SEMA says EPA going too far with new emissions proposal

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Updated Feb 11, 2016

The Speciality Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, says it was not properly notified by the EPA of its proposal to widen a ban on vehicle emissions modifications.

With the period for public comment already over, SEMA penned a press release this week warning that the EPA is seeking to stop consumers from altering their trucks and cars for amateur and professional competitions.

“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” says SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”

SEMA says it was not properly notified of the rules change and came across it in an unrelated proposed regulation titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”

In that proposal, the EPA states: “Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become non-road vehicles or engines.”

SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA, according to SEMA, indicated that the proposed regulation would prohibit converting vehicles into race cars and trucks. Also, it would ban the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles.

Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA says it will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.

The EPA expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.