Advance Notice  of Proposed
Rulemaking on  Lead  Emissions  from
Piston-Engine Aircraft Using Leaded
Aviation  Gasoline
Overview
     In this action we describe and request comment on the data available for
      evaluating lead emissions, ambient concentrations and potential exposure to
      lead from the use of leaded aviation gasoline (avgas) in piston-engine
      powered aircraft,

     This action describes considerations regarding emission engine standards
      and requests comment on approaches for transitioning the piston-engine fleet
      to unleaded avgas,

     This action is one of the steps EPA is taking in response to a petition submit-
      ted by Friends of the Earth (FOE) requesting that EPA find endangerment
      from and regulate lead emitted by piston-engine aircraft, or if insufficient
      information exists, to commence a study,

     EPA's next step is to consider the information presented in the ANPR and
      comments received from the public to determine whether, in the Administrator's
      judgment, aircraft lead emissions from aircraft using leaded aviation gasoline
      cause or contribute to air pollution which may be reasonably anticipated to
      endanger public health or welfare. EPA will also be considering comments
      from the public and continuing conversations with FAA and industry about
      issues associated with potential future emission standards,

     If EPA judges, in a subsequent action, that lead emissions from these aircraft
      cause or contribute to air pollution which may be reasonably anticipated to
      endanger public health or welfare, EPA would be required, in consultation
      with FAA, to establish standards to control the emissions of lead from piston-
      engine aircraft. FAA would also be required to establish standards for the
      composition of piston-engine aircraft fuel to control lead emissions.
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
                                 Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                                                    EPA-420-F-10-013
                                                          April 2010

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Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft
      There are almost 20,000 airport facilities in the U.S. where leaded avgas is used,

      Aviation gasoline is utilized in general aviation aircraft with piston engines, which are
       generally used for instructional flying, air taxi activities, and personal transportation.
       Lead is not used in jet fuel, the fuel utilized by most commercial aircraft,

      Emissions of lead from piston-engine aircraft using leaded avgas comprise approximately
       half of the national inventory of lead emitted to air,

      EPA estimates that approximately 14.6 billion gallons of leaded avgas were consumed
       between 1970 and 2007, emitting approximately 34,000 tons of lead,

      Airport-specific lead inventories for 2008 are currently undergoing review by state, local
       and tribal authorities and will be completed in 2010,
Lead Concentrations and Exposure to Lead from Piston-Engine Aircraft
     Lead concentrations in air increase with proximity to airports where piston-engine
      aircraft operate,

     Lead emitted in-flight is expected to disperse widely in the environment because lead is
      emitted as a small particle and can travel widely before depositing to soil, water,
      vegetation or other surfaces,

     Approximately 16  million people live within one kilometer of the approximately 20,000
      airport facilities in the U.S.

     Over 3 million children attend school within one kilometer of the approximately 20,000
      airport facilities.
Background
     The U.S. has made tremendous progress in reducing lead concentrations in the outdoor
      air, with average concentrations of lead in air decreasing 91 percent between 1980 and
      2008.

            Much of this dramatic improvement occurred as a result of the permanent phase-
             out of lead in motor vehicle gasoline. Reductions in the emission of lead have
             also been accomplished through controls on waste incineration and other
             stationary sources.

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       Lead is a multimedia pollutant and EPA is concerned about continued emissions of lead
       to air,

          *   Lead that is emitted into the air can be inhaled or, after it settles out of the air,
              can be ingested. Ingestion of lead that has settled onto surfaces is the main way
              children are exposed to lead originally released into the air,

          *   Once in the body, lead is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and results in
              a broad range of health effects,

       Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead. Exposures to low levels of lead
       early in life have been linked to effects on IQ, learning, memory, and behavior. There is
       no identified safe level of lead in the body,

       On October 15, 2008, EPA substantially strengthened the national ambient air quality
       standards (NAAQS) for lead, finding that serious health effects occur at much lower
       levels of lead in blood than previously identified.
For More Information
To download a copy of today's action and to obtain additional information regarding
EPA's response to the petition from Friends of the Earth, go to:

          www.epa.gov/otaq/aviation.htm

EPA will accept public comment on the ANPR for 60 days following its publication in the
Federal Register. To provide comments to EPA, follow the instructions provided in today's action.

For more information about lead in air visit:

          www.epa.gov/air/lead

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