The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) commends last week’s decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to reject a second sweeping petition to ban lead nationally in all fishing tackle. According to the ASA, 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, says the ASA.

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 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 sportfishing industry applauds the EPA’s dismissal of this most recent petition,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “Sweeping regulations on lead fishing tackle would have a tremendous impact on the sportfishing industry and change the face, and cost, of recreational fishing for the angling public. Unjustified bans will only serve to harm the economy and reduce participation in traditional outdoor sports.”

We will keep you informed of any future developments.