Leaded Fuel, Emissions, The EPA And AOPA

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In October, AVweb found that new standards set by the EPA and meant to "slash the amount of the toxic metal [lead] in the nation's air by 90 percent," may affect the pilots of small aircraft and now AOPA has reviewed the matter and taken action. Formal comments filed by AOPA in response to the EPA notice state that piston-powered aircraft account for roughly "one-tenth of 1 percent" of total emissions and within the transportation sector accounts for just 0.55 percent. AOPA is urging the EPA to consider both cost and safety issues that could arise from further regulation of a sector with such a small lead footprint, noting also that the industry employs over 1.3 million people and has a "direct and indirect effect" on the economy that "exceeds $150 billion annually."

Going one further, AOPA is separately asking that aviation be included in any economic stimulus package that may be launched by the Obama administration. That aside, the EPA is acting upon a Supreme Court ruling that forces the administration to regulate greenhouse gases. But for now, AOPA has judged that the EPA's notice, itself, will not bring any changes to general aviation operations.