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Brief Reprieve From California Avgas Ban Attempt

Group to wait until after October court decision on NATA-led injunction request

July 21, 2011 – The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) reports that California’s Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has agreed to put its Proposition 65 enforcement action against the use of leaded avgas in the state on hold until October 28 so a federal judge can rule on a lawsuit requesting an injunction against the action.

 The NATA-led coalition, including California FBOs and fuel distributors, seeks a federal preemption claim and request for injunction, contending that Prop 65 (the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act) lawsuits will disrupt ongoing efforts by the FAA and EPA, who are working with industry groups including EAA to identify an alternative to leaded fuel that can be safely and reliably used by piston-powered airplanes.

NATA and EAA firmly believe that regulation of the sale, content, and use of aviation fuel is a federal matter and must be left to the FAA and EPA. State intervention in this process, by way of private lawsuit, will only lead to a frustration of this effort and a patchwork of regulations across the country, NATA contends.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has also agreed not to sue over avgas without providing notice to the coalition, which has received significant support from EAA, GAMA, and AOPA.

The case will be heard on October 3, 2011, in Fresno. EAA has filed a comprehensive declaration supporting the argument for federal preemption in support of the NATA action.

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