California Avgas Lawsuit on Temporary Hold
After hearing arguments for more than two hours yesterday, a California Federal Judge has postponed until next week any preliminary rulings on a legal actions barring the sale of avgas in the state. In May, the public advocacy group Center for Environmental Health (CEH), citing the hazards of lead emissions, issued Notices of Violation to many California FBOs, fuel distributors and producers under the state law known as Proposition 65, which evaluates and regulates public exposure to hazardous chemicals. Proposition 65 allows a private party, as well as the state, to sue for enforcement in state court. Using it, the environmental group is demanding an immediate cessation of the sale of leaded avgas and the payment of significant financial penalties ranging up to $1.3 billion for each company named in the violations. In response to this potentially crippling litigation, the California Avgas Coalition, an industry group, has filed a motion for an injunction prohibiting the CEH from filing suit over the sale of avgas in the state. The CEH and California’s Attorney General have in turn asked the court to dismiss the motion. According to NATA, which is assisting the Coalition in the matter, the judge has requested additional material from both sides by October 12, and promised to then deliver a ruling on the motion to dismiss.