Hi - just found out about this, so thought I would pass it on (hopefully I'm not breaking any forum rules). It appears that within days this legislation could go through, so if anyone has any influence with their local MP or MPP, you help is greatly appreciated. Killing Canada's drag racing tracks doesn't do much in helping to keep racing off the street.
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Environment Canada (EC) is planning to implement a total and permanent ban on the use of leaded fuels for competition purposes, effective January 1st, 2009.
If this happens it is expected that Professional Drag Racing in Canada is over.
What makes this bill unfair is that EC indicates that there may be more health risks associated with leaded fuels than previously thought. However they are advocating change without any current testing or proof that previous findings from their existing regulation, where “estimated weekly lead exposures for spectators at race tracks remain within the tolerable intake developed by the World Health Organization and accepted by Health Canada.” is incorrect. By our governments own numbers motor sports accounts for only 1.5% of the total leaded fuel being burned in Canada. The remaining 98.5% is burned by the aviation industry. This industry has been given a permanent exemption!
Now you may not think that this is important, after all you can race your cars on unleaded fuel. Unfortunately that is not entirely true; there are a number of classes that will only run on leaded fuel. If these cars were modified to use unleaded they would no longer pass NHRA or IHRA tech. If there is a ban in place it is expected that the sanctioning bodies would cancel any Canadian events, since all their racers could not compete. Without those big shows generating cash, track facilities can not survive as we know them. In a conversation with the track manager of Grand Bend Motorplex he allowed that their national event represented more than 50% of their annual revenue. Without this event the facility will be no longer viable. He is convinced it will close, losing all those jobs, turning the track into a housing project and dramatically hurting the town of Grand Bend who enjoys the revenue the track brings to their area. Similar fates await any track in the country that currently depends on leaded fuel for their racers, both sports car and drag race facilities will be affected.
Additionally, police forces throughout the country are trying to get street racers off the streets and onto the tracks. It seems backward to be putting these same tracks in jeopardy with a leaded fuel ban.
The proposed regs were tabled Dec 22 2007, there is a 60 day window for comment, It is important that we all make our concerns known to our MP’s and the EC contacts.
If you feel as we do, that the exemption for motor sports should be continued you must write the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment, John Baird, and your MP. Also send your comments to the two Environment Canada contacts detailed in the proposed regulations. Do it now, there is no time to waste
Once again. I am amazed by my own ignorance! I had no idea that leaded fuel was still used in (piston) aviation or in automotive racing. When you think about it, of course, it makes some sense, I guess... The avaition industry enjoys all kinds of exemptions and subsidies worldwide - they are a huge lobby. Motorsports however is the small fry here , so it should come as no surprise that government agencies will target them. All branches of government I have come across must be seen as "doing something". This inevitably leads to those G agencies going after the easiest/smallest targets - in this case motorsports.
Exactly why is tetraethyl lead fuel additive still needed in piston aviation and motorsports anyway?