Protecting Wet Lands and Water Bodies from Shooting Range Activities
Concern over lead poisoning in wetland environments is growing. Lead poisoning of waterfowl, including eagles, condors, swans, and loons, has given rise to a number of environmental actions by states and national agencies in the last couple of decades. Lead shot for hunting waterfowl was banned in 1991, and since that time many National Wildlife Refuges and State Parks have banned the use of lead shot and lead fishing tackle.
California has restricted the use of lead shot in areas of the state that provide critical environments for the condor, but significant problems remain. The Arizona Game and Fish Department says lead poisoning is the primary cause of death for the California condors in the Arizona-California reintroduction program.
But lead fishing tackle and shot from waterfowl hunting is a small part of the burden of lead in American waterways. Firing ranges located within watersheds have not had a way to safely reclaim lead from spent ammunition. Over time, the lead sinks into the sediment and contaminates the animals, water, and soil in the environment around the firing range.
Efforts to remove or reclaim lead have been dangerous in the past, and can spread lead-contaminated dust, an inhalation and ingestion hazard.
New processes have been developed, though, that allow the lead in wetlands to be dredged, dried and treated safely to avoid contamination, and then reclaimed by ranges.
Wetlands in Maryland, part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and in Florida, part of the Everglades ecosystem, have been treated with lead remediation using these new methods.
MT2 is the Leading Nationwide Professional Lead Reclamation & Maintenance Contractor for BOTH Indoor & Outdoor Firing Ranges and has served over 1,000 public and private firing ranges nationwide since 2000. MT2’s firing range services include complete range maintenance, improvements and lead remediation services.