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A $500,000 Lesson Learned the Hard Way

We heard from the owner of a commercial small arms range in Arizona who purchased the range when it was about 20 years old. Before the bank would loan them money, they needed an environmental study done on the building and lot.

The former range owner had removed the filters and discharged all of the air from the range with no filtration. As a direct result:

  • Lead dust was blown out onto the roof.

  • Rain washed the lead down the scuppers in the rear of the building.

  • Wind blew lead on other areas of the ground around the building.

  • The outside air from the retail area sucked lead into the HVAC system and contaminated the retail area.

The result was that the inside and outside of the building were contaminated and did not pass the environmental survey. Around the outside of the building, there were areas where only 2” to 3” of soil needed to be removed and other areas where up to 12” of soil needed to be removed. Inside of the building, the entire building was gutted to the drywall and abated. There were areas where the drywall, floor and other areas could not be cleaned to meet the swipe samples. These areas required encapsulation to meet the lead standards for the environmental testing.

The owner of the facility is responsible for all contamination in their building and / or property until the environmental survey comes back with a “Clean and Green” result. The cost for this mitigation has been well over $500,000.

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