The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new regulations that will prohibit road-going vehicles from being converted into race cars.
Currently, there are exceptions in the Clean Air Act that relate directly to cars converted into race cars, allowing the removal of certain emissions devices like a catalytic converter. This new set of rules would make it illegal to remove these emissions devices from all passenger cars, including those being converted to race cars.
The regulations would also make the sale of certain products that modify emissions illegal, which has caught the attention of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
SEMA has already taken administrative action to stop the new EPA regulation, as it would signifcantly affect the aftermarket parts market. “This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.
The regulations, entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2,” mostly deal with the emissions of heavy trucks and tractors.
Final regulations will be submitted in July of 2016.
Update: EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen has issued a statement to Autoblog:
“People may use EPA-certified motor vehicles for competition, but to protect public health from air pollution, the Clean Air Act has – since its inception – specifically prohibited tampering with or defeating the emission control systems on those vehicles.
The proposed regulation that SEMA has commented on does not change this long-standing law, or approach. Instead, the proposed language in the Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas rulemaking simply clarifies the distinction between motor vehicles and nonroad vehicles such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Unlike motor vehicles – which include cars, light trucks, and highway motorcycles – nonroad vehicles may, under certain circumstances, be modified for use in competitive events in ways that would otherwise be prohibited by the Clean Air Act.
EPA is now reviewing public comments on this proposal.”