SEMA vs. the EPA

by | Mar 17, 2016

It’s been all over the Internet: The big, bad EPA wants to pass rules requiring emissions controls on track-only vehicles, something that hasn’t been done in the past and also makes no sense. And there have been posts screaming the sky is falling while other Chicken Little’s say it’s nothing to worry about. I can see Earnhardt, Jr’s Chevy SS with emissions controls now. We all want clean air and I thin most of us have no problems coping with the emissions controls on our daily drivers but our weekend track only cars—nope.


On March 8, SEMA President Chris Kersting praised congressional members for their introduction of a bipartisan (wow, something these people will actually agree on) bill that would protect thousands of American racers from EPA regulations.

The language in H.R. 4715 makes clear Congress’ intent to exclude competition-only cars from the scope of the Clean Air Act, including converted street vehicles. The bill was introduced by representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to ensure that converting street vehicles to racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. The practice was unquestioned until last year when the EPA published draft regulations that would make vehicle and engine conversions illegal and subject to the law’s tampering penalties.


Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually. According to the National Speedway Directory, there are over 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks. If the EPA regulations were to be finalized, the impact on racers, racetracks and businesses that cater to the racer community would be substantial.  The RPM Act has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.  The EPA proposed regulations are scheduled to be finalized this summer.

Supporters of this legislation to overturn the EPA regulation may contact their member of Congress and urge them to support the RPM Act by clicking here.