Court Rules With SCI On EPA Proposed Lead Ammo Limitations
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate spent lead bullets and shot from hunters and sport-shooters.
In 2012, 101 different organizations, led by the animal rights and anti-hunting group Center for Biological Diversity, petitioned the EPA to regulate lead bullets and shot under the TSCA. The EPA denied the petition based on its duplication of a previous petition that CBD and other had submitted and on the fact that the EPA lacked authority to regulate lead bullets and shot.
Seven of the petitioners sued the EPA to challenge the denial. Safari Club International, along with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, NRA, and Association of Battery Recyclers, intervened in the case to defend the EPA’s decision. The District Court agreed with the EPA that the petition was duplicative and dismissed the case.
The CBD petitioners appealed. The appeals court disagreed with the District Court that the petition was duplicative, but still affirmed the lower court’s ruling. The appeals court agreed with the EPA and SCI and the other intervenors that TSCA does not give the EPA the authority to regulate spent lead bullets and shot.
This ruling comes on the heels of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, in which Congress specifically stated that for the period covered by the appropriations law, no federal agency could use government funds to regulate lead ammunition.