WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency adopted tighter emissions standards for oxides of nitrogen emitted from commercial jet engines made after Dec. 31, 2012.
NOX is a precursor gas to the formation of tropospheric ozone and particulate matter which are common pollutants around airports. The EPA says 154 million people live in areas designated as “nonattainment” for the pollutants.
The standards required a 12 percent emission reduction in new model engine aircraft. The next round of emissions reductions, which are to take effect in 2014, require an additional 15 percent reduction in NOX emissions from the newly adopted level.
According to the EPA, aircraft engines idling, taking off and landing dumped 97,000 tons of NOX in the most recent year for which data was available, 2008. If all phases of flight are considered, aircraft jet engines contributed nearly a million tons of NOX to the environment, representing nearly 8 percent of the total from all mobile sources.