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Monday, 29 June, 2009

Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

June 29, 2009

EPA Docket Center
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

RE: Docket Number EPA–HQ–OAR–2009–0171, Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the voice of aviation business, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before the Congress, federal agencies and state governments. NATA's over 2,000 member companies own, operate and service aircraft and provide for the needs of the traveling public by offering services and products to aircraft operators and others such as fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, parts sales, storage, rental, airline servicing, flight training, Part 135 on-demand air charter, fractional aircraft program management and scheduled commuter operations in smaller aircraft. NATA members are a vital link in the aviation industry providing services to the general public, airlines, general aviation and the military. 

NATA appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator’s proposed finding. NATA is aware that the proposed finding currently only applies to emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG) from motor vehicles and not aircraft. However, NATA has found such deficiency in the science that has been offered, in the form of a Technical Support Document, to support the proposed finding that allowing that outdated and misinterpreted science to stand without comment could be detrimental to our membership in the future.

The proposed endangerment finding states, “It is the Administrator’s judgment that the total body of scientific evidence compellingly supports a positive endangerment finding for both public health and welfare.” However, the Technical Support Document (Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171-0137) that summarizes the science used to support the administrator’s finding is significantly based upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s  AR4 report, which is at least three years out of date. The research and science surrounding climate change is rapidly evolving and relying on out-dated science is a recipe for disaster.

Due to the over reliance on old data and research, the Technical Support Document fails to address recent research involving:

  • The recent decline in global temperatures despite increasing CO2 emissions
  • Possible correlation between solar activity and global temperature
  • The variance between predicted increases in hurricane activity related to climate change and actual hurricane activity
  • The diminishing consensus that predicted warming will cause Greenland to shed its ice

The EPA is required, before issuing regulations affecting the emissions of a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act, to determine if the air “pollutant” under consideration may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. This standard gives the administrator great leeway in determining if a “pollutant” is harmful, but ignoring most, if not all, contrary evidence produced over the last three years is totally unacceptable. The scientific method is a process that involves constant change and ever-evolving theories. Ignoring data and research that does not fit a preconceived idea, much as the Technical Support Document does, is the surest way to reach an inaccurate conclusion. Any regulations promulgated as a result of this endangerment finding are sure to have a significant effect on our economy; therefore, the utmost care and concern must be used when determining whether they are necessary. The EPA is tasked with evaluating the cutting edge of science and research on climate change. To do this, positions contrary to the established belief must be fully evaluated.

It is NATA’s belief of that the EPA has not fully investigated the matter at hand as it is required to do by law. The EPA has relied on out-of-date data and misinterpreted data, and has failed to consider research and data that presents contrary findings. These facts require that the EPA rescind the proposed endangerment finding and begin the process of more fully evaluating the most up-to-date data on climate change.

Michael E. France
Manager, Regulatory Affairs
National Air Transportation Association

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For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or schambers@nata.aero

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.