May 06, 2022

Duckworth Introduces Bill to Protect Wildlife & Water Sources from Toxic Lead Poisoning


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, introduced legislation to help protect innocent animals from toxic lead poisoning by limiting the use of lead bullets on federal lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Lead Endangers Animals Daily (LEAD) Act of 2022 would direct the Department of the Interior (DOI) to issue a final regulation prohibiting the use of lead ammunition on USFWS lands and directs DOI to establish and update annually a list of non-lead ammunition.

“There is no safe level of lead in our environment—not for humans or our wildlife,” Duckworth said. “As we continue our ongoing work to remove lead pipes and reduce the risk of lead poisoning in our communities, I’m proud to introduce this legislation to help us protect water sources and innocent animals from lead poisoning too.”

Along with Duckworth, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is also an original cosponsor of this legislation.

Studies show that lead ammunition kills as many as 130 species of wildlife per year, including our country’s national bird—the bald eagle. In fact, 46 percent of bald eagles have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies. When animals are killed with lead bullets, the lead contaminates the carcass. This leads to lead poisoning in predators that eat these contaminated carcasses, water sources and animals who live in these water sources like fish.

The copy of the bill text can be found here.

Duckworth has been a vocal advocate of lead pipe removal in Illinois and across the nation in order to end lead contamination in drinking water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law fully authorizes Duckworth’s bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA), which is helping rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure, removing and replacing lead service lines as well as cleaning up our drinking water and wastewater systems in communities across the country. As a result of her leadership, Illinois—which contains the most known lead service lines of any state in the nation—is able to dramatically accelerate projects to remove dangerous lead pipes and protect countless children against permanent, irreversible brain damage from drinking lead-contaminated water. As co-founder of the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus, Duckworth understands that this issue disproportionally effects communities of color and low-income communities and will continue to work hard to end lead contamination across the nation.