Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Aviation

Airport Deicing Effluent Guidelines

Deicing operations at O'Hare Airport

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airlines and airports that operate during icy conditions to perform deicing and anti-icing of aircraft and airfield pavement. This ensures the safety of passengers and cargo operations. However, when performed without discharge controls in place, these deicing operations can result in environmental impacts. Airports are required to obtain stormwater discharge permits under the NPDES program and ensure that wastes from deicing operations are properly collected and treated.

Final Effluent Guidelines

EPA has issued technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards to control discharges of pollutants from airport deicing operations (40 CFR Part 449.) The requirements generally apply to wastewater associated with the deicing of airfield pavement at primary airports. The rule also establishes new source performance standards for wastewater discharges associated with aircraft deicing for a subset of new airports.

Existing and new primary airports with 1,000 or more annual jet departures ("non-propeller aircraft") that generate wastewater associated with airfield pavement deicing are to use non-urea-containing deicers, or alternatively, meet a numeric effluent limitation for ammonia.

New airports with 10,000 annual departures located in certain cold climate zones are required to collect 60 percent of aircraft deicing fluid after deicing. Airports that discharge the collected aircraft deicing fluid directly to waters of the U.S. must also meet numeric discharge requirements for chemical oxygen demand. The rule does not establish requirements for aircraft deicing discharges at existing airports. Such requirements will continue to be established in general permits, or for individual permits on a site-specific basis.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Support Documents

Related Information

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact Eric Strassler (strassler.eric@epa.gov), Project Manager, at 202-566-1026.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Proposed Effluent Guidelines

Background Document

This report provides information on the industry's wastewater characteristics, treatment systems and management practices, environmental impacts, compliance costs and economic conditions in the industry in the late 1990's.

Jump to main content.