The U.S. Motorsports Association would like to thank U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry for introducing the “RPM Act” (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021, which permanently blocks attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing.
Washington – Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10) introduced Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 or “RPM Act” which permanently blocks attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing.
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 While the proposed EPA regulation was withdrawn in April of 2016, the RPM Act would make permanent that race cars are exempt from EPA regulation via the Clean Air Act.
“Here in North Carolina, we enjoy a rich automotive heritage that not only plays an important role in our local economy but is an activity enjoyed throughout the state,” said Congressman McHenry. “Representing a district with deep ties to motorsports, I am proud to support automobile racing and will work to ensure enthusiasts of the sport here in North Carolina and across the country can continue the time-honored tradition of modifying stock vehicles for competitive racing. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help ensure the RPM Act becomes law.”
BACKGROUND: 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.
Converting a motor vehicle into a race car is a significant part of American automotive heritage with the practice having played a large role in the foundation of NASCAR. Additionally, the specialty automotive industry employs over one million Americans. Companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell products that improve race vehicle performance are a large and growing part of our economy.
The USMA is headquartered in the 10th District of North Carolina, where Congressman McHenry serves. In the 10th District alone there are well over 100 Motorsports and Automotive Performance related businesses that could be adversely affected by the EPA regulation. A recent study by the Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania showed that the Motorsports Industry in PA contributes a 2.5 Billion dollar economic impact serving 21,000 jobs. Nationally, Racing contributes billions of dollars in economic impacts, supplies millions of jobs, feeds thousands of small businesses, and provides tremendous local community benefits. Racing also supports innovation and technology used by our military and to educate our future engineers.
Today’s racers are environmentally conscious. Manufacturers, sanctioning organizations, and racetracks implement strict environmental practices. Companies like Safety-Kleen & Clean Harbors specialize in the proper handling of fluids and chemicals involved in racing. USMA supports the RPM Act. We will continue to offer Racing Industry expertise to Environmental Agencies and Members of Congress to identify environmental solutions, which advance the health of our environment, and foster continued business and job growth.