WASHINGTON (Jan. 10, 2017) — A bipartisan bill affirming the legality of converting street vehicles into racing cars has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and 43 co-sponsors introduced the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act) on Jan. 9, the first day of the 115th Congress.
The RPM Act, designated as H.R. 350, is nearly identical to last year's bill and would establish that transforming motor vehicles into race cars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act, according to Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the chief sponsor of the bill.
The 2016 version of the RPM Act was occasioned by the Environmental Protection Agency's issuance of new Clean Air Act regulations that would have made street vehicle conversions illegal.That year, more than 200,000 wrote Congress in support of the RPM Act, and nearly one-fourth of all House members signed on as co-sponsors, according to SEMA.
"While the EPA withdrew the problematic language from the final rulemaking last year, the agency still maintains the practice is unlawful," SEMA said.
The EPA position undermines nearly 50 years of motorsports history and would be detrimental to the sport, according to SEMA.
There are an estimated 1,300 race tracks in the U.S., and retail sales of racing products bring in $1.4 billion annually, the association said.