Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

EPA: Keep lead in ammunition

Well, how about that? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided not to kowtow to environmental lobbyists seeking a ban on lead ammunition.

From the Associated Press:

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from environmental groups asking it to regulate the lead used in some ammunition.
The agency told the groups Monday that it has no authority to ban or regulate lead in ammunition.
The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 100 other groups submitted the petition last month, asking that the lead be regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act. They contend the lead is responsible for poisoning millions of birds and other animals every year.
Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity told the Lewiston Tribune that he felt the EPA’s decision was shameful.
Many hunting groups and ammunition makers say lead alternatives are too expensive, and that bullets containing lead don’t pose a threat to animal populations.

Truth be told, the decision was kind of a no-brainer for EPA officials. Many years ago, Congress specifically exempted ammunition from being banned under federal pollution laws.

Denying the petition will probably cost the EPA political capital with its more vociferous constituents, but it will keep the agency out of a protracted court fight that likely would end up in the Supreme Court.