The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking this month about the environmental impact of leaded avgas.
The notice will address a 2006 request by Friends of the Earth (FOE) that the agency propose emissions standards for lead from general aviation aircraft. The EPA will publish information about the use of leaded avgas and its effect on air quality, and will request comments on that information. The GA industry has been actively involved in developing a plan to transition to a new, unleaded avgas for piston-engine airplanes and will continue to work with the EPA on plans that are practical for GA.
The FOE petition requested that the EPA find that lead emissions from GA aircraft may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare—conditions that make those emissions fall under the Clean Air Act and give the EPA the authority to regulate them—and propose emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.
In 2007, the EPA issued a Federal Register notice seeking comment on the FOE's petition. The agency said that it has concerns regarding lead exposure, particularly during childhood, and that leaded avgas is used at almost 20,000 airport facilities in the United States.