Over the last 50 years, the City of Albuquerque (City) Police Department fired an estimated 25 tons of lead into their firing range. After years of shooting, the berm was saturated with lead, which increased the likelihood of “splashback” (rounds that ricochet off lead left behind in the berm and send metal fragments back at the shooter). The more bullets you shoot, the more likely the splashback. Although the City was not obligated to remediate the range, the City chose a proactive approach to improve officer safety and mitigate potential hazards associated with lead in range soils and berms. This approach incorporated the US Environmental Protective Agency (USEPA) Best Management Practices (BMPs) for lead management at gun ranges. According to the USEPA, “the most important BMP for lead management is lead reclamation.” In addition to concerns for shooter safety, lead is a toxic material that can potentially leach into groundwater or be ingested by wildlife.
To implement the City’s improvements for officer safety the City reached out to an experienced firm, MT2, LLC (MT2) of Colorado to conduct lead reclamation and range maintenance at the range. MT2 has been “Getting the Lead Out” since 2000; they have completed over 600 firing range projects nationwide and recovered over 10,000,000 lbs of lead. The recent tasks completed by MT2 included removal of spent lead bullets and bullet fragments to improve shooter safety, as well as application of MT2’s ECOBOND® lead contaminated soil treatment technology to protect the environment by preventing lead from leaving the range. >>Read more