EPA Moves To Regulate Aircraft Emissions


As expected, the Environmental Protection Agency opened the door to new emissions standards for commercial aircraft Wednesday, announcing through the Obama administration that the Clean Air Act should apply to the aviation industry. The EPA said its study of the issue concluded that jet fuel emissions harm human health by contributing to global warming, triggering the same rulemaking process affecting manufacturers of cars, trucks and power plants. Specific federal proposals haven’t been announced, but theywould likely adopt standards being developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization, according to a Reutersreport.As it stands, the ICAO proposal is slated to go into effect in 2016 and would apply to aircraft certified in 2020 and after, Reuters reported.

The airline industry supports using ICAO standards across the board, saying it would offer consistency for air carriers that operate globally and prevent additional complexities should new environmental rules go into effect. “If you’re a big airline and you’re flying to 100 countries a day, then complying with all those different regimes is an administrative nightmare,” Paul Steele of the International Air Transport Association said in the Reuters report. Airline companies have said they’ve already improved fuel efficiency over the years, while aircraft manufacturers are developing more fuel-efficient jets.