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EPA rejects request for lead-tackle ban

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition calling for a ban on the manufacture, use and processing of lead in fishing gear.

In a letter to the petitioners - the American Bird Conservancy and a number of other groups - the EPA indicated that the petitioners did not demonstrate that the requested rule is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, as required by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The EPA said an increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear on some federal and state lands, as well as 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 the toxic substances law.

The EPA's letter also notes that the prevalence of non-lead alternatives in the marketplace continues to increase.

The American Bird Conservancy and a number of other groups petitioned the EPA in August under Section 21 of the law to "prohibit the manufacture, processing and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets and fishing sinkers."

On Aug. 27, the EPA denied the portion of the petition that related to lead in ammunition because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the law.

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