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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