Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service Application for Approval of Tin Shot as Nontoxic for Waterfowl Hunting AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of decision. SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has reviewed the International Tin Research Institute, Ltd.'s (ITRI) application for approval of tin shot as nontoxic for waterfowl hunting in the United States. The Service has found that the Tier 1 test results are inconclusive and Tier 2 testing is required before further consideration. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul R. Schmidt, Chief, or Carol Anderson, Wildlife Biologist, Office of Migratory Bird Management (MBMO), (703) 358-1714. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Since the mid-1970s, the Service has sought to identify shot that, when spent, does not pose a significant toxic hazard to migratory birds and other wildlife. Currently, only bismuth- tin and steel shot are approved by the Service as nontoxic. Tungsten-iron shot received temporary conditional approval for the 1997-98 hunting season. The Service believes approval for other suitable candidate shot materials as nontoxic is feasible. On February 10, 1998, the Service announced its intention to review ITRI's Tier 1 information for approval of pure tin shot as nontoxic pursuant to 50 CFR 20.134 (recently amended--see 62 FR 63608, December 1, 1997). The Service has determined that the Tier 1 test results are inconclusive. The Service requires that the Tier 2 test be completed before nontoxic approval of the tin shot can be considered. For a complete review of the tin shot application and review process, refer to the Supplementary Information Section of the February 10, 1998, Federal Register (63 FR 6766). ITRI submitted a Tier 2 test protocol to conduct an in vitro test to determine the erosion rate of the candidate shot and an acute toxicity test to determine the short-term effects of the candidate shot on game-farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchus) using commercially available duck food. The test protocol has been reviewed and approved by the Service, with technical assistance provided by the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Resources Division. The general outline of the in vitro and acute toxicity tests given below is not a complete description of the testing protocol, but gives the basic outline of the test procedures being conducted. In vitro test procedures: Five #4 each of tin, steel, and lead shot pellets were separately placed in 15 100 ml screw-top pyrex bottles. These bottles were filled with 100 ml of a sodium chloride-pepsin (20 g/l) solution. The samples were maintained at 42 deg.C and continuously stirred using a magnetic stirrer for 14 days. Each day 1 ml of solution was sampled and analyzed for metal content. Tin solutions were analyzed using an ICP with dilutions of the samples at 10 and 20 times in 10 percent hydrochloric acid. The lead solutions were analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy with dilutions at 10 and 50 times in 5 percent nitric acid. Steel solutions were analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy with dilutions at 10 and 50 times in 10 percent hydrochloric acid. In vitro results: The average increase of metal concentration in solution per day was calculated to be 116 ppm for lead, 58.1 ppm for iron (from the steel shot), and 26.7 ppm for tin. Extrapolation of these dissolution rates shows that complete dissolution of one #4 tin shot takes twice the time for dissolution of steel shot and over three times for dissolution of lead shot under conditions simulating a waterfowl gizzard. Acute toxicity test procedures: Two sets of eight pairs of mallards will be dosed with the candidate shot. One group will be fed a balanced diet, while the other is fed a nutritionally deficient (whole corn) diet. Another eight pairs will be dosed with steel shot, while three pairs each will be sham- and lead-dosed. All mallards will be housed outdoors during the winter at low temperatures. All groups, except the sham-dosed group, will be dosed with 8 #4 pellets of the appropriate shot type. Birds will be observed for 30 days for toxicological responses, shot retention will be monitored radiographically, and hematological and biochemical parameters will be monitored during the study. Selected tissues (liver, kidney, femur, and gonads) will be collected for histopathological evaluation and residue analysis. If the Tier 2 data result in a preliminary determination that the candidate material does not impose a significant danger to migratory birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, the Service will propose to approve this shot based on the toxicological report and toxicity studies and explain why Tier 3 testing is unnecessary. If the results are not conclusive or as a result of the public comment period, the Service determines that the information does not establish that the shot does not impose a significant danger to migratory birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, Tier 3 testing will be required and a Notice of Review published in the Federal Register. Authorship The primary author of this notice of application is Carol Anderson, Wildlife Biologist, Office of Migratory Bird Management. Dated: March 19, 1998. Daniel M. Ashe, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 98-8552 Filed 3-31-98; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-F
Application for Approval of Tin Shot as Nontoxic for Waterfowl Hunting
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has reviewed the International Tin Research Institute, Ltd.'s (ITRI) application for approval of tin shot as nontoxic for waterfowl hunting in the United States. The Service has found that the Tier 1 test results are inconclusive and Tier 2 testing is required before further consideration.