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U.S. To Launch First Ever Emissions Rules For Commercial Aircrafts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose on Wednesday a first-ever rulemaking for emission standards for commercial aircraft, Reuters reported, citing officials.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg Law reported that the White House’s regulatory clearinghouse had completed a review of the rule proposed by the EPA, which proposes to set limits to the greenhouse gas emissions of some aircraft under the Clean Air Act.

The proposed rulemaking will be the first emission standard for commercial aviation in the United States and will include large passenger jets, regional jets, large turboprop airplanes. Helicopters, small turboprops, helicopters, and military aircraft will not be part of the emission standards rule, Reuters noted.

According to EPA’s own estimates, aircraft account for 12 percent of all U.S. transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 3 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions.

The UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) already has emission standards for aircraft aimed at reducing the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.

A U.S. emission standard in line with the ICAO standards or more stringent will be crucial for the U.S. aviation industry because some countries could move to ban aircraft made in the United States if they fall short of ICAO emission standards, administration officials told Reuters.

The proposed rule would be “sensible, legally defendable steps to regulate greenhouse gases, while safeguarding American jobs and the economy,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement to Reuters.

Clare Lakewood, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, told Bloomberg Law this week that many commercial aircraft in the United States already comply with the ICAO standards, while newly delivered airplanes are set to exceed the ICAO standards by around 10 percent.  

In January this year, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, and Friends of the Earth notified EPA of their intent to sue it for taking too long to promulgate any rule on greenhouse emissions from aircraft.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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