From the House Committee on Oversight and Reform | Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney
On Thursday, July 28, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. ET, Rep. Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a hybrid hearing to examine the health harms associated with leaded aviation fuel and its impacts on American communities and the environment.
Airborne lead exposure from aviation fuel is an urgent yet little-known health crisis impacting millions of people who live near general aviation airports in the United States. Lead is highly toxic and a probable carcinogen, causing health effects such as brain damage, learning disabilities, reduced fertility, nerve damage, and death. Despite the dangers associated with it, many airplanes continue to utilize leaded fuel, putting the health and safety of Americans—especially children—at risk.
Despite clear evidence of harm and the existence of unleaded fuel alternatives, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have failed for many years to take meaningful action to curb the use of leaded aviation fuel. Simultaneously, the fossil fuel and aviation industries have lobbied to delay efforts to phase out leaded fuel.
In the United States, general aviation airports are often located in low-income communities and communities of color, causing those communities to suffer disproportionately from the health impacts of leaded aviation fuel. Lead exposure from aviation fuel is an ongoing environmental justice crisis. This hearing will examine the impacts of leaded aviation fuel on American communities and on the environment to better understand the urgency of permanently phasing out the dangerous substance.
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