EPA announces final endangerment finding for regulating leaded aviation gas

EPA announces final endangerment finding for regulating leaded aviation gas

WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its final determination to regulate aircraft lead pollution, the largest source of airborne lead emissions in the country. These actions follow a 2021 petition from community groups to the Biden Administration, which prompted the EPA to issue a proposed endangerment finding in January 2022. 

“We applaud EPA for finally taking this crucial step toward hopefully regulating the use of dangerous leaded aviation fuel,” said Marcie Keever, Oceans and Vessels Program Director for Friends of the Earth. “For far too long, communities living near airports, especially children, have been unjustly exposed to this toxic air pollution and its irreversible health impacts. We hope EPA’s actions leads to the nationwide ban of leaded avgas, protecting both the environment and public health.” 

Leaded aviation fuel is still used in nearly 170,000 piston-engine aircraft at 20,000 airports across the country, despite having been phased out in 1996 for most motor vehicles. Over 5 million people, including 360,000 children under the age of 5, live near at least one of these airports. Lead is widely known to cause neurodevelopmental damage in children. 

Friends of the Earth first petitioned the EPA in 2006 to initiate an endangerment finding. In 2012, FOE sued EPA after the agency failed to respond to a May 2011 Notice of Intent to sue over the issue, asking it to regulate lead emissions from general aviation aircraft under the Clean Air Act. 

Communications Contact: Brittany Miller, [email protected], (202) 222-0746

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