The EPA takes initial step towards regulating lead fuel used by small planes

The EPA is inching closer toward regulating the use of leaded fuel often used in smaller planes. In a statement, it highlighted some of the environmental and public health risks associated with lead emissions. EPA administrator Michael Regan said that the White House should “move forward” and propose new standards to limit the use of leaded gasoline in aviation.

Planes that operate on lead fuel are typically smaller piston-engine aircrafts, which are usually flying in and out of smaller airports and exposing nearby residents. Lead pollution can cause “irreversible and life-long health effects” but this is especially true for children. Average levels of lead exposure in the US has gone down dramatically since the 1980s thanks to the heavy regulation of products in homes and schools. However, the risk for exposure is higher if you live near these smaller airports that operate aircraft that rely on leaded gasoline.

Now that the EPA has formally declared what it already knew — that leaded gasoline is bad — it can work with the FAA to iron out regulations limiting its use. Although the FAA does not have direct regulatory authority over what fuels airplanes use, the aviation agency has committed to transition all piston-engine aircrafts away from lead-filled aviation fuels before the end of 2030.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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