Below is a letter to the California Air Resources Board Sent by Don Amador, District 36 Government Affairs Representative and President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting. If you like to ride, this is a must read to see what the Air Resources Board’s proposed regulations can do to thwart OHV’s.
Staff Air Pollution Specialist
California Air Resources Board
RE: Red Sticker Proposal Workshop
Dear Mr. Monday:
Please accept my comments on behalf of AMA District 36 (D36) in regards to proposals from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) Red Sticker Program that were presented on October 23, 2018 in El Monte, California. This document shall not supplant the rights of other D36 agents and organizational or individual members from submitting their own comments and the agency should consider and appropriately respond to all comments received.
I have over 28 years of experience in recreation management which includes serving on the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, CA OHV Stakeholders group, CA OHV Sound Working group, AMA National Sound Working Group, and Senior Policy Advisor for the BlueRibbon Coalition.
I currently serve as President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting, Government Affairs Representative for AMA District 36, Core-Team Lead for FireScape Mendocino, and President of the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance.
I appreciate ARB’s collaborative efforts over the last 5 years to engage the OHV community, OHMVR Division, Industry, OHV Dealers, and other related stakeholders in this rulemaking process.
The presentation and subsequent comments made by attendees at the meeting on October 23 reminded me of an earlier and well intentioned (late 2000s-era) health-related regulatory effort by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) that resulted in a functional ban of youth off-road motorcycles and ATVs.
The CPSC based their “ead ban” initiative on what finally was acknowledged by the agency as poor or inaccurate data and assumptions. The fiscal impacts and resultant functional ban of youth OHVs kicked- off a national firestorm of opposition from parents, OHV dealers, and recreation organizations.
In fact, Malcolm Smith, an internationally recognized off-road racer and member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, hosted a media event at Malcolm Smith Motorsports to highlight the unjust nature of the CPSC regulation.
Finally, it took a bipartisan legislative effort in Congress to correct that ill-advised and unwarranted regulation. That legislation was signed into law by President Obama in 2011.
Unfortunately, the youth OHV marketplace never fully recovered from that debacle and its affects are still being felt today.
Further, the perception of well intentioned but ill-informed governmental actions can have long standing negative effect upon the acceptance of cooperation between users , manufacturers, and public agencies.
I strongly believe ARB continues to rely on inaccurate assumptions upon which it proposes a regulatory structure to “solve” the Red Sticker issue. Here are a few of my remaining post-meeting concerns if the current proposals are enacted.
* Unrealistic timeline for model certification and related implementation
* Riding a 2021 or later model year Red Sticker (vehicle) on public lands in CA on public lands will be prohibited
* Race bikes will not be able to practice on public lands
* Racers will have to sell their race bike to out-of-state buyers. If race bikes do not have a VIN number they may not be sellable, insurable, financeable, or trackable, and NOT legal for competition as sporting regulations often require VINs, proof of ownership and registration
* Dealers will have to divine selling red sticker bikes to customers who think they can ride them anyplace
* High performance Youth models would most likely disappear with NO suitable replacement currently available, NO youth or adult sporting regulations that currently allow e-vehicles in non- professional race series, and NO youth Trailbike classes exist for closed course Motocross style events
* End of off-road/trail oriented 2-Strokes
* Prolonged regulatory application processes will make it impossible for companies to certify compliant replacement products. Often these products are minimal CA volume, specific application products.
* Every replacement part application needs cost prohibitive testing, not just the design and it must have a long warranty and then the record keeping of failures and individual component registration become a paperwork nightmare if a manufacturer does go thru the certification process
* Prolonged regulatory process for motorcycle aftermarket components to be approved
* Unwarranted and unenforceable regulatory burden for state and federal law enforcement officers. Often FS/BLM law enforcement officials have up to a million acres – PER FIELD OFFICER – to patrol by themselves
* E-Vehicles cannot be effectively recharged in ANY State or Federal OHV area
“Lessons learned” from the ill-fated CPSC regulatory process strongly suggests that ARB should consider empowering a substantive collaborative process that includes representatives from the OEMs, aftermarket, dealers, state/federal land managers, law enforcement, and OHV organizations.
A similar collaborative process (CA OHV Sound Stakeholder Group) resulted in passage of the CA 96dBA Sound Law in 2003.
Results from a collaborative ARB/OHV stakeholder process could result in an amended proposal or alternative that is realistic, enforceable, and does not place an undue burden on riders, dealers, land agencies, and the industry.
I urge ARB to continue on its path of inclusion so that a final rule will reflect real “on-the-ground” usage patterns, related data, and factual emission impacts to the environment.
D36 looks forward to its continued involvement in this planning process.
AMA District 36