Environmentalists have taken to Federal court to demand that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstep its authority and regulate lead ammunition.
The Trumpeter Swan Society, the Center for Biological Diversity and five other groups seek judicial review of the EPA’s denial of their petition in which the agency stated that regulating ammunition is beyond it authority.
The environmental groups want the EPA to go after lead ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act. The groups say that lead poisoning from ammunition frequently kills not only condors but eagles, swans, loons and other birds that feed on dead animals in the wild.
California prohibited the use of lead ammunition in the 15 counties considered condor territory in 2008, and Arizona wildlife officials offer hunters there free nontoxic copper bullets with hunting permits. Several other States have mandated nontoxic shotgun shot for upland game bird hunting and other partial bans on lead ammo.
But the groups want broader Federal regulation, saying the EPA for years has regulated lead as a toxic substance, so it is unclear why it refuses to do so for lead ammunition.