One of the biggest challenges facing California ranges is increased environmental regulations and enforcement. Thus, instituting an effective environmental compliance program is a must. Range owners and operators need to be aware of, and very careful about, their potential liability for environmental contamination and for exposing individuals to certain substances—particularly, but not exclusively—lead. Currently, storm water run-off and lead reclamation processes are particularly hot topics. The CRPA range assistance team can confidently assess your operation and its vulnerabilities.
Environmental attacks on ranges are well-coordinated. The Violence Policy Center (VPC) (an extremist anti-gun rights organization) has published a hit piece against shooting ranges entitled “Poisonous Past Time: The Health Risks of Shooting Ranges and Lead to Children, Families, and the Environment.” (www.vpc.org/studies/leadcont.htm) VPC uses this “study” to justify range limitations, to scare people away from the shooting sports. Extremist supporters of neo-environmental organizations and NIMBY groups are alleged to have trespassed onto shooting ranges, or posed as legitimate visitors, to surreptitiously obtain soil, water, or air samples that they believe will show evidence of contamination by elevated levels of lead that they can use as evidence against a range.
To help protect your range from these enemies, the CRPA range assistance team can help you understand the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) report “Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges.” According to this EPA report, gun ranges are exempt from several laws regulating the recycling of lead ammunition, and managing and disposing soils that contain elevated levels of lead under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The catch is that the RCRA exemptions only apply to active shooting ranges that maintain best management practices (BMP’s), such as employing a regularly scheduled bullet/shot recycling plan and Environmental Stewardship Plan (ESP). An ESP helps protect a range from many legal attacks. Our team can help you develop and ESP and review existing ESP’s for potential problem areas.
California state laws may not fully recognize the federal RCRA/ESP exemption because California regulations regarding the ‟scrap metal” recycling exemption are more strict. This can be problematic for California shooting ranges, but the CRPA’s range assistance team can help