Calling the decision "shameful," environmentalists are pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to regulate the lead used in some ammunition.
"The poisoning of bald eagles and other wildlife is a national tragedy," Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity told the Lewiston Tribune. "There are plenty of safe, available alternatives to lead ammo."
The center joined more than 100 other groups to petition the EPA to regulate lead ammo under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The groups claimed that the lead was responsible for poisoning millions of birds and other animals. But hunting groups and ammunition makers argued that lead alternatives were too expensive and the threats to birds and animals were not extensive.
The EPA, in its letter to the environmental groups, said the agency lacked jurisdiction to regulate lead in ammo because ammo was specifically exempted in the Toxic Substances Control Act. It was the second time in less than two years that the agency has told the groups it had no authority to ban or regulate lead in ammunition.