Over the objections of Illinois car enthusiasts, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has adopted a program to crush cars for emissions credits. In doing so, IEPA continues to ignore the real-world facts about scrapping old cars: 1) Older cars are infrequently used, generally well-maintained and not a good source of emissions reductions; 2) "Crusher" programs, as evidenced in California and other states, are difficult to police and subject to fraud; 3) Scrappage threatens enthusiasts with the loss of valuable rare parts and vehicles for restoration projects; 4) Scrapped cars typically are second or third vehicles rarely driven in the first place; 5) Lower income car owners often cannot afford to purchase new vehicles-let alone "cleaner" vehicles-with the money provided by scrappage programs.
IEPA officials also rejected emission system repair and upgrade as an alternative to scrappage, despite mounting evidence that repair/upgrade programs are more cost-effective, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
Its support of scrappage notwithstanding, IEPA did respond to some concerns that SEMA and Illinois hobbyists raised. In the regulation, IEPA excluded vehicles 25 years old or older from scrappage and provided that a vehicle may not be scrapped until 21 days after notifying parties with an interest in purchasing the vehicle or parts.
While SEMA appreciates IEPA's efforts to provide notice and to protect older cars, we remain hopeful that it will take a broader view of scrappage and its effects on future generations of car hobbyists. Finally, SEMA is looking into possible legislative solutions.
SEMA would like to acknowledge Illinois SAN members who worked so hard to oppose this scrappage program: the Vintage Chevrolet Club-Central Illinois Region, Shelby Club of America-Northern Illinois Region, Northern Mustang Corral, Northern Illinois Fiero Enthusiasts, Illinois Bentley Drivers Club, Chicagoland Walter P. Chrysler and Buick Clubs, Northern Illinois Impala Club, Cruisin' Tigers GTO Club and the Pontiac-Oakland Club.