“It’s unconscionable to think about the hundreds of thousands of children that have been exposed to lead over all of these years from airport activity.”

Optimistic that President Joe Biden’s administration will take action to address the largest remaining source of airborne lead emissions in the country, a coalition of environmental advocacy organizations joined forces with California’s Santa Clara County on Tuesday to press the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to classify leaded aviation gasoline air pollution as a danger to public health and the environment. An EPA-issued finding on this matter would allow the federal government to propose regulatory standards to address the harm caused by a highly toxic additive in aviation fuel.

Environmental advocates have petitioned the EPA to make this decision, known as an endangerment finding, for nearly two decades. They argue that the move is long overdue, given decades of scientific evidence demonstrating the harms of lead exposure, particularly for children.

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