Posts tagged: lead poisoning
HUNTING — California will become the first state to ban lead ammunition for all types of hunting, according to a bill signed into law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The ban is set to be fully phased in by July 1, 2019, in order to protect wildlife and humans from the dangers of consuming lead-shot meat.
Animal rights groups help spearhead the legislation in part to protect endangered California condors, which have been known to die from lead poisoning after consuming lead-bullet-tainted gut piles or meat from animals wounded by hunters.
Brown said the bill protects hunters by allowing the ban to be lifted if the federal government ever prohibits non-lead ammo.
According to the Associated Press, opponents of AB711 argued that non-lead ammunition is more expensive and could be banned federally because it is technically considered to be armor-piercing.
Supporters of the new law say the use of lead bullets also endangers humans who eat game killed with the ammunition.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon of Lakewood says the ban makes sense because lead has already been prohibited in paint, gasoline and toys.
In a mixed day for gun owners, Brown vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.
The bill would have imposed the nation's toughest restrictions on gun ownership.
Brown also signed a measure from Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which bans kits that allow people to turn regular ammunition magazines into high-capacity magazines.
He also signed two other pieces of legislation, which restrict the ability of mentally ill people to possess firearms.
SHOOTING — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban ammunition containing lead components.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The environmental groups are considering an appeal of today’s ruling, according to The Center for Biological Diversity, noting the federal judge dismissed the case on technical grounds but did not rule on the substance of the claim, namely whether EPA should regulate lead ammunition under the toxics law.
Read on for media releases on today's ruling from these two groups representing both sides of the issue:
SHOOTING — This court case — stemming in part from secondary deaths to creatures such as California condors that die after ingesting lead bullet fragments from wounded game — is worth watching.
Local note: The Loon Lake Loon Association is among the plaintiffs. The association was instrumental in getting fishing restrictions on lead weights and lures in more than a dozen northern Washington lakes where loons nest.
What: A federal court will hear arguments this week in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups against the Environmental Protection Agency for its refusal to address toxic lead in hunting ammunition that poisons and kills eagles, endangered condors and other wildlife as well as threatening human health. The court hearing will focus on motions to dismiss the lawsuit by the EPA, National Rifle Association and other gun groups; and whether the EPA has the authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate toxic lead in ammunition.
When: Thursday, May 23, 2 p.m.
Where: U.S. District Court, 333 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan
Background: In 2012, 100 organizations in 35 states formally petitioned the EPA to use the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate the toxic components of hunting ammunition, including the lead bullets and shot projectiles that cause lead poisoning of wildlife.
When the EPA refused to evaluate the petition, the Trumpeter Swan Society, Cascades Raptor Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Loon Lake Loon Association, Preserve Our Wildlife, Tennessee Ornithological Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council filed a lawsuit in 2012.
The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Safari Club International and Association of Battery Recyclers intervened in the case, claiming the EPA does not have authority to regulate lead ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
After approving the Toxic Substances Control Act in 1976, the U.S. House of Representatives said in a report about the history and intent of the Act that it “does not exclude from regulation under the bill chemical components of ammunition which could be hazardous because of their chemical properties.” The EPA has already declared that lead is a toxic substance and taken steps to remove it from other products and uses.
ENVIRONMENT – I received the following email from a reader this morning:
Last Sunday my wife and I were riding our bikes on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's between Rose Lake and Harrison. Along the way, we saw what appeared to be a significant number of dead swans. I probably know the answer, but is it the heavy metals in the area that are the cause of their demise?
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a paved rail trail over a corridor used for a century to transport the produce of mining prosperity and its toxic aftermath. One of the benefits of the conversion to a recreational trail is that it exposes more eyes to the issue of heavy metals pollution still lingering in the Silver Valley.
The saddest indicators are the carcasess of 150 or so tundra swans that die slow, agonizing deaths in our backyard during their migration stopover on the Lower Coeur d’Alene River.
It’s not a pretty sight, but your head's in the sand if you don’t see the carnage and the reasons for it.
WILDLIFE — It's been well publicized over the years, but we can't let people forget that our lower Coeur d'Alene river basin is a toxic stew for migrating waterfowl, thanks to the waste of a century of upstream mining.
An eyewitness to a swan death report the observation complete with a photo, posted on Huckleberries online.
WILDLIFE — Wyoming researchers say the distribution of nonlead ammunition to hunters in Jackson Hole is likely helping prevent lead poisoning of ravens, eagles and other scavengers. But the study is in its early stages.
This is the second year researchers have tried to gauge the impacts of hunters using lead-free ammunition on the levels of lead found in the blood of big-game scavengers.
Researchers distributed nonlead ammunition to about 100 hunters who had 2010 permits for the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.
Biologists then captured ravens and eagles and measured the level of lead in the birds, which can ingest lead bullet fragments from gut piles and wounded-and-lost game.
Previous research has shown that lead in ravens and eagles rise during hunting season and then drop off after hunting season ends.
The Jackson Hole News and Guide says researchers plan to hand out more lead-free ammunition next hunting season.