The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act took a major step forward on Dec. 6, as the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill with a bipartisan vote of 33 to 20 to make it eligible for consideration on the floor of the House of Representatives. The bill (H.R. 350) clarifies that it is legal under federal law to manufacture, sell, distribute and install race parts that modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle used solely for racing.
The bill has also cleared the Senate Clean Air Subcommittee, before whom SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified on Nov. 14, and is pending before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The RPM Act addresses a problem that did not exist prior to 2015 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule stating it was illegal to convert street vehicles into racing vehicles if the emission system is taken out-of-compliance from its stock configuration. It would also make it illegal to sell any emissions-related parts for those vehicles.
Kersting noted in his testimony that the EPA interpretation contradicts 47 years of previous agency policy, practice and industry understanding of the law as it applies to dedicated race vehicles.
Although the EPA withdrew the proposed rule in April 2017, the agency still asserts it has authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions modifications to converted vehicles used solely for competition. The RPM Act simply confirms that Congress never intended for race vehicles and parts to be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
SEMA continues to encourage industry support for the RPM Act, as the racing community and the businesses that support it deserve certainty and confidence that the EPA will not go after this American pastime. To keep the pressure on Congress to get the RPM Act over the finish line, contact your legislator using the letter generator at SEMA.org/RPMact.