ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) commends the Feb. 14, 2012, decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to reject a second sweeping petition to ban lead in all fishing tackle.
The petition, which was submitted on Nov. 16, 2011, by the Center for Biological Diversity and two other groups, requested that the EPA study and ultimately ban lead in fishing tackle on all U.S. waters under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
This most recent attempt to federally ban lead fishing tackle came on the heels of the EPA’s November 2010 decision to dismiss a similar petition submitted by the same groups. That decision is currently being challenged in court by the petitioners.
Sweeping regulation of lead fishing tackle would have a significant, negative impact on recreational anglers and the sportfishing industry with minimal benefit to the environment. In dismissing this most recent petition, the EPA stated that the petitioners did not “provide a basis for finding that the risk presented is an unreasonable risk for which federal action under section 6(a) of TSCA is necessary.”
The EPA also cited state-specific actions and the increasing education and outreach activities being undertaken. The EPA’s decision falls in line with sound fish and wildlife management practices and several scientific studies which demonstrate that waterfowl populations are not negatively impacted by the use of lead fishing tackle.
The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act (S. 838/H.R. 1558) seeks to prevent a federal ban on lead in recreational fishing tackle and ammunition and helps to ensure that any future regulations on fishing tackle are established based on scientific fact instead of unjustified petitions. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by the co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. The sportfishing community’s objection to the petitioned ban was based on:
America’s 60 million anglers generate more than $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy, creating employment for more than one million people.