The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the regulation that governs all motorcycle noise emissions. The EPA has sent a letter to various private companies located in the USA, that import or build motorcycle exhausts intended for use in the USA, asking the companies to disclose sensitive financial and business plan information, as well as trade secrets.
The EPA claims that it must update the regulation because of “technical changes that have occurred since the last update of the rule”. Current law has decibels capped at 83 for motorcycles built since 1983. It is not clear from the letter which direction they will pursue, but in the past, any time the EPA “updated” anything it meant that the regulations got stricter. Reading between the lines shows that the EPA will likely lower the decibel limit for motorcycles, not increase it.
The 5 page questionnaire asks for some very sensitive information such as; overall value of the company, part numbers of items built and or sold, testing techniques, will the company pass on the costs of more testing to the customer and so on. The MRF is arranging a meeting with the EPA to clarify exactly what is going on here.
If you or anyone you know has received this letter, please put them in touch with the MRF (tel. 202-546-0983) so that they can join the coalition to ensure that this does not put in place any hardships for the American rider. Should you want to view the questionnaire by going to: MRF EPA Questionaire.
Contents of the letter to manufacturers follows.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
Office of Air and Radiation
June 1, 2010
BY CERTIFIED MAIL
Dear Mr. XXXXXXX:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering revisions to its motorcycle noise emissions regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 205, Subparts D and E, promulgated December 31, 1980) to address technological changes that have occurred since the current regulations were developed. As part of this process, we are collecting information on the types and models of motorcycles and mopeds manufactured in or imported for sale in the United States. We are also collecting information on motorcycle and moped exhaust systems that are manufactured or imported for sale in the United States; this includes companies that manufacturer (sic) OEM exhaust systems for their newly manufactured motorcycles and/or mopeds and/or for retail sale and those companies that manufacture motorcycle and moped exhaust systems for aftermarket sales only. Also, in order to estimate the impacts of any increases in manufacturing and/or product costs due to possible required changes in design and testing costs, we are collecting information on sales volumes, prices and the costs of manufacture.
This letter is to request completion of the enclosed questionnaire by the (name and address of manufacturing company) by June 23, 2010. The purpose of this questionnaire is to determine the products produced, approximate production volumes, production costs, testing processes and testing costs, and sales prices for your facility.) Sincerely, (EPA official)