Lead fishing weights offered by The Grateful Lead Sinker Company of Sopchoppy, Fla. (www.gratefullead.com/)

EPA Won't Ban Lead Fishing Gear

EPA announced Nov. 4 that it has denied a petition seeking a ban on manufacturing, using, and processing of lead in fishing gear.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Nov. 4 that it has denied a petition filed Aug. 3, 2011, by the American Bird Conservancy and other groups calling for a ban on the manufacture, use and processing of lead in shot, bullets, and fishing sinkers.

EPA Assistant Administrator Stephen A. Owens sent a letter to Michael Fry, the conservancy's director of conservation advocacy, saying the petitioners "have not demonstrated [such a rule] is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment" as required by section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Owens cited increasing limits on lead fishing gear on some federal and state lands, along with increasing federal outreach, which he said "calls into question whether the broad rulemaking requested in your petition would be the least burdensome, adequately protective approach. EPA also notes that the prevalence of non-lead alternatives in the marketplace continues to increase," he added.

EPA had denied the part of the petition relating to ammunition on Aug. 27, saying it does not have legal authority to regulate ammunition under TSCA.

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