Clearing the Air: AG Coalition Led by California Comments on Proposed EPA Regulation of Aircraft Emissions

  • California AG Rob Bonta and the California Air Resources Board led a coalition of 12 states in urging the EPA to adopt more protective standards for particulate matter emissions from airplanes in comments submitted in response to the EPAs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Control of Air Pollution from Airplanes and Airplane Engines: Emission Standards and Test Procedures, 87 Fed. Reg. 6324 (February 3, 2022).
  • The commenting states argue that the EPA’s presently proposed regulations are legally inadequate and far less stringent than what existing engine technologies already achieve and would fail to mitigate the harms of particulate matter (PM) pollution by any amount. The commenting states further stress that the EPA’s rulemaking is  arbitrary and capricious, as the agency failed to properly consider pollution impacts, technical feasibility, and other factors mandated by the Clean Air Act when regulating aircraft emissions.
  • In addition, the commenting states express concern over the EPA’s failure to conduct a meaningful environmental justice analysis of the proposed rule, arguing that the proposed rule significantly understates the serious health and environmental harms PM emissions can cause in communities located near or downwind from airports, which often already disproportionately experience environmental and social inequities. By postponing meaningful consideration of the inequitable impacts of aircraft PM emissions, the commenting states argue that the EPA’s analysis of pollution impacts under Section 231 was substantively inadequate. The commenting states call on the EPA to rescind the proposed rule, and initiate a “proper Section 231 rulemaking.”
  • AG Bonta is also currently leading a multistate coalition suing the EPA over regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from airplane engines.