American Association of Airport Executives    Ph: 703.824.0500
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Press Release

AAAE Expresses Airport Concerns With EPA's Deicing Rulemaking Proposal

For Immediate Release
February 26, 2010

Alexandria, Va. -- AAAE, on behalf of the 850 airports its membership represents, submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on proposed new standards for limiting deicing fluid runoff at commercial airports.

EPA's proposal would establish standards for the amount of aircraft deicing fluid (ADF) that commercial service airports must re-capture and prevent from entering wastewater runoff. AAAE is concerned that the standards would put undue financial burdens and create safety hazards at many airports.

Under the proposed regulation, airports with more than 10,000 annual aircraft departures and 1,000 annual jet departures would be required to capture fluid. The re-capture standards would vary based on the amount of ADF used each year, with heavy users required to re-capture 60 percent of all fluid. In addition, airports determined to have “new sources” of pollution, such as new or extended runways, would be required to meet the highest standards.

While AAAE and the airport community support efforts to improve the environment, we have several issues with EPA's proposals. Among them:

"Safe airport deicing procedures are paramount to winter weather practices. Currently our industry must adhere to a number of FAA regulations and other guidelines for deicing, as well as meet their EPA general or individual permit limitations,” said AAAE Director of Regulatory Affairs Leslie Riegle. “Some airports already meet these proposed ELG requirements through their permits and we believe meeting these stringent regulations should be more than environmentally adequate without being economically taxing or unnecessarily laborious to the airport,” she continued.

“We also need the EPA to consider all costs involved with this proposal,” Riegle added. “EPA needs to understand the regulatory environment that these facilities operate in, as well as the complexities that exist within the operational environment at an airport."

EPA's proposed rule, Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Airport Deicing Category (EPA-HQ-OW-2004-0038 FRL-8948-2), was published August 28.

AAAE's comments were formulated with input from association membership regarding the draft rule's specific impacts at their airports. A copy of AAAE's comments can be viewed here (.pdf).

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ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE’s 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

Sean Broderick
American Association of Airport Executives
Office: (703) 824-0500, Ext. 126
Mobile: (703) 919-6873
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