EPA Denies Ban on Lead Ammo, but Continues Consideration of Fishing Tackle

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Many people have been following developments regarding the petition submitted Aug. 3 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy and three other groups, seeking a national ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle. The following is an update.

The EPA last week (Aug. 27) denied the portion of the petition calling for a ban on lead ammunition, stating the agency (EPA) does not have the legal authority to regulate ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

In a news release posted Aug. 27 on the EPA's website, Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, issued the following statement:

"EPA today denied a petition submitted by several outside groups for the agency to implement a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA reached this decision because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – nor is the agency seeking such authority.

"This petition, which was submitted to EPA at the beginning of this month, is one of hundreds of petitions submitted to EPA by outside groups each year. This petition was filed under TSCA, which requires the agency to review and respond within 90 days.

"EPA is taking action on many fronts to address major sources of lead in our society, such as eliminating childhood exposures to lead; however, EPA was not and is not considering taking action on whether the lead content in hunting ammunition poses an undue threat to wildlife.

"As there are no similar jurisdictional issues relating to the agency's authority over fishing sinkers, EPA – as required by law – will continue formally reviewing a second part of the petition related to lead fishing sinkers."

The EPA stated that those wishing to comment specifically on the fishing tackle portion of the petition can do so by visiting http://www.regulations.gov.

The comment form is at http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480b3f0cd. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2010.

For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/lead.