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Action! Airport Runoff and the TRI



Airports and Toxics Release Inventory
DEADLINE:  April 13, 1998
     
     Several environmental organizations have petitioned the EPA to
require airports to report their releases of toxic chemicals under the
TRI (Toxic Release inventory) system.  63 Fed. Reg. 6691-98 (Feb. 10, 
1998). 

Currently airports do virtually no reporting.  Yet large 
     volumes of de-icing fluids, which contain several toxic chemicals, 
     fuel spills, oils and greases, and other pollutants regularly flow 
     from airports into nearby streams and waters.  We urge you to write 
     EPA to support their granting the petition.  A sample letter
follows.
     

For more information, contact Peter Lehner of NRDC at plehner@nrdc.org
or 212-727-4425.


*** ACTION ***

     Comments are due April 13 and should be sent to:
     
     OPPTS-400122
     OPPT Document Control Officer (7407)
     Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
     EPA
     401 M Street, SW
     Room G-099, East Tower
     Washington, DC  20460
     
     They can also be sent electronically to: oppt.ncic@epamail.epa.gov.
     

SAMPLE LETTER

     Lynn Goldman
     Assistant Administrator for Prevention Pesticides and Toxic   
Substances
     EPA
     
     Dear Ms. Goldman:
     
     We write to strongly support the petition of the Natural Resources 
     Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society
and Humane Society of the United States requesting that EPA require SIC 
     code 45 facilities (airports, airline terminals and aircraft 
     maintenance facilities) to report releases of toxic chemicals
listed on the toxic release inventory.
     
     Airports are massive facilities with very significant environmental 
     impacts.  Local citizens try to find out what is going on at the 
     airports -- what is being released to the air, water, soil, and 
     otherwise impacting the neighborhood -- but often to no avail.  It
is critical that all discharges from airports be reported and made 
     public.
     
     We agree with the petition that de-icing fluids in particular
contain many toxic compounds.  In addition to ethylene glycol, which is
very toxic to humans and animals, proplyene glycol exerts an extremely
high biochemical oxygen demand on recieving waters causing fish kills
and other aquatic injuries.  The additives in de-icers, the surfactants 
     and anti-corrosive agents, are also often toxic in their initial
form and, it appears in their decomposition elements.  These are often 
     claimed to be proprietary so even airline and airport operators may 
     not know the constituents. Other pollutants from airports include 
     oils, greases, heavy metals and sediments. 
     
     [add a sentence or two here about the particular environmental
impacts of any airport near you.  The more detail -- foam in streams,
odors, bird kills, fish kills, scoured streams -- the better.]
     
     It has been for far too long that the public has been deprived of 
     information concerning airports.  We urge you grant the petition
and promptly initiate the necessary rulemaking.
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