Friday, 05 March 2021 23:46

SEMA Challenges EPA's Motorsports Regulations in Court

Written by SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff


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SEMA filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Gear Box Z. Inc. (GBZ) arguing against EPA’s contention that the Clean Air Act (CAA) does not allow a motor vehicle to be converted into a racing vehicle used solely for competition.

The EPA first pursued this controversial interpretation of the CAA as part of a 2015 draft rulemaking, but it quickly withdrew the provision following a huge, SEMA-led public outcry.


In the GBZ litigation, however, the EPA again maintains that once a vehicle has been certified as a street vehicle, it cannot be converted into a racing vehicle, even if that vehicle is trailered to the track and is never driven on public roads.


In its brief, SEMA argues the Clean Air Act does not apply to certified vehicles used exclusively on the track. SEMA states “the agency’s interpretation breaks from the plain language of the CAA, the legislative history and EPA’s regulations and guidance.”


SEMA notes the EPA’s position contradicts its longstanding guidance and regulations and has previously stated it “has no interest in vehicles that begin their existence as normal, EPA-certified production vehicles used on public roads and are then permanently converted to sanctioned competition-use only vehicles.”


In response to the EPA’s efforts to regulate race parts, members of Congress introduced SEMA-sponsored legislation to confirm what had already been understood for the previous 45 years, that the Clean Air Act did not apply to vehicles modified for racing use only.


The “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act” (RPM Act) is bipartisan legislation to clarify it is legal to...

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