Lead Tackle Ban Heats Up Again

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again heard requests from three organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, asking for the agency to regulate the manufacture and sale of lead fishing tackle of certain sizes and uses under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Were EPA to follow through on the requests, regulation change could result in a de facto ban of lead sinkers, jigs and other popular types of fishing equipment.

The EPA already dismissed a similar petition back in November 2010 as it was deemed an unnecessary step for environmental protection.

"The sportfishing community is once again asking the EPA to rule on the side of scientific fish and wildlife population management and dismiss this unwarranted petition," said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Vice President Gordon Robertson. "Such regulations will have a significant, negative impact on recreational anglers and the sportfishing industry, yet the petitioners lack credible science to back such a far-reaching request. They claim lead is threatening loons across the nation, but several studies, including one by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have shown that loon populations are either stable or increasing throughout most of their range."

"Despite the EPA's clear ruling, the petitioners continue to attempt to push the ban," said Robertson. "This further demonstrates the need for a legislative solution to this growing threat to recreational fishing. In response, the co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen?s Caucus have introduced the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act, which would prevent an overreaching ban of lead fishing tackle. With anti-fishing organizations trying to over-regulate fishing using whatever means they can, legislation is needed to protect traditional fishing tackle and ammunition from unjustified bans that will harm the economy and reduce participation in outdoor activities."

Two of the three petitioners are currently engaged in a lawsuit against the EPA's dismissal of the original petition to ban lead fishing tackle.

For more news on the environment, click here.

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