The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets rules that restrict the release of toxic gases from vehicles into the air. These rules and regulations are enforced on all vehicles to restrict air pollution and global warming. To clarify and protect Americans’ rights to manufacture, distribute and purchase aftermarket auto sport parts, several lawmakers in Congress are attempting to pass a law to facilitate and protect the rights of racing enthusiasts.
The EPA sets emissions standards for all vehicles that operate on public roads. An environmental law known as the Clean Air Act (CAA) regulates excessive pollutants in the air.
The EPA has recently launched enforcement efforts against manufacturers and distributors of high performance auto parts—including superchargers, tuners, manifolds and exhaust systems. The EPA contends that these parts cannot be sold under its interpretation of the CAA regardless of whether those parts are intended for racing purposes only.
While the intentions may be noble, sometimes the EPA’s interpretation of these regulations goes too far. The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act is designed to eliminate the restrictions that are placed on manufacturers, distributors and end users’ purchase and sale of racing parts. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) partly to reduce the EPA’s authority and protect those who support auto racing. Among other things, the bill seeks to clarify that it is legal to produce, market and sell racing parts.
The Clean Air Act sets emissions requirements for operating, maintaining and testing vehicles. Violating the law requires the owner to pay fines and make alternations to reduce emissions. Owners, manuafacturers and distributors can be fined up to $45,000 for every vehicle or engine that violates the law. They are charged approximately $4,500 for tampering or $45,000 a day for each reporting or recordkeeping violation.
There are electric-powered cars and other types of vehicles that are exempt from having to meet the EPA’s emissions regulations. The agency’s rules are in place to reduce the release of greenhouse gases and toxic fumes from vehicles. However, some bills have been proposed to extend the exemption to motorsports racers. Due to the popularity of sports racing, many proponents of the new bill want to see fewer EPA restrictions on their activities.