From Congressman Rradanovich
Dear Mr. HILL:
Thank you for writing to express your thoughts on the petition to ban the use of lead in fishing tackle that is currently under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is a pleasure to hear from you.
As you may know, on August 3, 2010, the American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veterinarians and a number of other organizations, submitted a petition to the EPA, asking them to "prohibit the manufacture, processing and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets and fishing sinkers." On August 27, 2010, the EPA rejected the portion of the petition pertaining to shot and bullets, stating that they did not have the jurisdiction to regulate this type of product. The portion of the petition pertaining to fishing sinkers was left open for public comment until September 15, 2010. As of now, the EPA has not issued a decision on whether or not to ban lead in fishing sinkers.
As the representative from the 19th District of California, an area that contains many acres of national park land, I understand the importance of preserving the ecological health of California's natural water ways and marine wildlife. A great number of my constituents enjoy fishing and hope to be able to continue this hobby for years to come. However, I also believe that fishing regulation should continue to be administered by the states and local agencies who best understand the affects of certain substances on the state's wildlife and natural resources.
The intent of the proposed ban is to reduce the number of bird deaths caused by lead ingestion. However, a study by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service determined that less than 1 percent of waterfowl and other birds, including eagles, are killed by ingesting lead. Additionally, while the proposed ban claims that the cost of producing fishing sinker without lead would be minimally increased, the truth is that cost would likely be raised upwards of 15 times the current cost, depending on the substituted metals. So, the likely result of the proposed ban is a dramatic increase in costs to fishermen, with little to no decrease in waterfowl deaths.
Thank you again for your thoughts on this proposed ban. Rest assured that I will continue to monitor the status of this petition and keep your thoughts in mind if this issue ever reaches the House of Representatives. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit my website at www.radanovich.house.gov
to get the most current information on my work in Congress.