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This page provides information about air pollutant emissions from aviation. It includes regulations, guidance, and other information related to aircraft.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aircraft

The United States recently submitted an information paper to the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that sets out a timeframe for initiating the U.S. domestic regulatory process for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft under the Clean Air Act.

Beginning the domestic regulatory process lays the groundwork for adopting the international standards currently being developed through ICAO’s Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP), and it responds to the D.C. District Court’s ruling requiring EPA to determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft cause or contribute to air pollution that may be reasonably anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The information paper indicates that, under the agency’s current schedule, EPA intends to propose its findings in late April 2015, with final determinations expected in spring 2016.

EPA will follow notice and comment rulemaking procedures for this initial proposed action, providing ample opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide input, and ensuring transparency.

NOx Emissions from Commercial Aircraft Engines

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Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Using Leaded Aviation Gasoline

EPA is evaluating the impact of lead emissions from aircraft using leaded aviation gasoline on public health and welfare. In 2006, Friends of the Earth petitioned EPA, requesting that the Administrator find that aircraft lead emissions cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare, and that EPA regulate those emissions. EPA responded to the 2006 petition in July 2012. In 2014 Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Oregon Aviation Watch petitioned EPA to reconsider its 2012 response to the 2006 petition for rulemaking and to regulate lead emissions from general aviation aircraft. The following documents include the petitions and EPA’s actions.

In separate activities related to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead, EPA finalized revisions to the ambient monitoring requirements for measuring lead in the air on December 14, 2010. These amendments expanded the nation's lead monitoring network to better assess compliance with the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead. EPA required the continuation of monitoring at airports emitting at least one ton of lead per year. EPA also required the states to conduct a year-long monitoring study at 15 airports that emit less than one ton per year to determine how these sources impact air quality.

The following documents provide information on inventory documentation and additional data:

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