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Fishing With Lead

October 7, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

On August 23rd, five environmental groups petitioned the EPA asking them to outlaw fishing tackle and ammunition made of lead under their Toxic Substances Control Act powers to regulate substances that “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” “An estimated 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals die each year from lead poisoning in the United States,” the groups wrote in a statement announcing the petition. “This occurs when animals scavenge on carcasses shot and contaminated with lead bullet fragments, or pick up and eat spent lead-shot pellets or lost fishing weights, mistaking them for food or grit. Some animals die a painful death from lead poisoning while others suffer for years from its debilitating effects.”

On August 27th the EPA denied the petition as it pertains to ammunition because, it said, the Toxic Substances Control Act specifically exempts ammunition from its purview. But they have yet to issue a ruling involving lead fishing tackle.

In response, Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] wants to preemptively block the EPA from regulating fishing equipment as well. On September 28, she introduced the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which would add I.R.S. Code Section 4161, re: “sports fishing equipment” and “bows and arrows,” to the exclusions in regulatory authorty granted by the Toxic Substances Control Act. The bill also contains language to clarify — just in case — that the EPA does in fact have regulatory authority over bullets. The I.R.S. code specifically mentions firearms, shells and cartridges; the language of Lincoln’s bill adds all substances produced for use in firearms, shells and cartridges (i.e. bullets) to the exempted items.

“Banning lead ammunition and fishing tackle would significantly drive up manufacturing costs, directly hurting the thousands of Arkansans who enjoy hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting," Lincoln said upon introducing the bill. "This ban would also be a blow to more than 20,000 Arkansans who depend on fishing tackle and ammunition manufacturing for their livelihoods.”

The EPA is required to respond to the petition re: lead tackle within 90 days, which is November 20th. That’s just 5 days after the lame-duck session is set to convene. There’s almost certainly not time for this to go through before the EPA’s petition response is required. But, hey, at least Lincoln got this one introduced in time to show Arkansas midterm voters that dangling pieces of lead in rivers is a-okay in her book.

Btw, the best article I can find on the subject of lead fishing tackle is at The Straight Dope.

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Comments

LucasFoxx 10/08/2010 11:15am

Having a hard time distinguishing Lincoln from Inhofe today. I never hunt with lead shot anymore.

beenblue 10/10/2010 8:54am

It is well to remember when there is no middle class, and the poor greatly exceed in number, troubles arise, and the state soon comes to an end.

Aristotle, 322 B.C.
dagofee 10/12/2010 8:37pm

Having a hard time distinguishing Lincoln from Inhofe today.

DeborahJBrown 10/08/2010 5:56am

So THIS is what Congress considered a priority?

paresh97 11/05/2010 9:03pm
in reply to DeborahJBrown Oct 08, 2010 5:56am
hello i think every one can join in the open congress side.

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paresh97 11/05/2010 9:04pm
in reply to LucasFoxx Oct 08, 2010 11:15am

hello i think every one can join in the open congress side.
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paresh97 11/05/2010 9:05pm
in reply to saturnsc2 Oct 08, 2010 8:10pm

hello i think every one can join in the open congress side.
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Evesa2010 10/28/2010 5:49pm
in reply to beenblue Oct 10, 2010 8:54am

100% agree…

saturnsc2 10/08/2010 8:10pm

millions of unemployed starving people & children & they are worried about lead sinkers? they make me sick! man do i hate them all! nothing like living the American Dream. i think i’ll take down the flag in front of our house…

paresh97 11/05/2010 9:05pm
in reply to beenblue Oct 10, 2010 8:54am

hello i think every one can join in the open congress side.
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