On September 5, 2016 San Francisco Bay Area News 4 reported that after 52 years, a Castro Valley gun range located in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, has closed its doors due to concerns over lead contamination from bullet shell casings.
Some of the comments from shooters in the video expressed concern that gun-safety would be affected with the shut-down.
What could have been done to prevent this? It’s hard to say because any idea presented now would be met with reasons why it would not have worked. But suffice it to say, that having an affordable Firing Range Best Management Practice in place for regular lead reclamation and cleaning would definitely have made a positive impact.
LET MT2 HELP MAINTAIN YOUR RANGE TO MITIGATE LEAD HAZARDS AND KEEP THE RANGE FUNCTIONING AND AVOID BEING FORCED TO SHUT DOWN.
MT2 IS THE LEADING NATIONWIDE PROFESSIONAL LEAD RECLAMATION & MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR FOR BOTH INDOOR & OUTDOOR FIRING RANGES.
Safety is the most important concern for everyone who visits a firing range. In order to ensure a safe experience regular firing range maintenance is a necessity. Firing ranges face increasing scrutiny for the effect they have on the environment. A key aspect of maintaining a firing range is the recovery of lead from the soil, and minimizing the impact lead has on the environment.
Outdoor firing range maintenance necessitates the removal of lead to prevent accumulation of lead particles within the soil. Total bullet recovery will not prevent the buildup of lead in the soil.
A study published in 2004 by researchers in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida demonstrated that 41 milligrams of lead were lost from each bullet fired into a berm composed of fine sand. This accounts for 1.5 percent of the bullet’s total mass. Some of the larger fragments may be sifted from the soil, but fine lead fragments and dust will remain.
Even with a rigorous lead recovery plan, range and berm soil should be regularly tested for lead content. Lead particles that remain in the soil will corrode, creating soluble elements which can permeate into the groundwater. Additives can be used to immobilize the lead within the soil and prevent it from leaching below the water table. Routine de-leading practices will go far in preventing lead accumulation, but soil remediation can go further to prevent lead leaking into the groundwater.
Shooting ranges provide a valuable service to citizens looking to protect themselves and their families. Also, firing ranges are essential for training law enforcement officers to make sure they are always ready to protect the community. Well prepared and protected shooters experience little to no danger at most gun firing ranges and environmental safety issues are not generally a concern that most patrons should be focused on. Gun range owners must take soil remediation seriously with methodical and thorough clean-up efforts. While complete removal of lead in soils is not likely, MT2’s soil remediation ECOBOND® technology prevents lead from accumulating within soil particles, stabilizing soil chemistry, and eliminating imminent threat of lead toxicity on ranges.
Toxicity is still a relevant problem for today’s firing ranges, despite available remediation treatment. In 2014, a gun range in North Carolina was found to have had high lead contamination, with soils at 19,700 mg/kg of lead content. This was nearly 19,430 mg past state established limits. An estimated 60 tons of lead had contaminated the clay on-site, but thankfully no children were allowed access to this area. Gun range clean-up was essentially non-existent in a case like this. After discovery of contamination, the range was hard pressed for a massive remediation solution that could have been incrementally implemented over time.
Contact MT2 in order to find out how to ensure that your firing range is safely maintained.
The Nation’s #1 Firing Range Maintenance & Lead Reclamation Company