The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comments on a petition from Friends of the Earth asking it to limit lead emissions from GA aircraft that use 100LL.
The environmental group’s petition asks the EPA to declare that lead emissions from GA aircraft endanger public health and welfare, and issue an emissions standard for lead from GA aircraft under the Clean Air Act. Failing that, the petition asks the EPA administrator to order a study on the health and environmental impacts of GA aircraft lead emissions.
In 2005 EPA officials stated that there was insufficient information to determine that aircraft lead emissions endanger public health and welfare. The agency also stressed that because a suitable, safe, unleaded aviation fuel has not been developed, regulating leaded avgas would ground most GA aircraft, resulting in severe economic repercussions.
Officials from many aviation alphabet groups met with EPA officials last month to discuss the issue.
“The EPA has a lot of work to do before they would take any action on removing the lead in 100LL,” said Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs for the EAA, as well as secretary of the ASTM International Aviation Gasoline Committee.
Lawrence reported that spot shortages of 100LL this past summer, reportedly a result of distribution and refinery issues, also was discussed during the meeting. He noted that special work rules for the handling of lead have been cited as one of the distribution hurdles, as well as the fact that leaded fuel must have an entirely separate distribution system from other fuels.
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