On August 3, the American Bird Conservancy and a number of other groups petitioned EPA under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to "prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets, and fishing sinkers." On August 27, 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 TSCA.
In a letter to the petitioners, 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. The letter further indicated that the increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear on some federal and state lands, as well as various education and outreach activities, 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. EPA's letter also notes that the prevalence of non-lead alternatives in the marketplace continues to increase.