November 05, 2010

EPA Rejects Lead Fishing-Weight Ban

Last August the Environmental Protection Agency rejected a ban on lead ammunition.

Now the EPA has also rejected the second part of the petition, against lead fishing weights.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veteranarians, [the astroturf "hunters group"] 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 [Nov. 4]  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.
Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine, as I understand, do ban small (under 1.0 or 0.5 oz., depending) sinkers (split shot, etc.), partly to protect loons. I think that there is a ban on such in Canada (all provinces?) too.

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