EPA Issues Proposed Rulemaking for Leaded Avgas
On April 28, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), the first step in a process that may lead to standards mandating GA’s transition to unleaded avgas. This action allows the public to comment on the current data being considered to develop standards to control lead emissions from piston-powered aircraft.
Avgas is the only remaining transportation fuel in the United States that contains lead. FAA is committed to continue working with the GA community to test, adopt, and certify a new aviation gasoline fuel standard. In addition, FAA established a GA alternative fuels program at the FAA Technical Center to continue research of unleaded aviation fuels and has issued many supplemental type certificates (STCs) to allow aircraft with lower-performance engines to operate with unleaded automobile gasoline.
Despite ongoing research, currently there is no definitive replacement for unleaded avgas available that will meet the needs of all GA aircraft. EPA will use data gathered through this comment-seeking process, as well as work with FAA and industry, to decide whether to enact restrictions on the use of leaded avgas. EPA estimates that lead emissions from aircraft using leaded avgas accounts for approximately half of the national inventory of lead emitted to air.
Editor’s Note: Let’s be clear here. 100 LL represents .04 of 0.01% of the fuel manufactured in the United States. Yes, it has lead in it since high performance aircraft engines require it – they will fail without it. And, let’s be honest for a change too – do you really believe this will make any measurable difference to the environment? What it is really is is politics, and an attempt by the EPA to make itself look good. And finally, it will provide the eco-zealot organization in San Francisco which brought the law suit, the opportunity to raise more money in the form of donations because it looks good to the uninformed. Morale of the story – be careful when you donate to environmental organizations. Make sure you check each one out thoroughly. There is a difference between doing something and appearing to do something.
LYCOMING: 94UL WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE
As the industry continues to drift toward some unknown solution to the extinction of 100LL, Continental and Lycoming disagree on what the octane for that replacement should be. Continental has been aggressively pushing for 94UL and gave AVweb a briefing on that project at the Mobile factory two weeks ago. As with Lycoming, many of Continentals engines will require only 80-octane fuel and will have no problem with 94UL. For those that don’t, Continental is planning a combination of tweaks, including low-compression overhauls, engine replacements, knock sensing and electronic controls. But Lycoming’s GM Michael Kraft told AvWeb last week that certifying 94UL as the replacement piston fuel would be a huge mistake that could cost the industry billions in lost business.He believes that owners and operators are the ones most at risk and that most don’t understand how significantly performance will be reduced or restricted by 94-octane fuel. “If people really understood what’s going on today, they would understand that we need to set the objective at 100 octane fuel,” Kraft told AvWeb at Lycoming’s Williamsport plant last week.
Even More from aero-news.net:
Environmentalists Say EPA Has Failed To Address Aircraft, Ship Emissions
Lawsuit Filed Against Federal Agency By Environmental Coalition
A lawsuit has been filed by a coalition of environmental groups against the U.S. EPA claiming the agency has not addressed greenhouse gas emissions coming from airplanes, ocean-going ships, non-road vehicle engines, and industrial engines.
The suit was filed in federal district court in Washington, DC by Earthjustice and the Western Environmental Law Center on behalf of five additional groups late last week.
The blog FavStocks reports that the coalition claims that the four classes of engines account for nearly a quarter of all U.S. mobile greenhouse gas emissions, and is projected to grow rapidly.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed the EPA’s jurisdiction over greenhouse gas regulations by voting down Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) “disapproval resolution,” which would have stopped EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
The coalition had first petitioned the EPA in 2007 to look at the emissions from ocean-going ships, airplanes, and other sources. It says EPA has not responded to those petitions, hence the suit.