Congress wants to keep leaded aviation gas around. Tell them to ban it

What's At Stake

There is no safe level of exposure to lead, and it is long overdue that we get lead out of aviation gas (“avgas”). Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing its long-overdue endangerment finding for lead avgas. Despite this progress, we’re concerned that Section 620 of the Senate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill will make it harder to transition away from leaded aviation fuels. Tell your Congressmembers today to remove this harmful avgas provision from the bill.

Lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft remain the largest source of lead emissions in this country and account for the majority of airborne lead emissions. Today, there are approximately 167,000 aircraft across the United States that use leaded avgas to fuel their engines. According to the EPA, more than five million people, including more than 360,000 children aged five and under, live very close to an airport where these aircraft operate. This is also an environmental justice issue. Studies show that air pollution and other environmental hazards are more prevalent in communities of color and low-income communities, including communities near airports.

Right now, Congress is working on its 5-year reauthorization of the FAA. The proposed bill include provision that would make it extremely difficult for airports to move away from leaded aviation gasoline. The bill would prevent airports from receiving federal Airport Improvement Program funding (which is nearly all airports) to protect their communities by banning leaded avgas and some provisions even require airports to continue to provide leaded avgas, locking the airports and the surrounding communities into more lead emissions. Urge your Congressmembers to remove these harmful avgas provisions and ensure that airports can transition towards safer unleaded fuels.

Leaded gas used in small airplanes (commonly referred to as “avgas”) is the single largest source of lead emissions in the country.
Leaded gas used in small airplanes is commonly referred to as “avgas.” It is the single largest source of lead emissions in the country. (Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

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