Avgas Lawsuit Seeks Relief From Shutdown Threat

 - July 21, 2011, 10:30 AM

Responding to the threat of a citizen’s enforcement action by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) over leaded avgas, a coalition of affected businesses has filed a lawsuit against the CEH and the attorney general of the state of California. The enforcement action is a move allowed by California’s Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Under the act, CEH can seek to impose financial penalties on companies involved in the alleged violation and collect a percentage of those penalties, in addition to blocking the sale of leaded avgas in California. The coalition of affected businesses is seeking “an injunction to prevent Prop 65 enforcement actions relating to avgas from proceeding,” according to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), which is supporting the coalition’s efforts. Federal aviation and environmental law preempts enforcement of Proposition 65 against leaded avgas producers and sellers, the lawsuit claims. “The complaint states that a Prop 65 action will disrupt ongoing efforts by the FAA and the EPA, who are working with industry groups to identify an alternative to leaded fuel that can be safely and reliably used by piston-powered airplanes,” NATA explained. The CEH has agreed to wait until October 28 before proceeding, pending results of an October 3 hearing.