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Union County Agrees; No More Lead Shot

Release Date: 8/2/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, August 2, 2005

(#05087) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the County of Union have signed an agreement that will protect the sensitive ecosystems and wetlands around the Lenape Park Trap and Skeet Range in Cranford, New Jersey. After signing the agreement, the County decided to close the shooting range on May 2, 2005. The County willingly cooperated with EPA in the development of the terms of the agreement, which requires that the range no longer use lead shot, following an extensive effort by EPA and shooting sports leaders to educate owners and operators of outdoor shooting ranges to safely manage lead shot and bullets.

"One of the principles of safe management of shooting ranges is to avoid dispersing lead into areas where it cannot be easily recovered," EPA Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan said. "Because many thousands of pounds of lead from the shooting at this facility ended up in the water and wetlands, it is not possible to recover the lead without destroying the fragile environments."

EPA and the County, while agreeing to permanently prohibit any future shooting activities at the range that use lead ammunition, also agreed that the range could be operated provided alternate shot is used and appropriate state permits are obtained. The County, however, has decided to convert the property for use as a nature preserve for the residents of Union County.

EPA intends to enter into similar agreements with other outdoor shooting ranges in the future. Outdoor shooting ranges are encouraged to follow the guidelines in EPA's "Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges" manual. This publication is available, free of charge, at the EPA Web site www.epa.gov/region2/waste/leadshot or by contacting the EPA Region 2 office at (212) 637-4145.