EPA Takes Aim at Commercial Aviation's Emissions

EPA expects the International Civil Aviation Organization will adopt its environmental committee's agreement on international aircraft CO2 standards in March 2017. EPA anticipates moving forward on standards that would be at least as stringent as ICAO's standards.

EPA on July 25 finalized a determination under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas emissions from commercial jets' engines contribute to the pollution that causes climate change and endangers Americans' health and the environment. The findings are for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride, all of which contribute to greenhouse gas pollution.

"Addressing pollution from aircraft is an important element of U.S. efforts to address climate change. Aircraft are the third-largest contributor to GHG emissions in the U.S. transportation sector, and these emissions are expected to increase in the future," said Janet McCabe, EPA's acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. "EPA has already set effective GHG standards for cars and trucks and any future aircraft engine standards will also provide important climate and public health benefits," she added.

EPA isn't issuing emissions standards for aircraft engines at this point, but the determination is a step EPA must take prior to adopting domestic those standards. EPA anticipates that the International Civil Aviation Organization will adopt its environmental committee's agreement on international aircraft CO2 standards in March 2017, and EPA anticipates moving forward on standards that would be at least as stringent as ICAO's standards.

The findings don't apply to small piston-engine planes or to military aircraft. For more information on the final aircraft endangerment and cause or contribute findings, visit http://epa.gov/otaq/aviation.htm.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar