Salisbury Looks at Possibility of Lead Mining at Police Shooting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Looks at Possibility of Lead Mining at Police Shooting Range

SALISBURY, Md-The City of Salisbury is trying to figure out whether or not its time to mine the lead at its police firing range off of Naylor Mill Road.

Police Chief, Barbara Duncan said that it has been about fifteen years since the burme that collects the lead pellets was cleaned.
Duncan said that several local law enforcement agencies regularly utilize the shooting range. 

When officers practice or train, the lead pellets drop into a burme, eventually filling it up.

Duncan said that the potential project has been part of the city's budget for a couple of years. She added that even though it has been a while since lead mining was done, there is a protective sheeting to help mitigate the environmental impact.

"It's an item that we had identified as critical need, one that is going to be an expensive burden for the city but one that is necessary," Duncan said, "it certainly isn't a permanent install, obviously we would have to take the burme down, mine all the lead out, re-install and update the screen and move on from there."

On Friday, Donald Mitchell an environmental regulatory specialist said that while there is nothing to worry about right now, there is no way of knowing just yet if there is even a need for lead mining. 

"A hydro-lead geological investigation will do core samples from the ground and determine what the geology is like what the layers of soil are, whether they are clay, sand, or in between gravelly materials," Mitchell said.

Mitchell also said that the protective sheeting may not keep the lead from leaching into the  ground.

Tom Cawthern, an assistant professor of Geography and Geo Sciences at Salisbury University said that the reason lead poses a potential threat is because it is a toxic substance. 

"There's neurological effects, there's joint pain that's associated with it so the effects with non acute from prolonged lead exposures is pretty significant," Cawthern said.

Duncan said that the city is talking with consultants to determine estimated costs as far as data analysis for ground water and soil testing is concerned in Salisbury.  
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