But don’t worry about increasing car emission regulations, they probably won’t affect your life…
For decades, car enthusiasts have despised the EPA and its ever-increasing regulations slapped on the hobby, but many automotive journalists have told them their worst fears were just plain ridiculous. Now that authoritarianism seems to be all the rage, to save the planet and protect public health, we’re seeing armed EPA agents storming speed shops in the name of justice. A recent report from The Denver Gazette highlights the growing trend.
Don't forget, 12 states want to force the rest to stop selling gas-fueled cars. Read about it here.
This is far from the first time federal authorities have targeted enthusiasts for alleged regulation violations. The Department of Homeland Security has performed raids to seize cars from owners who didn’t fill out all the import documentation precisely, complete with what looks like SWAT teams in full-body armor with long guns in early morning raids.
In The Denver Gazette article, it does mention one specific raid on a speed shop where the EPA agents were armed but were only wearing “soft armor” and they didn’t kick down the door. Instead, they patted down the elderly father of the owner before questioning him and other employees as they arrived for work, which sounds like super fun.
During that raid, the EPA agents served a search warrant for “conspiracy to sell defeat devices.” Then the 12 armed agents went through the shop, collecting physical and digital forensics to try building a case against the company. The raid was part of the EPA’s National Compliance Initiative which kicked off in December, which focuses on busting anyone who makes, sells, or installs emissions defeat devices, with hefty fines if someone gets caught.
For many enthusiasts who like to race on a track, this could spell trouble. Under EPA regulations, anything deemed a “street vehicle” can’t be converted into a race vehicle. Yep, that’s right, even some lowly Mazda Miata a guy tows to autocross events and never drives on the road, but that doesn’t have cats and other factory-installed emissions equipment could face severe penalties if caught.
Where The Denver Gazette article goes off the rails is when it points to the RPM Act moving through Congress in DC as the supposed remedy to this problem. In a way it does, because any vehicle not licensed to drive on the road would be protected from EPA action. However, it doesn’t provide any provisions for the everyday enthusiast who drives his car to the track because he’s not affluent enough to have a truck, trailer, and track-only racer.
Source: The Denver Gazette