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States Pull Out of Talks to Cut Aircraft Pollution
Tue 23 November, 2004 22:09
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. state and local air pollution control officials said on Tuesday they are pulling out of five-year-old talks to develop a voluntary program for reducing pollution from aircraft engines.
A pollution-fighting deal with the aviation sector -- which is expected to see a doubling of nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions by 2030 -- could not be reached, and the officials said they told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so on Monday.
Major airports already have NOX emissions that are greater than those by large stationary sources, like refineries and power plants.
Officials with the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO) joined talks in 1999 to cut pollution from aircraft engines.
"More than five years later, we are extremely disappointed that no progress was made concerning the primary objective of reducing aircraft emissions," the associations said in a joint letter to the EPA and FAA.
The two associations represent air pollution control agencies in 54 states and territories and over 165 major metropolitan areas across the United States.
The officials said a proposal made this summer was "inadequate in terms of scope and stringency" and constrained on the ability of state and local agencies to protect against aviation-related pollution.
Specifically, the groups said the proposed nitrogen oxide emission standard for aircraft engines was not strong enough and excluded other pollutants, such as soot.
The officials also opposed excluding airports not in metropolitan areas that failed to meet EPA's clear air standards and were concerned there were few protections against "dumping" old equipment at non-participating airports.
The officials said that despite not being able to reach an agreement, they are committed "to identifying and implementing strategies" for meaningful emission reductions from the aviation sector.