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AReCO in the News

Source: Aviation and Environment News

Vol. 13 No. 12, p. 118.

Date: December 3, 2004

Copyright 2004 Great Circle Communications LLC.

Emissions Talks Break Down: States, Municipalities Pull Out of Emissions Talks 

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Frustrated by a lack of progress over the past five years, two associations representing state and local air pollution control agencies around the country told EPA and FAA they would withdraw from the stakeholder process designed to develop a voluntary aviation emissions reduction program.

The State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO) entered into the stakeholder process in 1999 with “the strong and clearly stated desire to reach agreement on an appropriate strategy for achieving meaningful reductions in emissions from aircraft engines.” Industry representatives subsequently steered the focus toward ground service equipment (GSE), according to organization officials.

‘Unacceptable Constraints’

This resulted in a proposed memorandum of understanding on NOx emissions from GSE that the associations rejected as inadequate. The proposal places “unacceptable constraints on state and local air agencies’ abilities to protect the public from the adverse health impacts associated with aviation-related pollution.”

The associations were most concerned over “the inadequate fleet average emission standard for NOx; the exclusion of other pollutants, especially fine particulate matter; the exclusion of airports beyond those in ozone non-attainment areas; and inadequate protections against ‘dumping’ old equipment at non-participating airports.”

Lost Opportunity

With states and municipalities unable to directly regulate aircraft emissions, STAAPA and ALAPCO representatives approached the stakeholder process as an opportunity to achieve meaningful emissions reductions. “More than five years later, we are extremely disappointed that no progress was made concerning the primary objective of reducing aircraft emissions.”

“The issue of aviation emissions remains a critical concern for state and local air agencies Accordingly, we are committed to identifying and implementing strategies to achieve meaningful reductions in emissions from the aviation sector.”

“This is a very important development—that the representatives of all states, working for 5 years, could not get the aviation industry and the FAA to take any substantial steps to improve aircraft and airport toxic emissions,” Jack Saporito, president of the American Working Group for National Policy told AENews. “We do not need to be expanding flight operations and airports now; we obviously need to be developing reasonable alternatives.”