Due to some extreme EPA regulations Doe Run’s Herculaneum lead smelter will have to close its doors by the end of 2013. The Missouri company is the last U.S. smelting facility of its kind, and the cost of ammunition is expected to rise after its closing.
After the company closes it’s doors the only lead smelting facilities left in the country will be the ones that only smelter recycled lead and do not process raw lead ore.
According to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Herculaneum had already made changes to satisfy EPA demands in the past, but the latest regulations were so dramatic than the company simply could not afford to keep operating.
“Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.”
Thanks to the EPA the domestic production of lead will now be impossible and we will be a nation that relies on the importation of lead to manufacturer our ammunition. This will both cost the U.S. jobs and raise the price of ammo even more.
Unless another lead smelting company opens in the U.S. that can actually meet the EPA’s stringent regulations and still make a profit, this will have a drastic impact on ammo cost and availability. It’s just another means of gun control that bypasses the legislative process. And with this administration in the White House we should be on the look out for more of these tactics.
It looks like lead is the precious medal we should all be investing in, along with brass and copper of course.
We reported earlier this years that California is already trying to ban lead ammunition for hunting entirely, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law that restricts more than just hunter’s rights. With this ammo being banned more hunters would be forced to use full copper ammo, which is harder but also considered armor piercing. The problem is that federal law makes armor piercing bullets illegal if they can be fired from a handgun.