03.10.16

Hobbyist’s Speak Out After Proposed EPA Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA)  is looking to regulate the conversion of standard cars into professional race cars.

"It just seems like every time you turn around there's another battle. It seems like there's a war against us somehow for some reason and this will hurt," said Jay Matics.

Matics is a Raleigh county resident and owner of Vigilante Customs. A body shop that specializes in after-market accessories. It's where hobbyist's take their cars to get accessorized after they buy them.

But, if new legislation drafted by the EPA is passed, he and roughly one million other employees dealing in after-market services could be out of a job.  That's because the EPA has drafted a rule to ban the sale of racing products and supplies. A move that would prevent hobbyists from turning regular cars into professional race cars.

"It will cut businesses in half and that one thing we cant do is take any more business away from and you start taking away performance accessories or any type of modifications like that you're gonna destroy small businesses," said Matics.

Sonny Wilson is a regular customer at Vigilante Customs. Fixing up cars like his new Jeep Wrangler is more than just a hobby, it's a way of life.

"My grandfather was a diesel mechanic my father was a fabricator and i grew up around it. It's something I've always enjoyed. It's really not that big of a deal it's just more legislation and they need to regulate what they have in place and quit adding additional legislation.

In response to the rule, on Wednesday, West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito along with three other senators  introduced a bill called the Protection of Motorsports Act. The bill is aimed at stopping the EPA from passing their proposed rules.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says the EPA is taking a wrong turn.

"This is an over reach by the EPA to get into racing cars which they traditionally they have not been in to try to impose federal regulations I mean motor sports are a huge national pastime especially in West Virginia.

The rule is set to be finalized and released by July.


By:  Kamrel Eppinger
Source: WVNS