Sierra Club Statement on EPA Endangerment Finding on Aircraft Lead Pollution


Larisa Manescu,

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final “endangerment finding” about the harmful health impacts of lead pollution from certain small airplanes, which will trigger legal requirements for the EPA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue regulations to address this dangerous source of pollution. 

While commercial airplanes and private jets fly on fuel that contains no lead, the gasoline in those smaller aircraft and helicopters still contains lead that sickens communities living nearby airports and is the single largest source of lead in the air today.

In response, the Sierra Club’s Legal Director Joanne Spalding released the following statement:  

“Families that live near airports for old planes that still use lead-containing fuels are suffering from toxic trails of lead in the air they breathe and on the plants and in the soil where they live. This lead is showing up in children's blood and manifesting long-lasting health impacts. The EPA has a responsibility to do its job and move urgently to address this public health issue and regulate this pollution so no aircraft can continue to run on lead-laced fuel.” 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit