Too Early for EPA to Make Fuels Assessment
GA Avgas Coalition maintains more data needed before decision
August 30, 2010 — The Environmental Protection Agency currently does not have sufficient data to make a determination on lead emissions from aircraft engines, according to GA Avgas Coalition comments submitted by EAA and other aviation and petroleum associations to the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday.
The comments, submitted to the EPA’s “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” were jointly signed by EAA and AOPA, GAMA, NBAA and NATA, as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA). It was the next step in what will be a multi-year process to replace 100 low-lead with an unleaded fuel for general aviation.
“These jointly signed comments are an important step as part of the process to make sure EPA does its due diligence toward a final outcome,” said Earl Lawrence, EAA’s vice present of industry and regulatory affairs. “The future of GA fuel is a technical matter, and requires collaboration from all entities involved, from the government, industry and the GA community.”
Some of the particular issues the seven organizations pointed out to the EPA included:
- Any current finding on lead endangerment is premature, as additional data is still forthcoming and current data is incomplete. Complete data is not expected until early 2012;
- The best solution will be found by working in cooperation with FAA and GA stakeholders, so that the aviation industry and affected businesses are not endangered;
- Reformulation of avgas without an adequate solution that meets the needs of the entire existing fleet at this time would create negative safety implications;
- Creating multiple grades of fuel for aviation use would bring difficulties in distribution that could hamper availability in some areas.
“Any transition is not going to occur overnight, and the solutions will not be found instantly,” Lawrence said. “There are good ideas emerging now and undoubtedly more to come. All must be studied thoroughly to ensure any proposed solution does not come at the cost of safety, harming the availability of fuel and access to personal flight.”