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EPA: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aircraft ‘Endanger Public Health and Welfare’

posted: 06/11/15
by: Danny Clemens
Aircraft takeoff
photoncatcher/thinkstock

The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is taking preliminary steps to investigate the emission of greenhouse gases from commercial jetliners.

"The EPA Administrator is proposing to find that greenhouse gas emissions from certain classes of engines used in aircraft contribute to the air pollution that causes climate change and endangers public health and welfare under section 231(a) of the Clean Air Act," the agency said in a statement.

Relying upon its "extensive scientific and technical evidence", the agency will work with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Federal Aviation Administration to establish the emission guidelines. The new guidelines will only apply to commercial jetliners, and will not cover military aircraft, helicopters or turboprops.

Within the domestic transportation sector, aircraft are the largest non-regulated source of emissions. Since the 1970's, the Clean Air Act has regulated greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, buses and motorcycles. The legislation does provide regulations for volatile organic compounds (which negatively impact air quality) emitted from aircraft, but does not specifically address greenhouse gases.

According to the agency, commercial air traffic in the United States accounts for 0.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Click here to read the agency's full statement

Learn more about climate change:

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A Changing Planet
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