EPA Denies Petition Seeking Ban on Lead Based Fishing Products

EPA Denies Petition Seeking Ban on Lead Based Fishing Products
No scientific basis has been established to warrant any such ban on traditional fishing equipment…

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Washington, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied a petition calling for a ban on the manufacture and use of lead based fishing gear.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veteranarians, Project Gutpile and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed the petition on August 3 to ban the production and sale of lead based ammunition and fishing tackle under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of 1976.

EPA sent a letter to the petitioners today (see below) stating that they failed to demonstrate that the rule is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. The letter also states that the increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear on some federal and state lands, as well as various education and outreach activities, call into question whether a national ban on lead in fishing gear would be the least burdensome, adequately protective approach to address the concern, as called for under TSCA.

EPA’s letter also notes that there are non-lead alternatives currently in the marketplace.

On August 27, the EPA denied the portion of the petition relating to lead in ammunition because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under TSCA.

Seventy-eight members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) in September signed a letter (HERE) sent to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to dismiss the petition. The CSC members state in the letter, “There are 60 million recreational anglers in America that contribute $125 billion to our economy annually, and penalizing these men, women and children that are the best stewards of our environment, as well as the financial backbone to fish and wildlife conservation in our country, would be a terrible and unnecessary injustice.”

The CSC letter came on the heels of a similar letter to Administrator Jackson requesting dismissal of the petition, sent on September 15, from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and partner members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) and sportfishing communities (LETTER). The National Assebly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council also urged EPA to dismiss the petition in a letter (HERE) to Administrator Jackson.

CSC member and former Chairwoman, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, introduced S.3850 on September 28 to protect lead based traditional ammunition and fishing tackle from a potential ban by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This legislation would clarify that the components used in manufacturing shells, cartridges and fishing tackle are exempt from EPA regulation under TSCA.

“This issue is about protecting America’s 60 million recreational anglers, and this attempt to ban lead based fishing tackle could potentially have driven up cost and serve as a disincentive for Americans to fish,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “A federal ban on lead ammunition and fishing gear would have also negatively impacted fish and wildlife conservation funding.”

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), representing the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies, also sent a letter the EPA in September, urging them to dismiss the petition.

State fish and wildlife agencies are authorized to manage most of a state’s fish and wildlife, and therefore, closely monitor and address any local concerns about lead based fishing tackle and any potential impacts on local species. A federal ban on lead fishing tackle is not only unnecessary, but intrudes upon these traditional state agencies jurisdiction.

No scientific basis has been established to warrant any such ban on traditional fishing equipment. A similar proposal to ban lead fishing tackle was dismissed by the EPA in the mid-1990s because there was insufficient data to support such a ban at that time.

EPA Letter Denying Ban on Lead Sinkers

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009. Throughout this time, CSF has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted hunting and fishing organization in the political arena. Visit: www.sportsmenslink.org

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