[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 212 (Friday, November 1, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65573-65576]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26063]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket Nos. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0028 and FWS-R9-MB-2012-0038; FF09M21200-
RIN 1018-AY61, 1018-AY66

Migratory Bird Hunting; Application for Approval of Copper-Clad 
Iron Shot and Fluoropolymer Shot Coatings as Nontoxic for Waterfowl 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule; availability of environmental assessments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approve copper-clad 
iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings for hunting waterfowl and coots. 
We published a proposed rule for approval of copper-clad iron shot and 
fluoropolymer coatings in the Federal Register on September 26, 2012 
(77 FR 59158). We considered comments on the proposed rule, and we 
believe that neither the shot nor the coatings will pose toxicity 
hazards to fish or wildlife or their habitats.

DATES: This rule is effective December 2, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George Allen, at 703-358-1825.



    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (Act) (16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 
16 U.S.C. 742 a-j) implements migratory bird treaties between the 
United States and Great Britain for Canada (1916 and 1996 as amended), 
Mexico (1936 and 1972 as amended), Japan (1972 and 1974 as amended), 
and Russia (then the Soviet Union 1978). These treaties protect most 
migratory bird species from take, except as permitted under the Act, 
which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to regulate take of 
migratory birds in the United States. Under this authority, we control 
the hunting of migratory game birds through regulations in 50 CFR part 
20. We prohibit the use of shot types other than those listed in the 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 20.21(j) for hunting 
waterfowl and coots and any species that make up aggregate bag limits.
    Deposition of toxic shot and release of toxic shot components in 
waterfowl hunting locations are potentially harmful to many organisms. 
Research has shown that ingested spent lead shot causes significant 
mortality in migratory birds. Since the mid-1970s, we have sought to 
identify types of shot for waterfowl hunting that are not toxic to 
migratory birds or other wildlife when ingested. We continue to review 
shot types and shot coatings submitted for approval as nontoxic.
    We addressed lead poisoning in waterfowl in an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) in 1976, and again in a 1986 supplemental EIS. The 1986 
document provided the scientific justification for a ban on the use of 
lead shot and the subsequent approval of steel shot for hunting 
waterfowl and coots that began that year, with a complete ban of lead 
for waterfowl and coot hunting in 1991. We have continued to consider 
other potential candidates for approval as nontoxic shot. We are 
obligated to review applications for approval of alternative shot types 
as nontoxic for hunting waterfowl and coots.
    Many hunters believe that some nontoxic shot types compare poorly 
to lead and may damage some shotgun barrels. A small and decreasing 
percentage of hunters have not complied with nontoxic shot regulations. 
Allowing use of additional nontoxic shot types may encourage greater 
hunter compliance and participation with nontoxic shot requirements and 
discourage the use of lead shot. The use of nontoxic shot for waterfowl 
hunting increased after the ban on lead shot, but we believe that 
compliance will continue to increase with the availability and approval 
of other nontoxic shot types. Increased use of nontoxic shot will 
enhance protection of migratory waterfowl and their habitats.

Copper-Clad Iron Shot

    Copper-clad iron shot is a composite in which copper is thermo-
mechanically bonded to centerless-ground steel rod, then mechanically 
worked to final wire and shot configurations. Copper-clad iron shot may 
be produced with a variety of different proportions of copper and iron, 
ranging from 16 to 44.41% by weight copper, with a density of 
approximately 8.3 grams per cubic centimeter. Environ-Metal asserts 
that ``there is little variability in composition to be expected'' in 
production of the shot. Environ-Metal expects to produce about 50,000 
pounds of copper-clad iron shot per year.

Fluoropolymer Coatings

    Spectra Shot is cut wire shotgun shot (steel shot) with a 
proprietary shot coating. Four different colors of the coated shot will 
be marketed as Spectra Shot\TM\ Blue, Spectra Shot\TM\ Green, Spectra 
Shot\TM\ Orange, and Spectra Shot\TM\ Yellow. The thickness of the 
coating will be 3 to 10 microns, with a corresponding weight per shot 
as follows: Spectra Shot\TM\ Blue--0.209 milligram per shot; Spectra 
Shot\TM\ Green--0.732 milligram per shot; Spectra Shot\TM\ Orange--
0.942 milligram per shot; and Spectra Shot\TM\ Yellow--1.779 milligrams 
per shot. Spectra Shot expects annual use of the coated shot in hunting 
migratory birds in the United States to be 98,000 pounds.
    Polyamide-imide copolymer, polytetrafluoroethylene, amorphous fumed 
silica, and methylphenyl polysiloxane are common to all Spectra 
Shot\TM\ colors and make up the bulk of the coating. The pigments vary 
between coatings, and comprise 13.8% to 20.5% by weight of the dry 

Effects of the Approval on Migratory Waterfowl

    Allowing use of additional nontoxic shot types may encourage 
greater hunter compliance and participation with nontoxic shot 
requirements and discourage the use of lead shot. Furnishing additional 
approved nontoxic shot types and nontoxic coatings likely will further 
reduce the use of lead shot. Thus, approving additional nontoxic shot 
types and coatings will likely have no effect on waterfowl and wetland 

[[Page 65574]]

Effects on Endangered and Threatened Species

    Copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings are highly 
unlikely to adversely affect animals that consume the shot or habitats 
in which the shot might be used. Their approval will not affect 
threatened or endangered species.
    We obtained a biological opinion pursuant to section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), 
prior to establishing the seasonal hunting regulations. The hunting 
regulations promulgated as a result of this consultation remove and 
alleviate chances of conflict between migratory bird hunting and 
endangered and threatened species.

Effects on Ecosystems

    Previously approved shot types have been shown in test results to 
be nontoxic to the migratory bird resource, and we believe that they 
cause no adverse impact on ecosystems. There is concern, however, about 
noncompliance with the prohibition on lead shot and potential ecosystem 
effects. The use of lead shot has a negative impact on wetland 
ecosystems due to the erosion of shot, causing sediment/soil and water 
contamination and the direct ingestion of shot by aquatic and predatory 
animals. Though we believe noncompliance is of concern, approval of the 
shot type and the coatings will have little impact on the resource, 
unless it has the small positive impact of reducing the rate of 

Cumulative Impacts

    We foresee no negative cumulative impacts if we approve the shot 
type and the coatings for waterfowl hunting. Their approval could help 
to further reduce the negative impacts of the use of lead shot for 
hunting waterfowl and coots. We believe the impacts of the approvals 
for waterfowl hunting in the United States should be positive, albeit 

Comments on the Proposed Rule

    We received five comments on the proposed rule published on 
September 26, 2012 (77 FR 59158). Four supported approval of the shot 
and the coatings, and one contained no useful information. Therefore, 
as stated in the proposed rule, we reviewed the shot and the shot 
coatings under the criteria at 50 CFR 20.134, and add these products to 
the list of those approved for hunting waterfowl and coots at 50 CFR 

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Management and 
Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will 
review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not 
    Executive Order 13563 affirms the principles of E.O. 12866, and 
calls for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121)), whenever an agency is required to 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., 
small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal 
agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying 
that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. We have examined this rule's 
potential effects on small entities as required by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, and have determined that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The rule will allow small entities to improve their economic viability. 
However, the rule will not have a significant economic impact because 
it will affect only two companies. We certify that because this rule 
will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of 
small entities, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.
    This rule is not a major rule under the SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804 (2)).
    a. This rule will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 
million or more.
    b. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, Tribal, or local 
government agencies; or geographic regions.
    c. This rule will not have significant adverse effects on 
competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the 
ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), we have determined the following:
    a. This rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments. A small government agency plan is not required. Actions 
under the regulation will not affect small government activities in any 
significant way.
    b. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year. It will not be a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.


    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this rule does not have significant 
takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required. 
This rule does not contain a provision for taking of private property.


    This rule does not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant 
preparation of a federalism summary impact assessment under E.O. 13132. 
It will not interfere with the ability of States to manage themselves 
or their funds.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that this rule does not unduly burden the judicial system 
and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). An agency may not 
conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 

[[Page 65575]]

number. OMB has approved our collection of information associated with 
applications for approval of nontoxic shot (50 CFR 20.134) and assigned 
OMB Control Number 1018-0067, which expires May 31, 2015.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Our environmental assessment is part of the administrative record 
for this regulations change. It is posted at http://www.regulations.gov 
in Docket Nos. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0028 and FWS-R9-MB-2012-0038. In 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq. and Part 516 of the U.S. Department of the Interior Manual 
(516 DM), approval of copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings 
will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment, nor will it involve unresolved conflicts concerning 
alternative uses of available resources. Therefore, preparation of an 
EIS is not required.

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have 
determined that there are no potential effects on federally recognized 
Indian Tribes. This rule will not interfere with the ability of Tribes 
to manage themselves or their funds or to regulate migratory bird 
activities on Tribal lands.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 addressing 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 
Effects when undertaking certain actions. This rule change will not be 
a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866, nor will it 
significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. This action 
will not be a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that ``The Secretary [of the 
Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize 
such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter'' (16 
U.S.C. 1536(a)(1)). It further states that the Secretary must ``insure 
that any action authorized, funded, or carried out . . . is not likely 
to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of [critical] habitat'' (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). We have concluded that 
the regulation change will not affect listed species.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we amend part 20, 
subchapter B, chapter I of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 40 Stat. 755, 16 U.S.C. 
703-712; Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 742a-j; Public Law 
106-108, 113 Stat. 1491, Note Following 16 U.S.C. 703.

2. Amend Sec.  20.21(j)(1) by revising the table and footnotes to read 
as follows:

Sec.  20.21  What hunting methods are illegal?

* * * * *
    (j)(1) * * *

                                Percent composition by    Field testing
      Approved shot type*               weight              device**
Bismuth-tin...................  97 bismuth, and 3 tin.  Hot
Iron (steel)..................  iron and carbon.......  Magnet or Hot
Iron-tungsten.................  any proportion of       Magnet or Hot
                                 tungsten, and >=1       Shot[supreg].
Iron-tungsten-nickel..........  >=1 iron, any           Magnet or Hot
                                 proportion of           Shot[supreg].
                                 tungsten, and up to
                                 40 nickel.
Copper-clad iron..............  84 to 56.59 iron core,  Magnet or Hot
                                 with copper cladding    Shot[supreg]
                                 up to 44.1 of the
                                 shot mass.
Tungsten-bronze...............  51.1 tungsten, 44.4     Rare Earth
                                 copper, 3.9 tin, and    Magnet.
                                 0.6 iron, or 60
                                 tungsten, 35.1
                                 copper, 3.9 tin, and
                                 1 iron.
Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel...  40-76 tungsten, 10-37   Hot Shot[supreg]
                                 iron, 9-16 copper,      or Rare Earth
                                 and 5-7 nickel.         Magnet.
Tungsten-matrix...............  95.9 tungsten, 4.1      Hot
                                 polymer.                Shot[supreg].
Tungsten-polymer..............  95.5 tungsten, 4.5      Hot
                                 Nylon 6 or 11.          Shot[supreg].
Tungsten-tin-iron.............  any proportions of      Magnet or Hot
                                 tungsten and tin, and   Shot[supreg].
                                 >=1 iron.
Tungsten-tin-bismuth..........  any proportions of      Rare Earth
                                 tungsten, tin, and      Magnet.
Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel......  65 tungsten, 21.8 tin,  Magnet.
                                 10.4 iron, and 2.8
Tungsten-iron-polymer.........  41.5-95.2 tungsten,     Rare Earth
                                 1.5-52.0 iron, and      Magnet or Hot
                                 3.5-8.0 fluoropolymer.  Shot[supreg].
* Coatings of copper, nickel, tin, zinc, zinc chloride, zinc chrome, and
  fluoropolymers on approved nontoxic shot types also are approved.
** The information in the ``Field Testing Device'' column is strictly
  informational, not regulatory.
*** The ``HOT*SHOT'' field testing device is from Stream Systems of
  Concord, CA.

[[Page 65576]]

* * * * *

    Dated: September 17, 2013.
Michael J. Bean,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and 
[FR Doc. 2013-26063 Filed 10-31-13; 8:45 am]