13-May-2011 Source: NATA
This week, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), an environmental group located in San Francisco, Calif., has charged numerous aviation businesses in California, including aviation fuel suppliers and fixed base operators, with violating California state law for selling aviation gasoline, which contains lead. The notices indicate CEH’s intention to file a lawsuit under state law, and also include a proposed settlement to stop the lawsuit that includes halting the sale of aviation gasoline and payment, to CEH, of 25% of any “civil penalty,” of up to $ 2.7 million, assessed. When asked in a recent AvWeb interview about the revenue received from Proposition 65 lawsuits, CEH Research Director Caroline Cox responded, “We try to recover our legal fees and then perhaps make some money for [our] organization.”
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is very concerned about this attempt to use California state law to shut down the entire piston-engine general aviation industry in California through a suit that involves a private organization seeking monetary damages. General aviation is a national resource that provides economic growth and jobs in thousands of California communities. This growth and these jobs are now endangered by one organization’s threat of a lawsuit and demands for monetary damages and an end to the sale of leaded aviation gasoline.
Any environmental concerns arising from the sale and use of aviation gasoline belong under the purview of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Currently, both of these agencies, along with numerous industry stakeholders, are engaged in a collaborative process to address the issues arising from the use of leaded aviation gasoline.
“NATA takes environmental concerns very seriously,” said NATA President James K. Coyne, “but a single organization suing for monetary damages cannot be allowed to threaten an entire industry. NATA will continue its cooperative work with the EPA and FAA on addressing the long-term future of aviation gasoline in the United States and will support the general aviation industry in California against this attack.”
NATA, the voice of aviation business, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before the Congress and federal agencies.