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EPA Tells General Aviation Avgas Coalition it is Committed to Working with Industry

Agency sets no deadline for reduction of unleaded avgas

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (July 28, 2010) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday told the General Aviation Avgas Coalition that it will work with the general aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the government and the industry seek a safe, viable alternative to the current formulation for aviation gasoline, which uses a lead additive. The commitment to work with industry came in a written response to several questions submitted to the agency by the avgas coalition.

In a letter from Margo Tsirigotis Oge, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the agency told the coalition, “EPA has not established or proposed any date by which lead emissions from aircraft operating on leaded avgas would need to be reduced. In fact EPA does not have authority to control aviation fuels.”

EPA, she noted, is responsible for determining which chemical or physical properties of a fuel or fuel additive endangers the public health. However, only the FAA has the authority to regulate which fuels aircraft may burn. Oge continued, “[H]ence, the EPA is coordinating closely with FAA as we evaluate emissions of lead from piston-engine aircraft.”

“We see EPA’s announcement as a positive step in finding a safe, viable alternative to 100LL,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president. “It reaffirms there is no immediate threat to the availability of 100LL as we pursue a long-term solution to identify and transition to an unleaded fuel.”

Finally, the EPA assured the coalition that it recognizes the value of general aviation, and especially piston-powered general aviation, to the nation and the national economy.

“EPA recognizes the value of piston-engine general aviation throughout the United States and specifically in remote regions,” wrote Oge. “Any EPA action to require piston-engine aircraft to reduce emissions of lead in the future will involve a thorough public process of identifying options and will consider safety, economic impacts and other impacts. The EPA is committed to working with these stakeholders to keep piston-engine aircraft flying in an environmentally acceptable and safe manner throughout the United States.”

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