Doe Run Lead Plant Closing Is Backdoor Gun Control-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The Obama White House has taken a “backdoor” approach to gun control by having the EPA close the Doe Run Lead plant in Missouri, which means that all lead bullets will have to be imported from overseas.
Rumors that President Obama forced the Doe Run Company to cease lead smelting operations through EPA regulations in a “back door” gun control effort are false.
The rumors began circulating in 2013, shortly after the Doe Run Company announced that it was closing its primary lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri. The company announced that it had decided to close the smelter in response to EPA regulations:
In 2010, Doe Run reached a comprehensive settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Missouri. As part of that settlement, the Company agreed to discontinue its smelting operations in Herculaneum by the end of 2013. Over the operating life of the smelter, the Company spent millions of dollars in environmental and other upgrades. Continuing to upgrade the aging smelter to attempt to meet the increasingly stringent environmental regulations imposed on primary lead smelters was not economically feasible given the many other requirements of our business.
The company said in the same statement that 80 percent of lead produced by the Herculaneum smelter was used in batteries, but that additional applications included ammunition and construction materials.
That sparked accusations that President Obama had intentionally forced the company to stop smelting lead so that no lead bullets would be produced in the U.S. However, that claims is wrong on two key fronts: the EPA standard was established while President George W. Bush was in office, and lead smelted in the U.S. can still be used for ammunition.
The EPA changed the ambient air quality standard for lead from 1.5 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air to 0.15 micrograms in October 2008 — a full two months before President Obama was sworn into office in January 2009. That means the change was not a backdoor attempt by Obama to implement gun control measures, as has been claimed.
Also, even though the Doe Run Company no longer smelts lead from ore to produce bullets, the company has said that it could continue producing bullets using secondary lead:
Lead is used in numerous other products, including ammunition and construction materials, as well as to protect against radiation in medical and military applications. While most applications can use secondary lead, those applications that require primary lead will need to import the lead metal in the future. Any additional demand for lead (above that which can be met through recycling at secondary smelters) will also have to be met through imports.
Given all that, we’re calling claims that the Doe Run Company closing its primary lead smelter was a backdoor attempt at gun regulation “fiction.”