Aviation coalition comments on EPA’s findings on lead in aviation gasoline

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Seven aviation stakeholder organizations announced they had submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a coalition, saying they support removing lead from aviation gasoline (avgas) through a safe and smart transition.

The comments were in response to the EPA’s endangerment finding that emissions of lead from aircraft that still operate on leaded aviation fuel can cause or contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health.

The coalition said that it is in the public interest to eliminate lead from avgas and that the industry is continuing to work on unleaded replacements that meet safety performance needs and FAA regulatory requirements. Development of potentially safe and market-viable high-octane unleaded replacement fuels is making headway, the coalition said, and those replacement fuels are strongly supported by an industry-government collaborative.

Officials said the comments show the progress of developers working toward replacement fuels, one of which has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for its unleaded fuel. Officials also said the comments underscore that the industry relies on an orderly, nationally synchronized transition while understanding that premature removal of an essential fuel many aircraft require would compromise the safety, efficiency, and economic viability of the U.S. aviation industry and transportation infrastructure.

In coordination with the FAA, the coalition asked the EPA to ensure that any findings and regulatory actions around leaded avgas align with the development and deployment of a viable alternative. Additionally, the coalition said it supports comments from the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) initiative, which aims to transition to lead-free avgas for piston aircraft by the end of 2030 without compromising safety and efficiency in the general aviation fleet.