North Carolina congressman Patrick McHenry has proposed a bill that, if passed, could redefine the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s emissions control regulation rules for cars used primarily on race tracks.
McHenry's Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016, or "RPM Act," specifically targets the EPA's attempt to regulate emissions controls on cars modified for racing use.
Arguing that the EPA's regulations are an "overreach," McHenry's proposal would allow for owners to modify or remove emissions controls on cars used solely on race tracks.
The proposal has gained the support of the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association (SEMA), which was an early and outspoken critic when text targeting non-road vehicles like race cars was brought to light last month. However, the EPA said that its use of the wording "non-road vehicles" was intended to apply to snowmobiles and motorcycles, not cars.
Vehicles that are licensed for use on the road have always been required to retain their emissions equipment, although not all states and municipalities will specifically inspect cars after they are sold new. The controversy here is over cars that are used only on closed courses.
SEMA had feared that its members, many of whom build parts for racing cars that specifically remove or modify factory emissions equipment.
Notably, McHenry's North Carolina district is considered the home of NASCAR. While NASCAR racing cars are not actually "stock cars" in the strictest sense, the area is known for its passion for motorsports in general.