Davis Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Modified Motor Vehicle Racing from Federal Regulators
H.R. 3281, the RPM Act, would permanently block attempts by the EPA to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) is co-sponsoring H.R. 3281, the bipartisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2021, which permanently blocks attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing. The legislation was introduced last month by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).
“Closed-track racing of modified motor vehicles are an important part of our local economy and culture. The popularity of converting motor vehicles into racing cars played a key part in the early days and success of NASCAR,” said Rep. Davis. “Fans and drivers, whether they are professionals or hobbyists, should have the freedom to participate in modified stock vehicle motorsports uninhibited by federal regulators. That’s why I’m proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan RPM Act, to ensure this time-honored sport can continue despite recent efforts of the EPA. I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle so we can get this bipartisan bill passed into law.”
For decades, automotive enthusiasts have modified street vehicles into race cars used exclusively at closed race tracks. In early 2016, the EPA issued a proposed rule that would make it illegal for this practice to continue via the Clean Air Act even though Congress never intended for race cars to be subject to the Clean Air Act. While the proposed EPA regulation was withdrawn in April of 2016, the RPM Act would make permanent that race cars are exempt from EPA regulation via the Clean Air Act. The EPA recently announced that they would be reinterpreting the Clean Air Act to provide authority for them to regulate the emissions of race cars that were converted from stock models that were in compliance under their stock form.
The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate motor vehicles, but these regulations have never applied to race cars. In 1990, Congress affirmed this exemption when it authorized the EPA to regulate “non-road vehicles” and explicitly excluded any “vehicle used solely for competition” from the non-road definition. Despite the clear intent of Congress, the EPA's previously proposed rule attempts to amend the Clean Air Act. The RPM Act simply confirms that it would not be considered tampering to modify these vehicles for exclusive track use.
You can find the legislative text here.