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EPA rejects proposed ban on lead sinkers, fishing tackle
Press of Atlantic City ^ | November 4, 2010 | Richard Degener

Posted on 11/04/2010 4:20:30 PM PDT by jazusamo

A proposal to ban lead fishing tackle to protect birds and other wildlife has been shot down by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The decision was immediately praised by fishing groups worried lead substitutes would cost more and be less effective in catching fish.

Jim Hutchinson, of the Galloway Township-based Recreational Fishing Alliance, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made the right decision.

"We're certainly happy with the EPA. It will be helpful in this tough economy for tackle shops, charter boats, and individual anglers. An outright ban would have just kept fishermen off the water, and that's ridiculous," Hutchinson said.

The decision was criticized by the American Bird Conservancy, one of the environmental groups that petitioned for the ban. Dr. Michael Fry, conservation advocate with the ABC and an avian toxicologist, said the EPA has "lost its will to regulate." Fry noted that two weeks ago the EPA took part in a "Lead Poisoning Prevention Week" with the Centers for Disease Control.

"Now the EPA has apparently completely abdicated its responsibility for regulating toxic lead in circumstances where wildlife is being poisoned. The refusal to participate in regulating lead as it poisons wildlife while at the same time promoting prevention of lead poisoning is unbelievable," Fry said.

The government has taken lead out of gasoline, paint, water pipes, toys, tire balancing weights, and some types of hunting ammunition. In 1991 lead shot was banned for waterfowl hunting.

Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, another group petitioning for the ban, said its time to expand the prohibition in light of studies showing swans, loons, snow geese, brown pelicans and other birds are ingesting lead sinkers. Just last week a mute swan in Lower Township was found with a fish hook in its bill with a lead sinker still attached.

Hutchinson said ingestion of lead is mainly a problem in freshwater areas where sinkers used are much smaller than the ones saltwater anglers are using.

"Eight to 12 ounce sinkers are not killing the loons," Hutchinson said.

Fishing groups have expressed willingness to phase in lead substitutes, which can include ceramics, glass, stainless steel, bismuth, tungsten, brass and other materials.

"Manufacturers are working on alternatives. We're held back by what is available from national manufacturers," Hutchinson said.

The RFA argues that under a ban tackle shots would lose much of their inventory. Lead is used in buck-tails, jigs, lures, split-shot, spinners and weighted fly-fishing line and is even a component in some reels. Anglers would face the same dilemma.

"You'd have to start your whole tackle box from scratch again," Hutchinson said.

Another problem is many anglers make their own tackle. Lead, because it is relatively cheap and easy to melt and mold, is the preferred material. Hutchinson said there are no alternatives for these anglers.

The EPA in a letter on Thursday told the American Bird Conservancy it had not demonstrated a national ban on lead fishing gear was necessary to "protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment," a requirement under the Toxic Substances Control Act or TSCA. The letter said a ban has not been demonstrated as "the least burdensome alterative" under TSCA guidelines.

The EPA noted some headway was being made, including more limits on lead use and more lead substitutes in the marketplace.

"There are an increasing number of limitations on the use of lead in fishing gear on some federal lands, as well as federal outreach efforts. A number of states have established regulations that ban or restrict the use of lead sinkers and have created state education and fishing tackle exchange programs over the last decade," the letter states.

Fry said the petition demonstrated the need for a regulation, due to effects on wildlife, and it is up to the EPA and not the petitioner to formulate the least burdensome alternative.

The ABC and other environmental groups had petitioned the agency Aug. 3 to use the TSCA to prohibit the "manufacture, processing, and distribution" of lead ammunition and fishing gear. The EPA on Aug. 27 denied the request for lead shot and bullets and said it would make a decision by Oct. 31 on fishing gear.

When that decision did not come, the RFA worried it would be postponed by the Obama Administration until after the Nov. 2 mid-term elections but then would be approved.

With anglers already upset with the federal government over new fishing restrictions and mandates such as the ethanol gasoline that is destroying marine engines, he expected the worst. Hutchinson said the federal government has not been listening to coastal communities with a fishing tradition dating back three centuries. He was pleasantly surprised by the decision.

"They promised to listen to Main Street. It's not just Main Street, its Atlantic Avenue," Hutchinson said.


TOPICS: Outdoors; Sports
KEYWORDS: environazis; epa; lead; sinkers
The EPA got one right and it may be a result of the election.
1 posted on 11/04/2010 4:20:32 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Shouldn’t even have been under consideration


2 posted on 11/04/2010 4:23:07 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: jazusamo

Do they expect this fish to jump into your bucket?


3 posted on 11/04/2010 4:24:00 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (posted a total of 1,600 threads and 9,503 replies.)
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To: driftdiver

Exactly, it’s a non issue to everyone but the enviro nazis.


4 posted on 11/04/2010 4:24:29 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Please bump the Freepathon and donate or become a monthly donor!

5 posted on 11/04/2010 4:25:00 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Defund EPA.


6 posted on 11/04/2010 4:26:00 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (the way to win this game is not to play)
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To: jazusamo

And we should be happy about that? EPA should not even be involved in such questions.


7 posted on 11/04/2010 4:26:10 PM PDT by kabar
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To: jazusamo

I can’t believe it! Good call by the EPA. Birds are not eating lead weights anyway, nor are they eating lead bullets and shot which does NOT leech into the ground.


8 posted on 11/04/2010 4:26:55 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (Had God not driven man from the Garden of Eden the Sierra Club surely would have.)
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To: driftdiver
" Shouldn’t even have been under consideration "

There are a lot of things that this government has done that should never have been considered.
9 posted on 11/04/2010 4:27:33 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

If they had their way, they would not want you to go fishing at all.


10 posted on 11/04/2010 4:28:58 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Inyo-Mono

You’re exactly right. The example given by the enviro nazi in the article about the lead weight still on the line with the hook in the bill of a bird is typical of how nuts these people are. The bird wasn’t after the lead weight, it was after the bait on the hook.


11 posted on 11/04/2010 4:30:58 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
The decision was immediately praised by fishing groups worried lead substitutes would cost more and be less effective in catching fish.

I understand the 'cost more' but why would a steel (or another lead substitute) be less effective in catching fish? My logical mind wants to know....
12 posted on 11/04/2010 4:34:40 PM PDT by goldfinch
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To: goldfinch

I’ve no idea unless they were referring to anglers making there own lures and casting weights like was pointed out in another part of the piece.


13 posted on 11/04/2010 4:37:43 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: All

Millions of fisherman like myself were going to ignore the (proposed) ban as well....


15 posted on 11/04/2010 4:38:35 PM PDT by Maverick68
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To: jazusamo

My thoughts exactly. Committee hearings.


16 posted on 11/04/2010 4:41:59 PM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: jazusamo

Maybe the enviro nazis have been inhaling too much lead paint?


17 posted on 11/04/2010 4:53:02 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: jazusamo

I remember Dr. Michael Fry from UC Davis. We worked in the same building and may have been in the same department.

I’m surprised at the EPA decision, especially since the EPA seems hellbent on regulating a naturally occurring gas. There are issues with lead—but until there are good alternatives, stopping its use should not be mandated.

The problem when a supposedly scientific agency is headed by a political appointee is that politics usually prevails over science.


18 posted on 11/04/2010 4:55:19 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

You nailed the problem, the EPA has become mostly all about politics.


19 posted on 11/04/2010 4:59:27 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Yup. Lefty EPA knows the’re skating on thin ice now.


20 posted on 11/04/2010 5:01:55 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: jazusamo
EPA rejects proposed ban on lead sinkers, fishing tackle

Handwrting?
Wall?
On?

One more time...

When the EPA degenerated from an advisory agency to a rule-making agency, its days were numbered.

Having Congress abandon their duties and hide behind unelected bureaucrats is a crime which has outlived its usefulness.

21 posted on 11/04/2010 5:10:59 PM PDT by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
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To: American Constitutionalist
I agree. Govt is not the answer. As soon as govt. forces itself on our lives, the worse our lives become.

‘Hey Govt., how about you simply protecting our country's border?’, well, for a start.....

Sorry for the rant.

22 posted on 11/04/2010 5:11:23 PM PDT by redshawk (Hey 0Dumbo, I'm scratching my nose too, and not with my index finger!)
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To: goldfinch
I understand the 'cost more' but why would a steel (or another lead substitute) be less effective in catching fish? My logical mind wants to know....

Figure it out yourself.
By the way that would be more efficient, not more effective.

Perhaps you should have stayed awake during High School chemistry and physics.

And developed some interest in geology and of course, fishing.

23 posted on 11/04/2010 5:18:54 PM PDT by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
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To: Publius6961

Does being sarcastic make you feel better about yourself?

I asked a logical question. Instead of giving me a logical answer, you wasted your time and mine with an insult...which leads me to believe you don’t know why a lead substitute would be less effective. And, yes, the article which I quoted, used the words ‘less effective’ not ‘less efficient’.

Perhaps reading was not one of your better subjects.


24 posted on 11/04/2010 5:31:15 PM PDT by goldfinch
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I would bet that if anybody did a thoruough, comprehensive study, that eleventy billion more birds are killed every year by wind turbines, than are killed by lead sinkers.

Split atoms, not birds


25 posted on 11/04/2010 5:35:29 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
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To: American Constitutionalist

Really, how long before they ban hooks? I mean lead weights, sheesh, ever step on a fishing hook or get one caught in the end of your finger ;)


26 posted on 11/04/2010 9:21:53 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (US out of the UN - UN out of the US)
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To: jazusamo
Yes, you called it, this was a back door attempt to ban all fishing and hunting, because in the enviro nazis mind, man is a virus that threatens the planet and any method stop man must be employed. In their scheme of things wild life (including fish) are pure and superior to man.
27 posted on 11/05/2010 6:20:51 AM PDT by 2001convSVT ("Repeal ObamaCare")
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