EPA orders studies on lead pollution around airports

As reported in the March 15, 2010 issue of AVWeb:

The Environmental Protection Agency continues to go through administrative motions suggesting it’s serious about removing lead from avgas. Earlier this month, the agency sent a draft endangerment finding to the White House as part of its proposed action to address a petition from Friends of the Earth claiming that lead in avgas represents a public health risk. Before it can move forward, the EPA has to issue a finding under terms of the Clean Air Act that health risks actually exist. To reach that finding, the agency has ordered lead pollution studies around a number of U.S. airports. Friends of the Earth has asked EPA to ban lead from avgas “without delay,” although the industry still has no ready high-octane substitute for 100LL.

What’s missing here is the equally sobering fact that the only viable alternative to 100LL for 70%-80% of the current piston engine airplane fleet (and most new LSAs) — premium ethanol-free gasoline — is also disappearing due to pressure from federal and state mandates for ethanol use in vehicle fuels.

To see the latest trends in avgas availability in the U.S., follow this link.

The GAfuels Blog is written by three private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft. They are:

  • Dean Billing (Sisters, Ore.) – an expert on autogas and ethanol
  • Kent Misegades (Cary, N.C.) – an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist
  • Todd Petersen (Minden, Neb.) – former aerial applicator and owner of more than 150 Mogas STCs for aircraft

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