EPA denies petition seeking ban on lead in fishing gear
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday denied a petition calling for a ban on the manufacture, use and processing of lead in fishing gear.
The denial is in response to a petition filed Aug. 3 by several environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy and the Assn. of Avian Veterinarians, seeking to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle.
In a letter to the petitioners, EPA assistant administrator Steve Owens states that the petitioners have not demonstrated that the requested rule is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, as required by the Toxic Substance Control Act.
The letter goes on to state that the petition also does not provide sufficient justification for why a national ban of lead fishing sinkers and other lead fishing tackle is necessary given the actions being taken to address the concerns in the petition, noting that the prevalence of non-lead alternatives in the marketplace continues to increase.
Gordon Robertson, American Sportfishing Assn. vice president, said that the sportfishing community lauds the EPA’s decision. "It represents a solid review of the biological facts, as well as the economic and social impacts that would have resulted from such a sweeping federal action. It is a common-sense decision."
"The sportfishing industry is very proud of the fact that America’s anglers were united on this important issue and played a pivotal role in EPA’s decision to reject this unwarranted petition," Robertson continued. "Aside from the many anglers that spoke up, many organizations and members of Congress deserve thanks for decisively voicing their opinion to EPA."
On Aug. 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 the Toxic Substance Control Act.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: A fisherman casts his line. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times