Hiring a contractor can be daunting, many do not know where to start. However, when hiring a contractor for either construction or lead maintenance on firing ranges, it is even more important to hire a qualified professional.
Due to the strict regulations, and potential hazards associated with working around lead, having a professional on your side could save a substantial amount of money; both now and potentially in the future if/when proper local, state or federal guidelines are not followed for handling your range lead waste.
How Lead Removal Can Benefit Firing Ranges
Due to the hazardous nature of lead and lead dust, removal of lead should be a priority for all range owners and managers. Here are a few benefits for firing ranges from properly handling their lead waste:
- cleaner range
- increased safety for employees, shooters and the community
- mitigate risk of costly fines
According to InfoMine, prices for lead fluctuate through the year. Proper lead removal may generate a little extra income for range owners who would otherwise have to pay the full amount for potentially costly disposal efforts. Lead cannot be shipped to a landfill like other materials; the special handling it requires is usually costly and requires a high level of specific documentation to be ready at all times to show the EPA that you properly disposed of your lead impacted waste.
However, recycling lead may be an avenue to offset these costs. With the correct information, ranges have a great opportunity to create safe, clean ranges without breaking the bank. Ranges produce a phenomenal amount of lead waste; the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that individual ranges can produce anywhere between 1.5 tons and 20 tons of lead shot and bullets every year. Depending on how much traffic your range receives, this can quickly add up to a significant amount!
Today, lead waste is a major issue for firing ranges, court cases such as Connecticut Coastal Fishermen’s Association v. Remington Arms set legal precedent regarding lead as hazardous waste. Lead is one of the biggest challenges firing ranges face and industry groups like the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) have worked diligently to promote lead recycling, remediation and reclamation. The NSSF has published a great article series on lead management for firing ranges and if you read the EPA’s Best Management Practices for lead at outdoor firing ranges, additionally you will see that the NRA also collaborated extensively with the EPA to ensure the industry takes a positive and proactive approach to reducing lead exposure such as their NIOSH Alert “Preventing Occupational Exposure to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges.”
There is no question as to the damaging results of lead poisoning. The harm to humans has been documented and validated. Hiring the right firing range construction designer is just the beginning of a firing range’s long-term lead management planning strategy. Making sure a gun club or firing range assigns a dedicated team to oversee policies and compliance is one solution to avoiding costly litigation and clean up liability down the road. The fines for violating OSHA’s regulations are steep as the case of Higher Ground Tactical, LLC shows. It’s not just private ranges that have issues of liability. In the case of the U.S. Border Patrol they were found liable for a 3.7 million dollar lead remediation project.
Recycling and reclamation of lead from firing ranges means finding reputable companies that know the laws and follow the rules. Don’t get duped by shady players as was the case with Welch Environmental Group who was indicted by the EPA and closed its business due to the high level of fines imposed for committing willful and serious violations.
When ranges pay for proper removal from a certified lead reclamation team — it’s a win-win solution! Things to Consider When Selecting A Lead Maintenance Contractor
Due to the many regulations surrounding firing ranges, and the recent news coverage of several ranges out of compliance, the potential cost of hiring a contractor who does not live up to expectations is well worth finding a professional, experienced company to do the job. Experienced contractors should be able to provide:
- evidence they are bonded and insured
- proof of their license(s).
Regardless of whether you are constructing a new facility or reclaiming lead from an existing one, choosing the correct contractor could save you massive amounts of money and headaches.
How to Hire the Right Firing Range Construction Contractor
What factors must you consider when contracting with a firing range design and construction team? There are eight minimum areas to focus on that will help ensure your new firing range is successful and remains in operation for generations to come.
- Make sure they know (and follow) all local ordinances.
- Verify that they are well versed in all state and federal laws regarding firing range basic rules and regulations
- Mandate that the design and construction team has been certified in NRA range training.
- Seek out only designers and planners that are dedicated to being environmental stewards. For outdoor ranges make sure that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are implemented.
- For indoor ranges have the design planners and construction manager affirm their knowledge of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) lead exposure and toxicity levels
- Understand and communicate the importance of involving all stakeholders. This includes not only the members of the gun club or firing range but the residents of the community and citizen groups.
- Inquire as to whether the construction manager and design team will help coordinate lead recycling and reclamation compliance agreements or the firing range management will need to secure such agreements.
- Be involved every step of the way to promote sound planning, responsible management, compliance and continuing education.
The firearms industry faces many challenges regarding lead exposure. Hire the right team, appoint the best people to implement compliance policies and stay up to speed on lead management industry training programs. When the time comes for those unannounced inspections you should feel confident you have no violations.
Prior to entering into a firing range services contract, we encourage you to ask all contractors bidding your work each of the MT2 recommended BEST VALUE VALIDATIONS™ and request the documentation to support each. This is essential to fully protecting yourself and your range.
Click to read the BEST VALUE VALIDATIONS™ document and pay special attention to #3:
Insurance Validation: Comprehensive insurance coverage providing independent financial protection to the range should an issue arise. Coverages must include General Liability (site and structures), Workers Comp, and Pollution Liability addressing all lead work activities. Recommended minimum is $5,000,000 General AND Pollution Liability. Pollution Liability is the only available coverage for lead and hazardous materials.
PROOF: Require a current Certificate of Insurance in the name of the range validating the levels of coverage.
MT2 is the only Firing Range Contractor who protects our clients with $10 MILLION dollars in Lead Pollution Liability insurance and FULL range-owner indemnification protecting the range owners and managers against claims or improper actions today and for many years to come!
With over 19 years’ experience and over 2,500 successful projects, MT2 is recognized as the nation’s #1 largest professional contractor providing complete indoor and outdoor firing range services including design/build; site lead, safety, and environmental assessments; construction and demolition services, maintenance/ upgrades/ improvements; and proprietary technologies to complete lead reclamation, construction services, lead dust abatement, and facility closure. We also offer comprehensive project and construction management services.
We have a Lead Management Plan that gets the job done right the 1st time with zero-tolerance for regulatory violations at over 2,500 ranges nationwide for Law Enforcement, Military and Commercial ranges in all 50 states. No one reclaims more lead or finishes a project faster than MT2!
As the only firing range services provider with Nationwide operations, MT2 operates from our network of regional offices offering full 50 state coverage with OSHA and EPA certified work teams.
Contact MT2 in your region to schedule your firing range project in as soon as 1-3 weeks.