EPA Opens Comment Period for Aircraft Emissions Rules

 - July 1, 2015, 9:17 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments through August 31 and is planning a public hearing on August 11 on its combined proposed rule and advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that would find greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from certain aircraft engines endanger public health and seek input on setting emissions standards. Though the EPA released the ANPRM earlier in June, it formally published the combined proposal and ANPRM today in the Federal Register and thus opened the public comment period.

The endangerment finding was mandated by Congress and clears the way for the EPA to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on a global standard for aircraft carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA is soliciting comment on a number of issues, including whether the standard should apply to in-production aircraft and, if so, in what time frame; potential for reporting requirements; whether to regulate engines only or whole aircraft; use of the metric system; and options for stringency levels. These proposals would apply to jet aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds and turboprops weighing more than 19,000 pounds.

General aviation groups have been cautious about the proposal, but have praised the EPA for attempting to work in tandem with ICAO. Environmental groups, however, have expressed disappointment that EPA is not moving ahead on its own.