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October 2004

National Guard Gun Ranges Remediated Safely

Hunt Valley, MD— Outdated, unused, and contaminated gun ranges in 37 Pennsylvania Army National Guard armories are now safe and usable with the completion of a 16-month remediation project.

Most of the ranges were contaminated with lead and asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Work included manual and vacuum extraction of lead bullet fragments; sand trap and backstop removal; HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system cleaning; asbestos-abatement; wet wiping; and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuuming.

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard currently has more than 180 facilities throughout the state. At least 60 of these are armories dating back to the ‘40s. Many of the old armories contained basement-level firing ranges, some of which were used for a few years, while others were used more than 20 years.

Most of these ranges were closed in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Analysis of the sand present in the range bullet traps indicated lead concentrations as high as 40%. Also, in the mid-’90s, investigations for the presence of ACM showed that nine locations contained various types of ACM in the light fixtures’ heat shields, pipe insulation and fittings, window caulking, duct transition cloth and ceiling tiles.

MARCOR Remediation, Inc.’s Downingtown, Pennsylvania office performed the remediation and worked closely with a consultant and the National Guard representative at each location to perform the work cost-effectively, with minimal disruption to facility operations.

Due to the potential for hazardous dust generation during the lead removal process, crews operated a negative air pressure system and used a fine spray to keep dust to a minimum. Asbestos abatement was also performed within negative air containment. All solid wastes and decontaminated water were stored and disposed of appropriately.

Third-party clearance sampling confirmed that all work sites met regulatory criteria.

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