[Federal Register: August 19, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 160)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 45399-45405]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[[Page 45399]]


Part VI

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 20

Migratory Bird Hunting; Final Approval of Tungsten-Iron and Tungsten-

Polymer Shots and Temporary Approval of Tungsten-Matrix and Tin Shots 

as Nontoxic for Hunting Waterfowl and Coots; Final Rule

[[Page 45400]]


Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

RIN 1018-AF65


Migratory Bird Hunting; Final Approval of Tungsten-Iron and 

Tungsten-Polymer Shots and Temporary Approval of Tungsten-Matrix and 

Tin Shots as Nontoxic for Hunting Waterfowl and Coots

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) amends 

Section 20.21(j) to grant final approval of tungsten-iron and tungsten-

polymer shots as nontoxic for hunting waterfowl and coots. We also 

grant temporary approval of tungsten-matrix and tin shots as nontoxic 

for hunting waterfowl and coots during the 1999-2000 hunting season 

only. Acute toxicity studies reveal no adverse effects over a 30-day 

period on mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) dosed with either tungsten-

iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, or tin shot. Reproductive/

chronic toxicity testing over a 150-day period indicated that tungsten-

iron and tungsten-polymer administered to adult mallards did not 

adversely affect them or the offspring they produced. We will not 

consider final approval of tungsten-matrix and tin shots until all 

required reproductive/chronic toxicity tests are successfully completed 

and the results are received and approved by the Director. Tungsten-

iron and tungsten-polymer shots are produced by Federal Cartridge 

Company (Federal) of Anoka, Minnesota. Tungsten-matrix shot is produced 

by Kent Cartridge Company (Kent) of Kearneysville, West Virginia. Tin 

shot is produced by the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI) of 

Uxbridge, Middlesex, Great Britain.

DATES: This rule takes effect immediately upon publication on August 

19, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Environmental Assessments are available by 

writing to the Chief, Office of Migratory Bird Management (MBMO), U.S. 

Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 634, Arlington, 

VA 22203.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Andrew, Chief, Office of Migratory 

Bird Management, (703) 358-1714.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Since the mid-1970s, we have sought to 

identify shot that does not pose a significant toxic hazard to 

migratory birds or other wildlife. Currently, only steel and bismuth-

tin shot are approved as nontoxic. We previously granted temporary 

approval for tungsten-iron shot during the 1997-98 (August 13, 1997; 62 

FR 43444) and 1998-99 (October 7, 1998; 63 FR 54016) migratory bird 

hunting seasons. We also granted temporary approval for tungsten-

polymer (October 7, 1998; 63 FR 54022) and tungsten-matrix (December 8, 

1998; 63 FR 67619) shots during the 1998-99 migratory bird hunting 

season. Compliance with the use of nontoxic shot has increased over the 

last few years. We believe that compliance will continue to increase 

with the approval and availability of other nontoxic shot types.

    Federal Cartridge Company's (Federal) tungsten-iron shot is an 

alloy of approximately 40 percent tungsten and 60 percent iron, by 

weight, and has a density of approximately 10.3 g/cm\3\. Tungsten-

polymer shot is a matrix of Nylon 6 or 11 polymer surrounding particles 

of elemental tungsten. Shot made from this material has a density of 

approximately 11.2 g/cm\3\ or approximately the density of lead. The 

shot will contain approximately 95.5 percent tungsten and 4.5 percent 

Nylon 6 or 11 by weight).

    Kent's original candidate shot was fabricated from what is 

described in their application as a mixture of powdered metals in a 

plastic matrix whose density is comparable to that of lead. All 

component metals are present as elements, not compounds. The tungsten-

matrix material from which pellets are formulated has a specific 

gravity of 9.8 g/cm\3\ and is composed of 88 percent tungsten, 4 

percent nickel, 2 percent iron, 1 percent copper, and 5 percent 

polymers by mass. After consultation with us, Kent has subsequently 

changed the composition of their shot and removed nickel and copper. 

The new shot material being considered has a density of 10.7 g/cm\3\ 

and is composed of approximately 95.9 percent tungsten and 4.1 percent 


    ITRI's candidate shot is made from commercially pure tin; no 

alloying or other alterations are intentionally made to the chemical 

composition of the shot. This shot material has a density of 

approximately 7.29 g/cm\3\, and is 99.9 percent tin, with a low level 

of iron pickup due to the steel production equipment.

    Each of Federal's applications for tungsten-iron and tungsten-

polymer include a description of the shot, a toxicological report (Barr 

1996), results of a 30-day dosing study of the toxicity of the shot in 

game-farm mallards (Bursian et al. 1996a, Bursian et al. 1996b), and 

results of a 150-day reproductive/chronic toxicity study (Bursian et 

al. 1999). Kent's application for tungsten-matrix includes a 

description of the shot, a toxicological report (Thomas 1997a), and 

results of a 30-day toxicity study (Wildlife International, Ltd. 

1998a). The tin shot application from ITRI contains a description of 

the shot, a toxicological report (Thomas 1997b), and results of a 30-

day toxicity study (Wildlife International, Ltd. 1998b). Toxicological 

reports for each shot type incorporates toxicity information (a 

synopsis of acute and chronic toxicity data for mammals and birds, 

potential for environmental concern, and toxicity to aquatic and 

terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles) and information on 

environmental fate and transport (shot alteration, environmental half-

life, and environmental concentration).

Toxicity Information

    There is considerable difference in the toxicity of soluble and 

insoluble compounds of tungsten and iron. Elemental tungsten and iron 

are virtually insoluble and are therefore expected to be relatively 

nontoxic. Even though most toxicity tests reviewed were based on 

soluble tungsten compounds rather than elemental tungsten, there 

appears to be no basis for concern of toxicity to wildlife for either 

candidate shot via ingestion by fish or mammals (Bursian et al. 1996b, 

Gigiena 1983, Karantassis 1924, Patty 1982, Industrial Medicine 1946). 

Detailed reviews of the toxicological impacts of different tin 

compounds have been conducted by Eisler (1989) and Cooney (1988). Both 

reviews indicate that elemental tin is non-toxic to animals. Tin shot 

designed for waterfowl hunting is utilized in several European 

countries and no reports exist that suggest that tin shot is causing 

toxicity problems for wildlife in those countries.

    The potential toxicity of nylon compounds due to degradation is 

primarily associated with the stabilizers, antioxidants, plasticizers, 

and unreacted prepolymers. Residual caprolactum has been found in some 

commercial Nylon 6 products, but little concern regarding this compound 

has been developed (Patty, 1982). The toxicity of Nylon 6 and 11 are 

negligible due to their insolubilities.

Environmental Fate and Transport

    Tungsten is insoluble in water and therefore not mobile in 


[[Page 45401]]

environments. Tungsten is very stable with acids and does not easily 

complex. Preferential uptake by plants in acid soil suggests uptake of 

tungsten in the anionic form associated with tungsten minerals rather 

than elemental tungsten (Kabata and Pendias 1984). Tin pellets will 

undergo slow surface oxidation to form hydrated tin oxide, which is 

extremely insoluble in water (Lide 1990). Therefore dissolution will be 

slow, and highly localized aqueous concentrations will not arise. This 

means that elemental tin will over time remain largely in the same 

inorganic form as when it is discharged. Tin pellets discharged into 

wetlands where sulphur ions are released during organic decomposition 

would become coated with tin sulphide, which is highly insoluble in 

water and resistant to aquatic hydrolysis (Hoiland 1995).

Environmental Concentration

    The effective environmental concentration (EEC) for a terrestrial 

ecosystem was calculated based on 69,000 shot per hectare (Pain 1990), 

assuming complete erosion of material in 5 cm of soil. For tungsten-

iron shot, the EEC for tungsten in soil was calculated at 32.9 mg/kg. 

For tungsten-polymer shot, the EECs for tungsten and Nylon (6 and 11) 

in soil are 58.3 mg/kg and 2.7 mg/kg, respectively. The EECs for 

tungsten and the 2 polymers found in tungsten-matrix are 25.7 mg/kg, 

4.2 mg/kg, and 0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The EEC for tin in soil is 

19.3 g/m<SUP>3</SUP>.

    The environmental concentration (EEC) for an aquatic ecosystem was 

calculated assuming complete erosion of the shot in one cubic foot of 

water. For tungsten-iron shot, the EEC in water for tungsten was 10.5 

mg/L. For tungsten-polymer shot, the EECs in water for tungsten and 

Nylon (6 and 11) are 18.7 mg/L and 0.9 mg/L, respectively. The EECs in 

water for tungsten and the 2 polymers found in tungsten-matrix are 4.2 

mg/L, 0.2 mg/L, and 0.02 mg/L, respectively. The EEC in water for tin 

is 19.3 mg/L.

Effects on Birds

    An extensive literature review in each application provided 

information on the toxicity of elemental tungsten and tin to waterfowl 

and other birds. Ringelman et al. (1993) orally dosed 20 8-week-old 

game-farm mallards with 12-17 (1.03 g average weight) tungsten-bismuth-

tin (TBT) pellets and monitored them for 32 days for evidence of 

intoxication. No birds died during the trial, gross lesions were not 

observed during the postmortem examinations, histopathological 

examinations did not reveal any evidence of toxicity or tissue damage, 

and tungsten was not detectable in kidney or liver samples. The authors 

concluded that TBT shot presented virtually no potential for acute 

intoxication in mallards.

    Kraabel et al. (1996) assessed the effects of embedded TBT shot on 

mallards and concluded that TBT was not acutely toxic when implanted in 

muscle tissue. Inflammatory reactions to TBT shot were localized and 

had no detectable systemic effects on mallard health.

    Nell (1981) fed laying hens (Gallus domesticus) 0.4 or 1.0 g/kg 

tungsten in a commercial mash for five months to assess reproductive 

performance. Weekly egg production was normal and hatchability of 

fertile eggs was not affected. Exposure of chickens to large doses of 

tungsten either through injection or by feeding resulted in an 

increased tissue concentration of tungsten and a decreased 

concentration of molybdenum (Nell 1981). The loss of tungsten from the 

liver occurred in an exponential manner with a half-life of 27 hours. 

The alterations in molybdenum metabolism seemed to be associated with 

tungsten intake rather than molybdenum deficiency. Death due to 

tungsten occurred when tissue concentrations increased to 25 mg/g 

liver. At that concentration, xanthine dehydrogenase activity was zero.

    Ringelman et al. (1992) conducted a 32-day acute toxicity study 

which involved dosing game-farm mallards with a shot alloy of tungsten-

bismuth-tin (TBT), which was 39, 44.5 and 16.5 percent by weight, 

respectively. No dosed birds died during the trial, and behavior was 

normal. Examination of tissues post-euthanization revealed no toxicity 

or damage related to shot exposure. This study concluded that ``. . . 

TBT shot presents virtually no potential for acute intoxication in 

mallards under the conditions of this study.''

    Several studies have been conducted in which pellets made of tin or 

tin alloys have been placed inside the digestive tract or tissues of 

ducks to determine if toxic effects occur. Grandy et al. (1968) and the 

Huntingdon Research Centre (1987) conducted 30- and 28-day, 

respectively, acute toxicity tests on mallard ducks and reported that 

all treatment ducks survived with insignificant weight loss or 

development of pathological lesions. The potential for bismuth-tin (BT) 

shot to produce toxicological effects in ducks during reproduction has 

been investigated under both acute and chronic testing conditions. Tin 

as a 2% component of the tested shot, did not pose a toxic risk to 

ducks when fed a nutritionally-imbalanced, corn-based diet. Neither has 

BT shot been shown to pose an adverse risk to the health of ducks, the 

reproduction by male and female birds, nor the survival of ducklings 

over the long term (Sanderson et al. 1997a,b).

    Nylon 6 is the commercially important homopolymer of caprolactum. 

Most completely polymerized nylon materials are physiologically inert, 

regardless of the toxicity of the monomer from which they are made 

(Peterson 1977). Few data exist on the toxicity of Nylon 6 in animals. 

Most toxicity studies are related to thermal degradation products and 

so are not relevant to the exposure of wildlife to shot containing 

nylon. Montgomery (1982) reported that feeding Nylon 6 to rats at a 

level of 25 percent of the diet for 2 weeks caused a slower rate of 

weight gain, presumably due to a decrease in food consumption and feed 

efficiency. However, the rats suffered no anatomic injuries due to the 

consumption of nylon.

    The two plastic polymers used in tungsten-matrix shot act as a 

physical matrix in which the tungsten is distributed as ionically-bound 

fine particles. Most completely polymerized nylon materials are 

physiologically inert, regardless of the toxicity of the monomer from 

which they are made (Peterson 1977). A literature review did not reveal 

studies in which either of the two polymers were evaluated for toxicity 

in birds.

Acute Toxicity Studies

    Federal contracted with Michigan State University--Department of 

Animal Science, to conduct an acute toxicity study of tungsten-iron and 

tungsten-polymer. Both Kent and ITRI contracted with Wildlife 

International Ltd. to conduct an acute toxicity study of tungsten-

matrix and tin shots, respectively. The acute toxicity test is a short-

term (30-day) study where ducks are dosed with shot and fed 

commercially available duck food. Survival, body weight, blood 

hematocrit, and organ analysis are recorded.

Tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer

    The 30-day dosing study revealed no adverse effects when mallards 

were dosed with either 8 BB size tungsten-iron shot or 8 BB size 

tungsten-polymer shot and monitored over a 30-day period (Bursian et 

al. 1996a, Bursian et al. 1996b). Eight male and 8 female adult 

mallards were dosed with either 8 No.4 steel shot, 8 No.4 lead shot, 8 

BB size tungsten-iron shot, or 8 BB size tungsten-polyer shot and 

observed over

[[Page 45402]]

a 30-day period. An additional 8 males and 8 females received no shot. 

Fifty percent of the lead-dosed birds (5 males and 3 females) died 

during the 30-day test while there were no mortalities in the other 

groups. Lead-dosed birds were the only ones to display green excreta, 

lethargy, and ataxia. Body weights were not significantly altered by 

any of the treatments, although lead-dosed birds which died during the 

trial lost an average of 30 percent of their body weight. Hematocrit, 

hemoglobin concentrations, and ALAD activity were significantly 

depressed at day 15 in the lead-dosed females, while lead-dosed males 

had significantly depressed hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration 

compared with the other four groups. There were no significant 

differences in these whole-blood parameters at day 30. Three tungsten-

polymer-dosed males developed mild biliary stasis. The authors 

attributed this to the intubating of mallards with 8 BBs of tungsen-

polymer shot inducing a pathological condition--however slight--that 

was not found in the control birds. No other histopathological lesions 

were found. Tungsten was detected in the femur of two tungsten-polymer-

dosed females and the kidneys of two tungsten-polymer-dosed birds; in 

both tissues, concentrations were only slightly above detection limits. 

In general, no adverse effects were seen in mallards given 8 BB-size 

tungsten-polymer shot and monitored over a 30-day period.


    Kent's 30-day dosing study (Wildlife International Ltd. 1998a) 

included 4 treatment and 1 control group of game-farm mallards. 

Treatment groups were exposed to 1 of 3 different types of shot: 8 #4 

steel, 8 #4 lead, or 8 #4 tungsten-matrix; whereas the control group 

received no shot. The 2 tungsten-matrix treatment groups (1 group 

deficient diet, 1 group balanced diet) each consisted of 16 birds (8 

males and 8 females); whereas remaining treatment and control groups 

consisted of 6 birds each (3 males and 3 females). All tungsten-matrix-

dosed birds survived the test and showed no overt signs of toxicity or 

treatment-related effects on body weight. There were no differences in 

hematocrit or hemoglobin concentration between the tungsten-matrix 

treatment group and either the steel shot or control groups. No 

histopathological lesions were found during gross necropsy. In general, 

no adverse effects were seen in mallards given 8 #4 size tungsten-

matrix shot and monitored over a 30-day period. Tungsten was found to 

be below the limit of detection in all samples of femur, gonad, liver, 

and kidney from treatment groups.


    ITRI's 30-day dosing study (Wildlife International Ltd. 1998b) 

included 4 treatment and 1 control group of game-farm mallards. 

Treatment groups were exposed to 1 of 3 different types of shot: 8 #4 

steel, 8 #4 lead, or 8 #4 tin shot; whereas the control group received 

no shot. The 2 tin treatment groups (1 group deficient diet, 1 group 

balanced diet) each consisted of 16 birds (8 males and 8 females); 

whereas remaining treatment and control groups consisted of 6 birds 

each (3 males and 3 females). All tin-dosed birds survived the test and 

showed no overt signs of toxicity or treatment-related effects on body 

weight. There were no differences in hematocrit or hemoglobin 

concentration between the tin treatment group and either the steel shot 

or control groups. No histopathological lesions were found during gross 

necropsy. In general, no adverse effects were seen in mallards given 8 

#4 size tin shot and monitored over a 30-day period. No levels of tin 

above the limit of detection were observed in any tissues collected 

from either tin treatment group.

Reproductive/Chronic Toxicity Study

    Federal contracted with Michigan State University--Department of 

Animal Science, to conduct an a reproductive/chronic toxicity studies 

for both tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot types. The 

reproductive/chronic toxicity study is a long-term (150-day) study 

where ducks are dosed with shot and fed commercially available duck 

food. Survival, body weight, blood hematocrit, organ analysis, and 

reproductive performance are recorded.

Tungsten-Iron and Tungsten-Polymer

    The reproductive/chronic toxicity study revealed no adverse effects 

when mallards were dosed with either 8 No. 4 size tungsten-iron shot, 

or 8 No. 4 size tungsten-polymer shot, and monitored over a 150-day 

period (Bursian et al. 1999). Sixteen male and 16 female adult mallards 

were orally dosed with either 8 No.4 steel shot, 8 No.4 tungsten-iron 

shot, or 8 No. 4 tungsten-polymer shot. An additional 6 male and 6 

female mallards were dosed with 8 No. 4 lead shot. All lead-dosed birds 

died by day 25 of the study, whereas no mortalities occurred in the 

other test groups. Lead-dosed birds had significantly decreased 

hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration and whole-blood delta 

aminolevulinic dehydratase activity on day 7 of the study. Mallards 

dosed with tungsten-iron or tungsten-polymer shot had occasional 

significant differences in hematocrit and plasma chemistry values when 

compared to steel-dosed mallards over the 150-day period, but these 

changes were within the normal range reported for mallards and were not 

considered to be deleterious. Relative kidney, heart, brain and gizzard 

weights of lead-dosed birds were significantly greater in comparison to 

relative weights of those organs in the other 3 treatment groups. 

Marked liver hemosiderosis was present in all steel and tungsten-dosed 

males, in 5 of 8 steel-and 3 of 8 tungsten-iron-dosed females, and in 1 

tungsten-polymer-dosed male examined. Small amounts of tungsten were 

detected in gonad and kidney samples from males and females, in femur 

samples of males, and in liver samples from females dosed with 

tungsten-polymer shot. Higher concentrations of tungsten were detected 

in femur, gonad, kidney, and liver samples from tungsten-iron-dosed 

ducks. The rate of shot erosion was 99% for tungsten-polymer, 72% for 

tungsten-iron, 55% for steel, and 37% for lead. There were no 

significant differences in percent egg production, and percent 

fertility and hatchability of eggs from tungsten-iron- and tungsten-

polymer-dosed ducks when compared to steel-dosed ducks. There were no 

biological differences in percent survivability and body weight of 

ducklings from tungsten-iron-or tungsten-polymer-dosed ducks when 

compared to ducklings from steel-dosed ducks. The hematocrit of 

ducklings from tungsten-iron-dosed ducks was slightly but significantly 

lower when compared to ducklings from steel-dosed ducks. Histological 

examination of duckling kidneys and liver indicated no abnormalities. 

Tungsten was detected in 25%, 9%, and 13% of the femur, kidneys, and 

liver samples, respectively, from ducklings of the tungsten-iron and 

tungsten-polymer groups. Overall, results of this study indicated that 

tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot repeatedly administered to 

adult mallards did not adversely affect them or the offspring they 

produced during the 150-day trial.

Nontoxic Shot Approval

    The first condition of nontoxic shot approval is toxicity testing. 

Based on the results of the toxicological report and the toxicity tests 

(Tiers 1, 2, and 3) discussed above, we conclude that tungsten-iron and 

tungsten-polymer shot does not pose a significant danger to migratory 

birds or other wildlife and their habitats. Based on the results of 

toxicological reports and acute toxicity tests (Tier 1 and 2), we 

conclude that tungsten-matrix and tin shots do not

[[Page 45403]]

appear to pose a significant danger to migratory birds or other 

wildlife and their habitats. However, final approval of either shot 

type will not be considered until all required reproductive/chronic 

toxicity tests have been successfully completed and our Director has 

reviewed and approved the results.

    The second condition of approval is testing for residual lead 

levels. Any shot with lead levels equal to or exceeding 1 percent will 

be considered toxic and, therefore, illegal. We have determined that 

the maximum environmentally acceptable level of lead in any nontoxic 

shot is trace amounts of <1 percent, and incorporated this requirement 

in the nontoxic shot approval process that was published on December 1, 

1997 (62 FR 63608). Federal has documented that tungsten-iron and 

tungsten-polymer shots meet this requirement. Kent and ITRI have 

documented that tungsten-matrix and tin shot, respectively, meet this 


    The third condition of approval involves enforcement. In the August 

18, 1995, Federal Register (60 FR 43314), we indicated that approval of 

any nontoxic shot would be contingent upon the development and 

availability of a noninvasive field testing device. This requirement 

was incorporated in the nontoxic shot approval process that was 

published on December 1, 1997 (62 FR 63608). Tungsten-iron shotshells 

can be drawn to a magnet as a simple field detection method. Electronic 

field testing devices can distinguish shells containing tungsten-

polymer and tungsten-matrix from shells containing lead. At the present 

time, we are not aware of any noninvasive field testing devices for 

distinguishing shells containing tin shot from those containing lead. 

We will not consider final approval of tin shot until such a device, or 

other noninvasive field testing method, has been developed for 

identifying tin shot.

    In summary, this rule amends 50 CFR 20.21(j) by approving tungsten-

iron and tungsten-polymer shots as nontoxic for migratory bird hunting. 

It is based on the toxicological reports, acute toxicity studies, and 

reproductive/chronic toxicity studies submitted by Federal. Results of 

these studies indicate the absence of any deleterious effects of 

tungsten-iron or tungsten-polymer shot when ingested by captive-reared 

mallards or to the ecosystem. This rule also grants temporary approval 

to tungsten-matrix and tin shots for the 1999-2000 hunting season only. 

Temporary approval is based on the toxicological reports and acute 

toxicity studies submitted by Kent and ITRI.

    During the 1998-99 hunting season, we granted temporary approval of 

several shot types that contained tungsten (October 7, 1998, 63 FR 

54016-54026; December 8, 1998, 63 FR 67619). We gave these approvals 

with the restriction that the shot types could not be used in the 

Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta, Alaska. This restriction was implemented 

out of concern for potential effects of tungsten on the spectacled 

eider (Somateria fischeri); a species subject to adverse weather, 

predation, and lead poisoning on the Y-K Delta. Based on the results of 

reproductive/chronic toxicity studies of tungsten-iron and tungsten-

polymer, we see no need for the Y-K Delta restriction on any tungsten-

based shot types.

Public Comments and Responses

    We invited public comments from interested parties in the June 17, 

1999, proposed rule published in the Federal Register (64 FR 32752). 

During the 30-day comment period, we received 4 comments.

    The Wildlife Legislative Fund of America strongly supported the 

temporary approval of tungsten-matrix and tin shots for hunting 

migratory birds in order to provide additional nontoxic shot 

alternatives to hunters.

    Senator John D. Rockefeller IV also supported the temporary 

approval of tungsten-matrix shot.

    Kent acknowledged the conditions for nontoxic approval and 

indicated that chronic toxicity/reproductive test results for tungsten-

matrix shot are proceeding satisfactorily.

    ITRI indicated that chronic toxicity/reproductive tests are being 

completed for tin shot and a noninvasive field testing device will be 


    Service Response: We are encouraged that chronic toxicity/

reproductive testing is being completed for tungsten-matrix and tin 

shots, and look forward to reviewing results of such tests when they 

become available. It is our hope that providing additional nontoxic 

shot alternatives will improve hunter compliance and reduce the amount 

of lead shot in the environment.

Effective Date

    Under the APA (5 U.S.C. 553 (d)) we waive the 30-day period before 

this rule becomes effective and find that ``good cause'' exists, within 

the terms of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the APA, and this rule will, 

therefore, take effect immediately upon publication. This rule relieves 

a restriction and, in addition, it is not in the public interest to 

delay the effective date of this rule. It is in the best interest of 

migratory birds and their habitats to grant approval to tungsten-iron 

and tungsten-polymer shot as nontoxic for hunting migratory birds, and 

to grant temporary approval to tungsten-matrix and tin shot for the 

1998-99 migratory bird hunting season only. It is in the best interest 

of the hunting public to provide them an additional legal option for 

hunting waterfowl and coots for the 1999-2000 season, which begins on 

September 1, 1999. It is in the best interest of small retailers who 

have stocked the above shot types for the current season. We believe 

that availability of additional nontoxic shot options likely will 

improve hunter compliance, thereby reducing the amount of lead shot in 

the environment.


Barr Engineering Company. 1996. Toxicology Report on New Shot.

Bursian, S. J., M. E. Kelly, R. J. Aulerich, D. C. Powell, and S. 

Fitzgerald. 1996a. Thirty-day dosing test to assess the toxicity of 

tungsten-iron shot in game-farm mallards. Report to Federal 

Cartridge Co. 77 pp.

Bursian, S. J., M. E. Kelly, R. J. Aulerich, D. C. Powell, and S. 

Fitzgerald. 1996b. Thirty-day dosing test to assess the toxicity of 

tungsten-polymer shot in game-farm mallards. Report to Federal 

Cartridge Co. 71 pp.

Bursian, S. J., R. M. Mitchell, R. J. Tempelman, R. J. Aulerich, and 

S. D. Fitzgerald. 1999. Chronic dosing study to assess the health 

and reproductive effects of tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot 

on game-farm mallards. Report to Federal Cartridge Co. 115 pp.

Cooney, J.J. 1988. Microbial transformations of tin and tin 

compounds. J. Industr. Microbiol. 3:195-204.

Eisler, R. 1989. Tin hazards to fish, wildlife, and invertebrates: a 

synoptic review. Biological Rep. 85 (1.15). Contaminant Hazard 

Reviews Report No. 15. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Dept. 

Interior. Washington, D.C. 85 pp.

Gigiema I. Sanitariya. 1977. Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga. Moscow, USSR. 


Gigiema I. Sanitariya. 1983. Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga. Moscow, USSR. 


Grandy, J. W., L. N. Locke, and G. E. Bagley. 1968. Relative 

toxicity of lead and five proposed substitute shot types to pen-

reared mallards. J. Wildl. Manage. 32(3):483-488.

Hoiland, K. 1995. Reaction of some decomposer basidiomycetes to 

toxic elements. Nordic J. Bot. 15:305-318.

Huntingdon Research Centre Ltd. 1987. The effects of dosing mallard 

ducks with Safe Shot. Huntingdon, Cambridge, U.K. Report dated Dec. 

19, 1987. 15pp.

Industrial Medicine. 1946. 15:482.

Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force. 1995. The Ecosystem 

Approach: Healthy Ecosystems and Sustainable Economics. Volume II--

Implementation Issues.

[[Page 45404]]

Kabata-Pendias, A. and H. Pendias. 1984. Trace elements in soil and 

plants. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, FL.

Karantassis, T. 1924. On the toxicity of compounds of tungsten and 

molybdenum. Ann. Med. 28:1541-1543.

Kraabel, F. W., M. W. Miller, D. M. Getzy, and J. K. Ringleman. 

1996. Effects of embedded tungsten-bismuth-tin shot and steel shot 

on mallards. J. Wildl. Dis. 38(1):1-8.

Lide, D.R. 1990. CRC--Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 71st 

Edition, 1990-1991. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Montgomery, R.R. 1982. Polymers. In Patty's Industrial Hygiene and 

Toxicology, Vol. IIIA (G.D. Clayton and F.E. Clayton, Eds.) pp. 

4209-4526. John Wiley and Sons, NY.

Nell, J.A., E.F. Annison, and D. Balnave. 1981. The influence of 

tungsten on the molybdenum status of poultry. Br. Poult. Sci. 


Pain, D.J. 1990. Lead shot ingestion by waterbirds in the Carmarque, 

France: an investigation of levels and interspecific difference. 

Environ. Pollut. 66:273-285.

Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. 1982. Wiley Interscience. 

Wiley & Sons, Inc. NY, NY. Third Ed.

Peterson, J.E. 1977. Industrial Health. Prentice-Hall, Englewood 

Cliffs, NJ.

Ringelman, J.K., M.W. Miller, and W.F. Andelt. 1992. Effects of 

ingested tungsten-bismuth-tin shot on mallards. CO Div. Wildl., Fort 

Collins, 24 pp.

Ringelman, J.K., M.W. Miller, and W.F. Andelt. 1993. Effects of 

ingested tungsten-bismuth-tin shot on captive mallards. J. Wildl. 

Manage. 57:725-732.

Sanderson, G.C., W.L. Anderson, G.L. Foley, L.M. Skowron, J.D. 

Brawn, and J.W. Seets. 1997a. Acute toxicity of ingested bismuth 

alloy shot in game farm mallards. Illinois Nat. History Survey Bull. 


Sanderson, G.C., W.L. Anderson, G.L. Foley, K.L. Duncan, L.M. 

Skowron, J.D. Brawn, and J.W. Seets. 1997b. Toxicity of ingested 

bismuth alloy shot in game farm mallards: chronic health effects and 

effects on reproduction. Illinois Nat. History Survey Bull. 35:217-


Thomas, V.G. 1997a. Application for approval of tungsten-matrix shot 

as non-toxic for the hunting of migratory birds. 39 pp.

Thomas, V.G. 1997b. Application for approval of tin shot as non-

toxic for the hunting of migratory birds. 26 pp.

Wildlife International, Ltd. 1998a. Tungsten-matrix shot: An oral 

toxicity study with the mallard. Project No. 475-101. 162 pp.

Wildlife International, Ltd. 1998b. Tin shot: An oral toxicity study 

with the mallard. Project No. 476-101. 158 pp.

NEPA Consideration

    In compliance with the requirements of section 102(2)(C) of the 

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(C)), and the 

Council on Environmental Quality's regulation for implementing NEPA (40 

CFR 1500-1508), we prepared Environmental Assessments (EA) in July, 

1999. The EAs are available to the public at the location indicated 

under the ADDRESSES caption. Based on review and evaluation of the 

information in the EAs, we have determined that amending 50 CFR 

20.21(j) to provide final approval of tungsten-iron and tungsten-

polymer shots, and temporary approval of tungsten-matrix and tin shots 

for the 1999-2000 season, as nontoxic for migratory bird hunting would 

not be a major Federal action that would significantly affect the 

quality of the human environment.

Endangered Species Act Considerations

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1972, as amended 

(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), provides that Federal agencies shall ``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 * * *'' We have completed a Section 7 

consultation under the ESA for this rule, which stated the use of 

tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, and tin shots is not 

likely to adversely affect listed species. The result of our 

consultation under Section 7 of the ESA is available to the public at 

the location indicated under the ADDRESSES caption.

Regulatory Flexibility Act; Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 

and Fairness Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 

requires the preparation of flexibility analyses for rules that will 

have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, 

which includes small businesses, organizations or governmental 

jurisdictions. This rule approves additional types of nontoxic shot 

that may be sold and used to hunt migratory birds; this rule provides 4 

types of shot in addition to the existing 2 that are approved. We have 

determined, however, that this rule will have no effect on small 

entities since the approved shots merely will supplement nontoxic shot 

already in commerce and available throughout the retail and wholesale 

distribution systems. We anticipate no dislocation or other local 

effects, with regard to hunters and others. Similarly, this is not a 

major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 

review under Executive Order 12866. E.O. 12866 requires each agency to 

write regulations that are easy to understand. We invite comments on 

how to make this rule easier to understand, including answers to 

questions such as the following: (1) Are the requirements in the rule 

clearly stated? (2) Does the rule contain technical language or jargon 

that interferes with its clarity? (3) Does the format of the rule 

(grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) 

aid or reduce its clarity? (4) Would the rule be easier to understand 

if it were divided into more (but shorter) sections? (5) Is the 

description of the rule in the ``Supplementary Information'' section of 

the preamble helpful in understanding the rule? What else could we do 

to make the rule easier to understand?

Paperwork Reduction Act

    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 control number. We have examined this regulation 

under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501) and found it 

to contain no information collection requirements. However, we do have 

OMB approval (1018-0067; expires 06/30/2000) for information collection 

relating to what manufacturers of shot are required to provide to us 

for the nontoxic shot approval process. For further information see 50 

CFR 20.134.

Unfunded Mandates Reform

    We have determined and certify pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates 

Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502, et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a 

cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State 

government or private entities.

Civil Justice Reform--Executive Order 12988

    We, in promulgating this rule, have determined that these 

regulations meet the applicable standards provided in Sections 3(a) and 

3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, these rules, authorized 

by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, do not have significant takings 

implications and do not affect any constitutionally protected property 

rights. These rules will not result in the physical occupancy of 

property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking 

of any property. In fact, these rules allow hunters to exercise 

privileges that would be otherwise unavailable; and, therefore, reduce 

restrictions on the use of private and public property.

[[Page 45405]]

Federalism Effects

    Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the 

Federal government has been given responsibility over these species by 

the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. These rules do not have a substantial 

direct effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities 

of Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or 

administration. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, 

these regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not 

have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 

Federalism Assessment.

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) and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated possible 

effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that 

there are no effects.

    Authorship. The primary author of this rule is James R. Kelley, 

Jr., Office of Migratory Bird Management.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 

requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Accordingly, we are amending part 20, subchapter B, chapter 1 of 

Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:


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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

    2. Section 20.21 is amended by revising paragraph (j) introductory 

text, revising paragraphs (j)(2) and (j)(3), and removing paragraph 

(j)(4) as follows:

20.21  What hunting methods are illegal?

* * * * *

    (j) While possessing shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot 

for muzzleloading) other than steel shot, or bismuth-tin (97 parts 

bismuth: 3 parts tin with <1 percent residual lead) shot, or tungsten-

iron (40 parts tungsten: 60 parts iron with <1 percent residual lead) 

shot, or tungsten-polymer (95.5 parts tungsten: 4.5 parts Nylon 6 or 11 

with <1 percent residual lead) shot, or tungsten-matrix (95.9 parts 

tungsten: 4.1 parts polymer with <1 percent residual lead) shot, or tin 

(99.9 percent tin with <1 percent residual lead) shot, or such shot 

approved as nontoxic by the Director pursuant to procedures set forth 

in 20.134, provided that:

* * * * *

    (2) Tungsten-matrix shot (95.9 parts tungsten: 4.1 parts polymer 

with <1 percent residual lead) is legal as nontoxic shot for waterfowl 

and coot hunting for the 1999-2000 hunting season only, and

    (3) Tin shot (99.9 percent tin with <1 percent residual lead) is 

legal as nontoxic shot for waterfowl and coot hunting for the 1999-2000 

hunting season only.

    Dated: August 12, 1999.

Stephen C. Saunders,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

[FR Doc. 99-21525 Filed 8-18-99; 8:45 am]