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Fought the EPA and won?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by skeet_man, Oct 29, 2007.

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  1. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    As the threat of closure looms if and when we are inspected by the EPA, i'm wondering if any club out there has successfully defended themselves against closure?
     
  2. blizzard

    blizzard Active Member

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    I take it that things haven't gone well over there?
     
  3. smokerz

    smokerz TS Member

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    Don't worry about being closed. If the EPA ever takes action against a club, it'll be the remediation cost which is the big problem. If...IF...the EPA ever takes action, you'll need a good environmental consultant and a good 'environmental' lawyer, not somebody's lawyer cousin who does real estate closings.

    I'm not aware the EPA has ever taken action against any club. Have they taken action against your club, or are you crying "wolf" for no reason?
     
  4. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    You need to go to NSSF.org and check out the Best Practices Lead Management program. You can anonymously file a lead management plan that the EPA will comment on and eventually issue you a Certificate of Compliance if you meet their requirements. It will tell you exactly where you may have issues and how to correct them. If you get the Certificate it would be very hard for the EPA to later come in and cause you problems. While it doesn't have any legal standing, just by having it may scare off some other whiners.
     
  5. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    blizzard- we haven't heard anything as of yet,,,,but its only a matter of time. The thought had crossed my mind though that someone somewhere @ sometime might have beated a cease-shooting notice.

    smokerz- While nothing has happened to my club YET, its a matter of time until the epa comes, since we've been informed (by the disgruntled club member that blew us in) that we are on "the list" for inspection. There was a club in the area that was closed down by the epa a couple years ago (Perkinsville if your familiar w/ western NY), so it is happening. As far as the remediation, we are a small club, and would have no way financially to remove all the lead from the property, so we'd be forced to close the doors and let the property be taken by the county for taxes.
     
  6. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    also, from what i've been told, even though we are not federally or locally classified as a "wetland" (we fall under the acreage specifications for both), we are shooting into open water, which will probably be the most major issue @ any rate.
     
  7. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Put a written lead management plan in place. Use the EPA's model. They will want to know if you have a containment plan in place and a reclaimation plan in place. If you do they will be satisfied and come back in 5 years to see how you are doing.

    As lead approaches $2.00 a pound you should be able to find someone to mine the lead and even make the club a small profit.

    For info on filing an Environmental Stewardship Plan you can contact Ed Guster at the EPA tel. no. 212 637 4133. HMB
     
  8. smokerz

    smokerz TS Member

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    skeetman - I haven't been able to find any reference to Perkinsville in any EPA enforcement actions. Does this club go by another name? Are you certain there was an EPA enforcement action?

    As hmb states, get the EPA information and file an environmental stewardship plan. You may need to employ a consultant to help you write the plan, but it will likely keep the EPA away from your door.

    HMB's also correct; at present lead prices you may find a reclaimer, and that will be a part of your plan.

    If you do some web searching, you'll find other clubs which have shot into open and running water. What I've seeen about that has been on a state-by-state basis; in IL for sure it can be a problem.
     
  9. alfermann66

    alfermann66 Member

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    There was talk a few years ago of a Texas club shut down by the EPA for water polution. Ostensibly, NRA proved that the lead polution came from a battery mfg. plant nearby and the court ordered EPA to reimburse the club for it's losses and refrain from sanctions. I have no idea if it is so, but a call to the NRA would tell you.

    Buz
     
  10. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

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    WE did what you may not be able to do. We drained the lake (well large pond 15 acres. The EPA was moving in our direction one club at a time. The lake was on our land and was made by the club for fishing MANY years ago.

    One day the EPA showed up and said we had to quit putting lead into a wild bird migratory waterway. We just said what waterway? Their answer was we did not mean to drain the lake just stop putting lead into it. Again we said we did stop.

    Rock

    Jim
     
  11. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me if there is a pond with no inlet or outlet there is not a reason for stopping shooting. We have such a pond and have mined it 3 times since 1992.

    Each time the club did well financially.

    The only leg they would have to stand on is the contention of lead leaching into the groundwater and I doubt if it is possible for that to happen.

    This whole lead thing is way out of proportion and the problem should be to get it into managable parameters.

    Someone screams LEAD!! and every official in sight salivates. Total Bullshit.

    HM
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    skeet_man- If your club, or any other club, is inspected and a reasonable remediation plan is in place, it will help you very much. A very small shallow ditch to retard water run off and 200 pounds of lime will usually take care of things. Lime inhibits the lead from becoming soluble and is an EPA recommended treatment. It will also make your grass grow faster.

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. eagles11

    eagles11 TS Member

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    Just to be clear, the EPA wants to help you be compliant with RCRA and CLERCLA. Call ED Guster today and get on the road. He will sent you the EPA book and help you in any way he can. Don't put your head in the sand and hope it won't come your way, be proactive.

    This is not that hard of a process and if anyone needs a model please contact me. I will provide you ours if you would be so kind to pay the postage. We also went thru the US Fish & Wildlife to do a Environmental Impact Study, 800 pages worth. While a bit of work it will show the amount of care used in running a range and if someone does want to give you trouble they run into a bit of a brick wall.

    This has been our experience and we had a very concerted effort by a citizen group who was well connected to close this range and we are an Olympic Training Site!!

    Jack Burch
     
  14. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    We reached agreement to stop shooting just this pass summer.

    The EPA gives you a date to stop shooting over water/wet lands. It does not come out of the blue, as they do an on site inspection many months prior and you know what's coming.

    If you keep shooting past the date set, it's so many $$$$ a day fine. I think it was $1000 a day, but it might have been $3000.

    You can go to court an get an injunction, but it's your dime...

    If your lead is landing in water/wet lands you have limited options. We were shooting over a pond/wet lands. No way it could be drained and then pretend...

    We played around with the EPA for maybe 18 months or so with lawyers going back and forth on final paper signing. At the end, we asked for either a two or three month extension and they granted same.

    If you can move the fields to stop lead from falling on water, your allowed to keep shooting. The EPA is just looking for lead too not land on water. They are looking at a 300 yard shot fall zone as the magic number. I presume a shot curtain would work, but you have not only the EPA but also the state that will be looking over your shoulder for many years. I don't imagine you will be allowed a second chance if all is not in order when they drop in for a visit.

    The state of New York can issue the club a permit to shoot steel over water, but we were informed by the state that such permits will not be issued. I presume if you had one of the top five politicians in the state on your side the permit would be granted, but if not...

    In any case, whatever agreement you reach with the EPA does not count with the state and you have to reach agreement with them also, as we were told, they don't work for the Feds. Saying that, the state was pretty even handed, except for the steel shot permit.

    Anyway, what a club may think is a minor problem may not be in the eye of the feds or the state. Until they come in and eye ball it's pretty much up in the air on how they will rule. You can ask for a best land management practice evaluation and get it over with.

    Also, the land can be left as is and the state is not interested in seeing the lead removed. They just wanted the shooting into water/wet lands to cease.

    A person buying your property can receive tax deductions over the course of five years if he has the land cleaned. The polluter (the club) is not eligible. Cleaned or not, shooting by any owner cannot resume.
     
  15. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    When the land ceases to be used as a shooting range does the law require the owner to return the land to its original condition via cleanup. HMB
     
  16. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    No.

    We have been told by the feds and the state they have no interest in cleanup.

    We are allowed to sell the land. Clean-up will not be required by us or the new owner.

    I assume they could require immediate cleanup if we were found to be polluting the local drinking water. This was not the case.

    In any case, I think because the state would have to end up paying for it, and we're talking in the millions, as a rather large pond (mud bottom) and wetlands would have to be cleaned. 90% of the lead is in water/wetlands. Three field operation; trap, skeet, and 5-stand.

    But, if the Feds come back and require cleanup, they can go after the original polluter (the club).

    We are selling and moving, as the present location is too narrow to re-locate shooting ranges.

    The new owner if he decides to clean, can receive tax deductions over five years to assist with cleanup cost. A major write down on cost. The original polluter (the club) is not eligible. Future owners are bound by the agreement and no shooting can take place, cleaned or not.

    100 years from now they could come after the club at it's new location and sue for monies to pay for cleanup, if the feds go that route. They will not sign a release of liability.

    The only way to protect the club is to cease to operate as an Incorporated club (disband) and start a new club at a new location. But, we are Incorporated as a Not for Profit and all assets from the sale (to include selling machines and money in the bank) would go to the state, members cannot benefit. All goes to the state, not one cent can go to members if the club disbands. New York state law is clear on that.

    Even selling the land as we plan on doing has the state involved. We still have to go before a New York State judge who must approve the sale, as he is charged to ensure the board of directors (we are Incorporated in the state) are acting in the best interest of the club and also not selling the present property at below market value.

    This is just our experience and what we learned going through the process.

    This was not a border line situation and water was involved. Very hard to fight when you have water involved (your on your own), and it was not a pond built by the club and we could not use that as a defense.

    As fighting this through the courts... If the club had someone willing to pay the cost, why not... but in reality the club would have been bankrupt if we decided to go that route.
     
  17. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    Skeetman:

    Do not listen to those that say "I'm not aware the EPA has ever taken action against any club". All that tells you is that they are not aware of what is actually happening.

    Joe Potosky's posts are on the money, at least for clubs in NY, which applies to you I assume. If you are shooting over wetlands, your days are numbered. You better start considering the alternatives, and as Joe posted, moving the traps has worked out for some clubs. A new location is not always needed if it is possible to change the shotfall zone away from the wetlands by moving the trapfields.

    You can search on Google and find the names of some clubs that have reached agreements with the EPA.
     
  18. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    If it's a small pond...drain it and fill it! Dirt is alot cheaper than lawyers, etc.

    Curt - Delaware
     
  19. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Joe- you are listening to word of mouth rumors I think

    You need 3 things

    1. A "Will not Sue" memorandum from the EPA-that is a writing not verbal

    2. A hold harmless from the new purchasers- that is a writing

    3. A long term indemnification policy (somewhat expensive but not horrendous if you have 1 and 2 above) from an insurance company against law suits- that is a writing

    With the above 3 - you will at the 90 percent safety level

    You will never get to 100 percent

    The EPA cannot be fought by mere mortals

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  20. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    1 is not forthcoming...

    2 we are doing

    3 had not looked into it, but without 1...

    Thanks!
     
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