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Shawn Anglin is a sports clerk for The Southern Illinoisan. He also blogs about cars at thesouthern.com/blogs/idlethoughts.

According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association, a proposal has been made to “prohibit the conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into race cars.”

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the proposed regulation in a 629 page document titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”

According to SEMA, the regulation would prohibit all vehicles manufactured for street use from being converted for use on a race track.

“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,” SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting said. “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.”

Under the Clean Air Act, vehicle emission systems are not to be tampered with or modified in a way to bypass emissions regulations. However, it has long been thought this did not apply to vehicles intended only for track purposes.

The EPA expects to publish the final regulations by July.

Meanwhile, a whitehouse.gov petition to have the EPA withdraw this proposal has already garnered over 146,000 signatures.

While it appears the EPA wants to crack down on the sale of emissions-related parts that are not in compliance with the Clean Air Act and therefore illegal for on road use, the wording in the proposal is rightly raising some eyebrows.

This is an ongoing story and something I am certainly keeping track, of so stay tuned for further updates.

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