03-06-2003

03NR08 - The EPA Rules - And You Get NO VOTE!

MRF E-MAIL NEWS
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Wyld
Phone: 202-546-0983
March 6, 2003

#03NR08 - THE EPA RULES - AND YOU GET NO VOTE!

Newcomers to the nation's capitol got an unexpected introduction to democracy when two staffers with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained the agency's rulemaking process this way: "YOU GET NO VOTE!"

These chilling remarks were made repeatedly on Monday, March 3, 2003 by EPA staff attending the American Motorcyclist Association's (AMA) "Introduction to Washington," an educational seminar designed to provide tools to citizens eager to make a difference in Washington. The comments were made in connection with the EPA's proposed rulemaking on highway motorcycle emissions standards. At the AMA's invitation, the MRF participated in the conference with Government Relations Vice President Tom Wyld presenting the MRF's views on the EPA's proposed standards and other federal issues.

"The Clean Air Act has left us an iron-clad regulatory process that lends a dull ear to the citizen's voice," said Wyld, noting that in a September 22, 2002 news release, the MRF decried "a regulatory process where the voice of consumers and thousands of small businesses carries no weight."

In their January 2003 public comments to the EPA on this proposed rulemaking, the MRF stated that, "motorcycles equipped with catalytic converters impose a burn hazard to riders, passengers and passers-by. Moreover, cat-equipped motorcycles impose the threat of heat injuries (e.g., heat stress, heat stroke) and may increase injuries and fatalities due to rider fatigue and particularly the loss of faculties and impaired judgment symptomatic of heat injuries."

However, in addition to their comments at the AMA seminar on the rulemaking process, EPA staffers dismissed these long-standing rider safety concerns as "consumer" or "manufacturer" problems, distinctly not the EPA's problem. (Curiously, when air bags claimed the lives of children, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admitted tacitly at least some culpability by launching an effort aimed at "air bag safety.")

These EPA staffers also stated categorically that they had never heard from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation on the pending rulemaking. However, seminar attendees Cheryl Pearre of ABATE of Illinois and Kirk Willard of ABATE of Wisconsin, as well as Ed Moreland of the AMA, corrected the record and the MRF appreciates their willingness to do so. In fact, the MRF has been very active in the regulatory process, as indicated below:

1. The MRF filed public comments with the agency when the EPA published its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in late 2000.

2. The MRF, accompanied by a representative of ABATE of Illinois, briefed the White House Office of Management and Budget with two EPA staffers present (a member of EPA's Office of General Counsel, and the Executive Assistant to EPA Administrator Christie Whitman) in October 2001.

3. The MRF, again accompanied by a representative of ABATE of Illinois, briefed a high-ranking EPA official in January 2002.

4. The MRF delivered testimony before the EPA at its public hearing in September 2002 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was transcribed by the EPA itself.

5. The MRF submitted a request to extend the public comment deadline, which included further commentary on the proposed rulemaking, in September 2002.

6. The MRF, accompanied by representatives of ABATE of Wisconsin, met with another EPA policy official on small business concerns in December 2002.

7. The MRF filed public comments on the proposed rulemaking in January 2003. This submission included "An Economic Analysis of the EPA's Proposed Emission Standards for On-Highway Motorcycles" prepared by Garrett A. Vaughn, Ph.D., commissioned by the MRF and paid for by emergency donations by SMROs and other concerned groups and individuals. EPA staff did admit to reading the study, having received multiple copies.

All of the MRF's written communication with the EPA is available at www.mrf.org.

"Motorcyclists will descend on Washington to visit 200 Congressmen and Senators in the next eight weeks," said Wyld. "Even if these citizens 'get no vote' in the iron-clad regulatory process - on a rule that squarely impacts their health, safety, lifestyle and livelihood - their Members of Congress most assuredly DO get a vote on this rulemaking!"

NOTE: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters who helped pay not only for the MRF-Vaughn Economic Impact Study, but also for publicizing its results, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation was able to issue a slightly abbreviated press release regarding the above developments through U.S. Newswire at 11:00 est this evening. This is the third in a series of press releases the MRF intends to send out over the wire regarding the EPA issue and the MRF-Vaughn study.

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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.
- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org



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