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S. 4157: LEAD Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of May 5, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4157

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 5, 2022

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to promulgate regulations prohibiting the use of lead ammunition on all land and water under the jurisdiction and control of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Lead Endangers Animals Daily Act of 2022 or the LEAD Act of 2022.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

in 1991, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service required the use of nontoxic ammunition for all waterfowl hunting;

(2)

research has shown that the presence of lead in the environment poses a threat to human and wildlife health;

(3)

the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that lead—

(A)

is toxic to humans and animals; and

(B)

can negatively affect nearly every organ and system in the human body, including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems;

(4)

lead exposure interferes with the development of the nervous system and is therefore particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behavioral disorders;

(5)

lead is a potent neurotoxin, for which no safe exposure level exists for humans;

(6)

the use of lead has been outlawed in, and removed from, paint, gasoline, children’s toys, and many other items for the purpose of protecting human health and wildlife;

(7)

wildlife, including species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), is at risk of lead toxicosis through the ingestion of lead ammunition either—

(A)

directly, by ingesting lead from spent ballistic materials while foraging; or

(B)

indirectly, by scavenging carcasses and viscera left by hunters;

(8)

lead may pollute soil and water around outdoor shooting ranges;

(9)

lead ammunition endangers human food supplies;

(10)

dairy and beef cattle have developed lead poisoning after feeding in areas where spent lead ammunition has accumulated;

(11)

in addition to contaminating dairy and beef cattle, spent lead ammunition can also contaminate crops, vegetation, and waterways;

(12)

humans are at risk of lead toxicosis through the consumption of game meat harvested with lead ammunition;

(13)

alternatives to lead ammunition are readily available, and studies have shown that nonlead ammunition performs just as well as lead-based ammunition; and

(14)

in January 2017, the outgoing Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service issued Director’s Order 219, which was repealed in March 2017 by the Principal Deputy Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

3.

Lead ammunition prohibition

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Ammunition

The term ammunition means any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot, shot, pellet, or other projectile that is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force.

(2)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

(3)

Explosive

The term explosive has the meaning given the term in section 844(j) of title 18, United States Code.

(4)

Firearm

The term firearm means a weapon that expels ammunition by way of an explosive or compressed air.

(5)

Nonlead ammunition

(A)

In general

The term nonlead ammunition means ammunition in which there is no lead content, excluding the presence of trace amounts of lead.

(B)

Trace amounts

For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term trace amounts means 1 percent or less by weight of the total weight of the ammunition.

(6)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

(b)

Prohibition

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and in accordance with subsections (c) through (e), the Secretary, acting through the Director, shall promulgate regulations prohibiting the discharge of a firearm that uses ammunition, other than nonlead ammunition included on the list developed and updated in accordance with subsection (c), on all land and water under the jurisdiction and control of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

(c)

Acceptable nonlead ammunition

The Director, in consultation with State and Tribal governments, shall develop and annually update a list of nonlead ammunition.

(d)

Exceptions

The regulations promulgated under subsection (b) shall provide that the prohibition described in that subsection shall not apply—

(1)

to a government official or agent carrying out a statutory duty unrelated to the management of wildlife;

(2)

to a State, local, Tribal, or Federal law enforcement officer, or an agent of such officer, when carrying out a statutory duty; and

(3)

to an active member of the United States military when carrying out official duties.

(e)

Penalties

The regulations promulgated under subsection (b) shall provide that any person that knowingly violates those regulations may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of—

(1)

in the case of a first violation, not more than $500; and

(2)

in the case of each subsequent violation, not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000.