In a bid to safeguard public health, the College Park City Council is considering to approve for a pivotal letter urging the College Park Airport to transition from leaded aviation fuel. While leaded fuel is traditionally considered safer for small planes, recent Environmental Protection Agency findings highlight health risks. With a focus on preserving the environment and attracting sustainable development, the proposed letter emphasizes the Council’s interest in monitoring lead levels and remediation plans.

Please see below the drat letter.

February 6, 2024
Mr. Lee Sommer, Manager
College Park Airport
M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation
1909 Corporal Frank Scot Dr.
College Park MD 20740

Dear Mr. Sommer:

The College Park City Council is very interested in protecting and improving the quality of our environment, and we are taking ac􀆟on in many areas (reduction in fuel usage, increase in EVs, improvements to multi-modal transportation, etc.) to accomplish this goal. As you are aware, exposure to lead pollution from small planes using leaded avia􀆟on fuel is harmful to human health. We are concerned that this exposure harms airport customers, school children and other neighbors, and visitors to the airport museum, surrounding facilities, and trails.

I appreciate your communications with the City Manager regarding the current challenges that prevent the College Park Airport from switching to unleaded avia􀆟on fuel at this 􀆟me. The airport has a small population of planes (38), and you have indicated that none of these planes have been authorized to use unleaded fuel. Although there are some small airports that have made unleaded fuel available for their planes, unfortunately the College Park Airport may not be able to do that right now.

I am writing to respectfully request that the College Park Airport take all steps to prepare for the eventual transition from leaded avia􀆟on fuel at the earliest possible 􀆟me. The Council is also interested in any monitoring done by the airport or other agencies to determine levels of lead pollution, and any remediation plans to reduce the level of lead pollution un􀆟l the transition to lead-free fuel. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) suggested two of its reports that may be helpful for airport staff and the College Park Airport Authority. The reports are Best Practices Guidebook for Preparing Lead Emission Inventories from Piston-Powered Aircraft with the Emission Inventory Analysis Tool (2015) and Guidebook for Assessing Airport Lead Impacts (2016).

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Fazlul Kabir, Ph. D.
Cc: College Park Airport Authority members