Petition to the EPA to ban lead ammunition denied, EPA recognizes the limit of its authority

A few days ago I caught wind of an attempt by some environmental activists to have the EPA ban lead ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. I was trying to perform some actual research on the matter (was this for real, was the EPA really considering it, etc.) and kept getting distracted by the day-to-day stuff including – shockingly – work. Bottom line, not only was it for real, the EPA has apparently decided to do the smart thing and cancel the public commentary period they had opened. They have denied the petition.

The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition filed by environmental activists seeking to ban lead in ammunition, saying such regulation is beyond the agency’s authority.

The agency’s decision, announced Friday shortly after published its report on the issue, sided with hunters and fishermen who had argued that the such regulations weren’t allowed under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

The TSCA specifically excepts a variety of substances and materials from the EPA’s regulatory powers, including ammunition. The TSCA, in other words, explicitly denies the EPA the authority to regulate ammo. The petition was a no-go on its face. The EPA, recognizing that the law explicitly prohibits it from applying the TSCA to ammunition, decided that a public comment period was a waste of its time and resources. Good call. They were also up front with the notification that no one at the EPA is suggesting that such authority be granted.

Now if we can just get them to be as reasonable about carbon dioxide.