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EPA Says Aircraft Emissions Endanger Public Health

Emissions from aircraft endanger public health, according to the EPA, and the agency's new report indicates airlines aren't doing enough to reduce them. (Jules Meulemans/Wikimedia Commons)
Emissions from aircraft endanger public health, according to the EPA, and the agency's new report indicates airlines aren't doing enough to reduce them. (Jules Meulemans/Wikimedia Commons)
July 27, 2016

Concord, NH - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an endangerment finding this week, acknowledging that emissions from aircraft engines endanger humans by contributing to global climate change. Comments by Vera Pardee (VEER-ah PARR-dee), senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute.

Greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft engines endanger public health and welfare, says a new finding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The endangerment finding documents the magnitude of a problem that environmentalists have been urging the agency to tackle for almost a decade. According to Vera Pardee, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity, under the Clean Air Act, the agency now is required to act.

"EPA must set emission standards to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by the thousands of aircraft crossing our skies every day."

The E-P-A's study found that U-S aircraft are responsible for almost 30-percent of greenhouse gas emissions from all aircraft globally.

If commercial aviation were considered a country, it would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions, according to the Center. Pardee notes that a recent Center for Biological Diversity report found that if nothing is done, aircraft will generate 43-gigatonnes of planet-warming pollution by 2050.

"And that number alone would put us far above what we can handle, as far as not exceeding the temperature threshold that allows us to continue to live on this planet as we would like."

Earlier this year, the International Civil Aviation Organization recommended standards for carbon pollution for aircraft, but Pardee says they are far short of what can be done. Another recent report - from the International Council on Clean Transportation - says some of the top 20 transatlantic air carriers could cut emissions in half with existing technology and operational improvements.

Greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft engines endanger public health and welfare, says a new finding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The story from Mike Clifford.

aircraft globally.

Reach Pardee at 858-717-1448. Center for Biological Diversity report: http://tinyurl.com/harwsdk. EPA finding: http://tinyurl.com/jtxzele.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH