Proposed Clean Air Act Finding

Proposed Clean Air Act Endangerment Finding Against Aviation Fuel

Before the days of The Clean Air Act (CAA), Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Water Act, Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, and The Safe Drinking Water Act, use of lead as an addition in paints, dishes, coins, cosmetics, batteries, glasses, fuels, and more seemed extremely common; however, after the discovery of the element’s dangers to the public, the government targeted lead with the regulations as well as laws listed above and the public’s contact with lead diminished extremely. According to an article written by Sam Ballingrud published in The National Law Review, The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, put out a proposed finding that lead air pollution, caused by aviation fuels for piston-engine aircrafts, may jeopardize public health and welfare within the meaning of Section 231(a) of the Clean Air Act. Piston-engine aircrafts use aviation gasoline, or avgas, which is the only leaded transport fuel in employment in the United States. As stated in the article by the National Law Review, aviation gasoline uses an additive called tetraethyl lead that increases fuel octane and stops engine lock and valve seat recession. Aircrafts that use this are primarily in use and owned by private pilots that fly their aircrafts for personal benefit and recreational use, which the EPA calculates emit 470 tons of lead, totaling 70 percent the annual emissions to air in 2017. While this proposition does not move to present an immediate change since the finding would not require any regulations to aircrafts, it would be the first step to regulating proposed emissions standards for those pollutants. Overall, this could effectively lead to dramatically reducing, or even ending lead in aviation gasoline.

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