an ill-conceived proposal. However, confusion reigns: the agency continues to assert new-found authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate modification of vehicles for use in competition. This means that those converting and racing competition vehicles, and the parts and services industries that support them, do so under new EPA policy that considers the activity illegal. Only clarifying legislation, such as that offered under the RPM Act, will confirm that such activity is legal and beyond the reach of future EPA regulations. The racing industry and public need a long-term solution to eliminate any uncertainty regarding how the Clean Air Act is interpreted." 

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