Environmental group initiates legal action against avgas producers

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.

In the latest action of an environmental group to end the use of leaded aviation fuel, the Oakland, Calif.-based Center For Environmental Health announced this week that it is taking legal action against the producers of leaded avgas supplied to airports in California.

According to its press release from May 10th, “The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) today announced it has initiated legal action against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, AvFuel Corporation and 38 airport-based suppliers of lead-containing aviation fuel, for pollution of drinking water sources and/or air around 25 airports throughout California. Under California law, pollution of drinking water sources above state standards would require the companies to cease sales of their leaded gas.”

In its statement, the CEH also correctly cited the alternative of ethanol-free autogas as a suitable alternative for the large majority of piston-engine aircraft now using Avgas: “Further, alternative fuels already exist. For example, ethanol-free premium auto gas is an FAA-approved fuel available for more than 70% of current aircraft. The FAA has determined that aircraft using auto gas are as safe as those running on avgas.”

Your bloggers remind readers that the Aviation Fuel Club was founded in January primarily to assist airports and pilots to obtain supplies and fuel equipment for aviation-grade, ethanol-free, lead-free autogas. A number of airports in California are now in the process of adding autogas as an alternative to leaded avgas.

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