|Lead contamination at this firing range in Alaska|
Shooting ranges are soil contaminators and nowhere is that more evident than in Anchorage, Alaska where an old biathlon range with lead pollution has temporarily stopped the city from building a soccer field. Biathlons are any sporting event that combine a couple of sports but the two most common sports combined are cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Sounds a little dangerous to me, but I guess maybe the contestants are all pretty good at what they do.
Apparently, all the bullets fired over the years into the berm behind the targets left that berm highly contaminated with lead.
Lead Contamination in Alaska
But this story takes a strange twist, that probably is not all that uncommon when it comes to contaminated sites. The lead contamination is now thought to have been spread around the area by previous excavation work and there are three potentially responsible parties arguing about who’s to blame. Apparently, builders moved dirt from the berm without getting the required permits. Some of the dirt from the berm was also moved to a pile, and still other contractors took dirt from that pile to fill in low spots on the site.
Meanwhile the planned soccer field has been on hold for three years and in 2010 four parties paid a total of $63,000 in fines to settle with the Environmental Protection Agency over violations of federal rules on handling hazardous waste. None of the parties admitted fault in that settlement. The four also had to put together a cleanup plan, which they did, and it was recently approved.