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|Sportfishing Industry Applauds EPA’s Decision to Reject Lead Ban Petition|
|Written by Greg Houtteman|
|Tuesday, 09 November 2010 13:55|
The sportfishing community commends the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for its decision to reject a sweeping petition to ban lead in all fishing tackle. The petition, which was submitted on August 3, 2010, by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other groups, requested that EPA ban all lead in all fishing tackle on all U.S. waters. The petition also included a request to ban the use of lead ammunition in the hunting and shooting sports. That part was denied on August 27 because EPA does not have the legal authority to regulate ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Opposition from anglers was strong; over 43,000 anglers sent comments requesting dismissal of the petition to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson through www.KeepAmericaFishing.org.
In dismissing the petition, EPA indicated 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 TSCA.” EPA also cited state-specific actions and the increasing education and outreach activities being undertaken, stating that those actions “…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.”
“The sportfishing community applauds EPA’s decision,” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Vice President Gordon Robertson. “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,” noted Robertson. “KeepAmericaFishingä provides anglers an opportunity to present a strong, coherent voice so that they can express their concerns to decision makers. EPA’s dismissal is without a doubt in direct response to the facts we presented which were soundly supported by our collective comments and input.”
The sportfishing community’s objection to the ban was based on:
This is not the first time that such a ban has been requested. In 1992 EPA received a similar petition to ban lead fishing tackle and in 1995 the Agency abandoned the proposed rule because there was no threat to bird populations and the economic impact was determined to be significant. In September 2010, legislation was introduced to both chambers of Congress to prevent an overarching federal ban on lead in recreational fishing tackle (S. 3850 and H.R. 6284).
“Even with this decision, ASA will continue to work with legislators and EPA to ensure that future considerations of lead fishing tackle bans are made in response to sound science, not unwarranted petitions,” concluded Robertson. “Aside from the many anglers that spoke up, many organizations and members of Congress deserve thanks for decisively voicing their opinion to EPA.”
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