Recently, Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, and Jimmy Panetta led 42 Member of Congress in sending a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Acting Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Polly Trottenburg urging the agencies to work together on setting standards on the use of leaded aviation gas to curb harmful emissions. Leaded aviation gas is the largest source of airborne lead emissions in the nation and continues to cause irreversible, life-long health impacts to impacted communities across the country.
“In light of EPA’s finalization of its endangerment finding for leaded aviation gas, it is critical that EPA and FAA move on setting standards that will phase out its use and protect our families, children, and communities from its dangerous impacts” said Earthjustice Legislative Representative Nathan Park. “Despite these risks, some Senators are already attempting to undo the endangerment finding via Congressional Review Act. We thank Reps. Lofgren, Eshoo, Khanna, and Panetta for standing by communities and pushing EPA and FAA to enact strong regulations that will safeguard our communities.”
In October 2023, the EPA released a finalized endangerment finding for leaded aviation gas used by piston engine aircraft, scientifically affirming that there is no safe level of lead. This came after two decades of community activists and other advocates demanding action on leaded aviation gas from EPA. According to the EPA, more than 5 million people reside near at least one airport where piston-engine aircraft operate.
“It is incumbent on the EPA and FAA to seize this moment and move forward with regulations that ensure children and impacted communities nationwide are protected from leaded aviation gasoline,” the Members wrote. “Communities have waited for far too long to breathe air clear of lead. Already, airports, local, and state elected officials are taking up the mantle and working to end the use of leaded aviation gasoline well before the 2030 timeline set by the EAGLE initiative, but they cannot do this alone. Every day that passes without critical federal standards and regulations is another day that children across the nation are exposed to lead.”
Read the letter.