Epa to Regulate Airplane De-Icing Fluid?

The Environmental Protection Agency says it might impose new restrictions on airports. Officials with the EPA say de-icing chemicals used on planes and taxiways can contaminate surface water. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Celeste Headlee reports:

Transcript

The Environmental Protection Agency says it might impose new restrictions on airports.
Officials with the EPA say de-icing chemicals used on planes and taxiways can
contaminate surface water. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Celeste Headlee
reports:


Many airlines spray ethylene glycol on planes to melt ice and frost. The EPA says that
chemical can endanger wildlife when it enters nearby water bodies. The agency
estimates that 21 million gallons of de-icing fluid are discharged from airports every year.


The EPA plans to study de-icing chemicals to determine whether any restrictions are
necessary. Claudio Ternieden of the American Association of Airport Executives
acknowledges de-icing chemicals may have an environmental impact, but says the issue
is not as simple as it seems.


“I think it’s important to remember, this is a safety-based industry and what we’re trying
to do is make sure folks are flying safely. That’s the primary goal of our industry.”


Many airports already use strict treatment or recycling programs for de-icing fluid. Last
winter, the Detroit Metro Airport recycled about 850 thousand gallons of the fluid, more
than any other airport in the world.


The EPA predicts it will complete its study of de-icing chemicals in three years.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Celeste Headlee.

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