U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the Environmental Protection Act’s (EPA) recent finding requiring the EPA to regulate the use of leaded avgas for aircraft pursuant to the Clean Air Act—an effort that ignores Alaska’s unique geographic reliance on aviation, and will cause real harm to indigenous and rural communities across the state by potentially increasing fuel costs and impacting flight availability.
“This effort by the EPA completely ignores Alaska’s unique geography, our dependence on aviation in rural settings, and the realities of Alaska’s aviation abilities. Our vast size and remote communities mean smaller, piston aircrafts that use leaded avgas are often the only means of transportation for some Alaskans, and the only way to get food, building materials, and medical supplies. This EPA decision could have a deeply negative impact on the affordability and accessibility of fuel, availability of travel, and safety for Alaskans across the state—and it must be stopped,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “I’m proud to lead effort with Senator Sullivan to rescind this regulation and force the EPA to make a decision that recognizes the needs of rural Alaskans and Americans.”
“The EPA’s finding stands to set off a devastating chain of events that could lead to supply chain disruptions and severe price hikes for Alaskans,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “Our aviation operators require the certainty of an affordable, widely available fuel that has been fully vetted for use in each and every aircraft in the state. As part of the FAA reauthorization, I’ve been working to provide this certainty for the availability of 100LL fuel at our airports, and to require the executive branch to consider the affordability and availability of fuel as vital safety considerations when approving any regulation. I’m glad to introduce this legislation with Senator Murkowski today to rescind this misguided effort, and protect the safety of our airspace and continued service for Alaskans.”
On October 18, 2023, the EPA announced an “Endangerment Finding” for leaded avgas for aircraft. Due to this finding, the Clean Air Act will now require the EPA to regulate the use of avgas. Regulations are anticipated in 2024. Avgas is the most commonly used fuel used by piston-engine aircraft, which are most often used for intrastate travel in Alaska.
The Congressional Review Act was enacted in 1996 and provides Congress with a tool to overturn Administrative regulations. If a CRA joint resolution is approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the President, the rule at issue cannot go into effect or continue in effect.