In the last three months, there has been an industry wide movement calling attention to the EPA and its motorsports intentions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew its proposal to outlaw the conversion of street vehicles into race-only vehicles based on over 175,000 letters sent by our industry to the whitehouse.gov petition. This on the surface looks like our racing industry is safe now, but the EPA’s position is they still have the right to enforce their “new” interpretation. The only way to protect our industry is to pass legislative to clearly define what the EPA can enforce.
The industry needs to support the 'Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016' (RPM Act), which protects our rights to convert an automobile into a racecar used exclusively at the track. SEMA has led the industry response and PWA is fully behind this much needed legislation. PWA board members: JR Moore of Performance Warehouse, Paul Van Woensel of Engine Performance Warehouse, and Dave Ziozios of Motovicity Distribution and PWA’s President Tracie Nunez lobbied on this very issue during the SEMA Washington Rally in Washington DC on May 11, 2016.
The aftermarket industry needs to follow this through and take action now to protect this 1.4-billion-dollar part of the industry. The House has introduced H.R. 4715, the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016” (RPM Act) to reinforce that it has always been legal to modify a street vehicle into a racecar used exclusively at the track. The U.S. Senate introduced its version, S. 2659, which is a companion bill to H.R. 4715, introduced in early March in the House. This provides immediate protection and sends the EPA a united message from our 6-billion-dollar industry.
Many feel the RPM Act doesn’t do enough to protect the street cars that also are weekend racers. That is fair, but the start has to begin here. The RPM Act secures the ability to take a street car, modify it and use it exclusively for racing and not worry about remaining “emissions legal” with a simple clarification. Getting bipartisan support and passing these bills are within the industry’s reach this year. PWA and SEMA support the intention of the Clean Air ACT and recognize the need for our industry to be selling legal parts for both street and race use. Street cars used as weekend racers need to remain compliant. How the EPA enforces “racing only” parts being installed on street cars will be the next opportunity for our industry to influence and have an impact on.
In the meantime, if you haven’t taken action yet on asking for RPM Act support, do so now. Ask your House member and your two Senators to cosponsor the RPM Act to provide certainty to the racing community and to protect the right to modify a motor vehicle for race purposes. Don’t know where to start, contact PWA for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 760.346-5647. PWA’s new advocacy tool can help you make contact quickly.