The Environmental Protection Agency caused quite a stir earlier this year, when a proposed regulation appeared to prohibit the tampering of emissions controls on road cars converted for competition use. Naturally, this left a lot of people in the motorsport community over in the US rather worried, since changing things like fuel systems and exhausts is pretty damn common for DIY racings cars. However, everyone who might have fallen foul of the new law can breathe a sigh of relief.
The last time the EPA tried to clarify its stance, it merely made things worse by seeming to suggest that the tampering of emissions controls on converted racing cars had been against the rules for some time, but now the organisation has dropped the offending words entirely.
As a reminder, the regulation in question was catchily named the ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles - Phase 2’, with the following part being the cause for concern: “the Clean Air Act does not allow any person to disable, remove, or render inoperative (i.e., tamper with) emission controls on a certified motor vehicle for purposes of competition.”
In a statement to confirm its new position, the EPA said last week:
“The proposed language in the July 2015 proposal was never intended to represent any change in the law or in EPA’s policies or practices towards dedicated competition vehicles. Since our attempt to clarify led to confusion, EPA has decided to eliminate the proposed language from the final rule.”
Responding to the news, the members of Congress responsible for the RPM act - aimed at stopping the EPA’s proposals - released a statement, saying: “We are pleased that just days after our letter, EPA slammed the brakes on their gambit to regulate auto racing. EPA had no business using Heavy Duty Truck rules to sideline racecars.”