Green Buckeye RN

Washington Post: EPA Seeks To Limit Plane Deicing Chemical Runoff
September 30, 2009, 9:05 am
Filed under: News

The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 29, 2009; 10:26 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa — Every winter, airports across the country spray millions of gallons of deicing chemicals onto airliners and allow the runoff to trickle away. When the chemicals end up in nearby waterways, the deicing fluid can turn streams bright orange and create dead zones for aquatic life.

The practice is legal, but environmental officials want it to stop.

“We normally don’t think of airports as one of our major polluting facilities,” said Chuck Corell, water quality bureau chief with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “I think it’s safe to say that for years it was unchecked.”

Not every airport lets the chemicals drain off the tarmac uncollected, but those that do range from some of the nation’s largest – including John F. Kennedy in New York and Chicago’s O’Hare – to small regional airports such as the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. Both activists and federal environmental officials say the chemicals slowly create waterways that won’t support life.

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