• The EPA Wants To Ban Turning Road Cars Into Race Cars

Fines up to $37,000 for every emissions equipment violation threaten to kill engine moding

Hidden deep inside a 629-page document in the Federal register, the EPA has proposed changes to emissions regulations that would literally ban turning a street car into a competition-focused racing vehicle. SEMA claims the proposed regulation would impact all vehicle types that are commonly converted for use at the track. Here is a short excerpt from the proposed regulation:

“Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become non-road vehicles or engines; anyone modifying a certified motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for any reason is subject to the tampering and defeat device prohibitions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section and 42 U.S.C.”

As you can see, the way the rule is written, it would outlaw removing emissions equipment, even if the car is never intended to touch public roadways ever again. Ultimately, if the proposed rules fall into place, racing parts that defeat emissions equipment and the intentional act of modifying or removing emissions equipment will be completely banned.

Up until now, the Clean Air Act was understood to only apply to road-going cars, but the EPA is now claiming that isn’t the case, and competition based cars also fall under the Clean Air Act umbrella. In that document, the EPA claims it “may assess a civil penalty up to $37,500 for each engine or piece of equipment in violation. It’s hard to think of any race car performing at its best with constant worry about whether or not the car meets the EPA’s strict emission regulations.

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Why It Matters

I understand that the EPA is trying to protect our planet by limiting the amount of greenhouse gasses in the air, but this change to the rules is going too far. Swapping out things like exhaust manifolds, removing catalytic converters, and other performance draining equipment is the first thing any person does when they start to build a track car. The fact that the EPA wants to hit people to the tune of $37,500 for each violation is absolutely absurd.

The whole global warming issue itself has been long debated, but whether it is actually a problem or not, I doubt all the track-based cars in the world really contribute that much to the ongoing problem. To me, this seems like another way for the EPA to fund its operations. It knows the rules will be opposed, and those who disagree with the rules won’t follow them if they can help it. Next thing you know, the EPA will start making surprise visits to tracks across the country to start inspecting each and every car there. Just think of how much money it can pull in tagging every car at any track on any given day with even one $37,500 fine.

In my opinion, we already have enough rules and regulations working against the freedom of the American people. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the good old U.S. of A. isn’t a free country anymore. If you want to speak out against these new rules and do your part in preventing the EPA from overstepping yet another boundary, you can sign an online petition on Change.org here. At the time of this writing, only 536 more supporters are needed to reach the goal of 35,000.

Source: Change

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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