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Leaded Aviation Fuel: EPA Proposed Clean Air Act Endangerment Finding

Avgas: EJ Implications, Lead Emissions, Disadvantaged Communities

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will discuss the recent developments related to EPA's proposed finding that lead emissions from certain aircraft engines cause or contribute to lead air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act. The panel will discuss the effect of an endangerment and contribution finding, the impact of leaded aviation fuel in the context of environmental justice (EJ), and proactive measures ahead of any substantive regulations.


The EPA and other regulators have aggressively targeted for years the harmful effects of lead in products, water, and air under many laws and regulations, including the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. Aviation gasoline (avgas) is the aviation fuel most used in piston-engine aircraft and is thought to contribute well over half of the lead entering the air annually. Avgas remains the only transportation fuel in the United States to contain lead.

Recently, the EPA issued a proposed finding that lead emissions from aircraft engines that operate on leaded fuel cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare. An endangerment and contribution finding is the first step in the process of regulating lead emissions from avgas, which would also trigger new rulemaking from the FAA. Covered aircraft are primarily owned for "general aviation" uses and would have a substantial impact on private pilots and owners, aircraft manufacturers, maintenance, service, and repair organizations, and the private air taxi market. Commercial and military aircraft generally do not use leaded avgas.

In addition, Executive Orders call on federal agencies to make achieving EJ part of their mission "by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts." Although the EPA is not at this time proposing lead emission standards, the EPA's EJ consideration is focused on describing populations living near airports and studies of increased blood levels in children with increasing proximity to airports, especially in minority and low-income households.

Listen as our distinguished panel of environmental attorneys addresses the emerging developments related to lead emissions from avgas and offers takeaways for navigating the current shifting regulatory landscape. Environmental counsel will also offer future guidance amid increasing EJ-related scrutiny across multiple jurisdictions.



  1. Clean Air Act overview
  2. EPA's scientific assessments for lead air pollution
  3. Endangerment and cause and contribution analyses
  4. EJ-related implications
  5. Future guidance


The panel will cover these and other key issues:

  • What are the recent developments under the Clean Air Act?
  • What should companies and their counsel be aware of in the context of EJ?
  • How can counsel prepare their clients to be proactive in view of emerging clean air developments and regulations?


Ballingrud, Sam
Sam Ballingrud

Squire Patton Boggs

Mr. Ballingrud practices in the firm’s Environmental, Safety & Health Practice based in the Denver office....  |  Read More

Hines, Robert
Robert L. (Buzz) Hines

Farella Braun + Martel

Mr. Hines has practiced environmental law for more than 25 years representing clients in complex governmental and...  |  Read More

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