EPA has issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking public comments on whether the agency should issue rules to limit air emissions from the use of leaded aviation gasoline (avgas). The action is the agency’s response to a petition submitted by Friends of Earth requesting that EPA find endangerment from and regulate lead emitted from piston-engine aircraft.
EPA’s next step is to consider information presented in the ANPR and comments received to determine whether emissions from aircraft using leaded avgas cause or contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. According to the ANPR, leaded avgas is used at almost 20,000 U.S. airports, and lead concentrations increase with proximity to airports where piston-engine aircraft operate. EPA estimates that approximately 14.6 billion gallons of leaded avgas were consumed between 1970 and 2007, emitting nearly 34,000 tons of lead. EPA will accept comments on the ANPR for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.