Read the whole, documented history of EPA’s specious airborne lead sampling project at San Carlos Airport in this report: SCAPA-Lead-Memo_Final-April-2015

Environmental health is of critical concern to everyone, including pilots and airport users. Let’s be clear: lead above certain quantities is highly toxic, bad stuff, especially to children. Eliminating lead from paint and auto gas has improved public health, and are glad for that. What does not follow is that the extremely low levels of lead in 100LL avgas must also be hazardous.

Environmental Groups have nonetheless embarked on a crusade to ban 100LL, based on the assumption that it is toxic. EPA has aided and abetted these groups by performing—at significant expense—air studies at numerous airports. This is the history of EPA’s manipulation of the testing done at San Carlos Airport and their subsequent abuse of the faulty data.

In brief, EPA misrepresented the purpose, design and use of its air study at San Carlos airport. Once they got permission to place the monitors, EPA changed the location of the monitors so that test results showed elevated lead levels. Then they broke their promise and went public with the flawed test results.

The end result was a furor that caused the County to close off the much-needed runup area where the EPA monitors had been illegally placed—a closure that remains in effect to this day. The other air monitors around the airport have never detected lead approaching the EPA action levels. Yet the monitoring has continued for years, while the EPA and BAAQMD collect and study the data.

EPA and the environmental groups who it partnered with to ban leaded avgas have repeated the falsehood that avgas emissions create a public health hazard so many times that it has become “truth” and repeated by airport NIMBYs everywhere. In the meantime, millions of public dollars are being spent certifying unleaded avgas which will likely cause many private citizens to spend thousands of their own dollars to retrofit their aircraft at their own expense. All for a nonexistent “problem” that has been exploited by environmental groups to drive fundraising and membership, and by the EPA to perpetuate its mission.