Portions of toxic gun range in Sacramento cleaned
Workers in protective suits finished cleaning the roof and sealing the vents of a gun range in south Sacramento’s Mangan Park on Friday, more than 17 months after the facility closed.
The effort began Tuesday and came after the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department ordered the city to clean the lead-contaminated range.
Workers had to vacuum the roof with special machinery. Crews also planned to “remove loose, visible debris on the gun range portion of the roof” and apply two coats of sealant on the roof, according to a report by PARC Specialty Contractors, a firm hired by the city.
A separate report by PARC said the firm planned to apply “shrink wrap UV resistant poly” over vents on the roof “to prevent air movement from inside the building.” The city is paying PARC $15,972 for the work.
The James G. Mangan Rifle and Pistol Range was shut down in December 2014 after years of tests showed high levels of lead dust inside the building. A 2012 report by a gun range consultant hired by the city said the range ventilation system appeared to be spewing unfiltered air outdoors, but the city did not test the roof for lead until 2014. Two rounds of tests that year discovered lead dust on the roof at levels far exceeding state public health limits, according to test records and consultant reports obtained by The Sacramento Bee through the state Public Records Act.
The range was last cleaned in July 2014. The city did not tell neighbors and park users the range was contaminated after it was shut down. The city also did not test surrounding surfaces or soil until The Bee inquired about past lead tests in March.
A fence was placed around the range in April, nearly 480 days after the range was closed.
Soil and surface tests conducted this year showed little or no lead in Mangan Park’s playground, pool or picnic area. Lead dust was found at levels far below state public health hazard levels on a sidewalk across the street from the range adjacent to homes.
But other tests showed hot spots of lead on the sidewalk directly in front of the range and in the parking lot behind the building. Hazardous levels of lead were also found this year on the range’s front walkway, main entrance door and roof, and lead concentrations above the state’s environmental standards for commercial properties were found in six surface soil samples surrounding the building.
In addition to the roof, city spokeswoman Marycon Razo said PARC crews cleaned the range front door, the door handle and the main entryway sidewalk.
The city plans to remove contaminated soil near the range, and clean and possibly remove hard surfaces around the building where elevated levels of lead were found, Razo said.
City officials have hired a contractor that plans to conduct further tests outside the fence area. County environmental officials must sign off on that work plan before it can be implemented.
In the meantime, city officials have scheduled a community meeting at 6 p.m. on June 16 at the picnic area in Mangan Park, next to the range building. The city plans to update residents on the cleaning process and seek input on the building’s future.
Councilman Jay Schenirer, who represents the Mangan Park community tucked between Sacramento Executive Airport and Fruitridge Road, has said he prefers that the city tear the building down.
“It’s not a very hospitable building,” he said. “I want to do what is most sensible and cost-effective. If people in the community have a great idea of what we could do with the building, then I definitely want to listen, but we’ll have to see.”
Razo said the city has been told by PARC “it is less expensive to refurbish a building than to completely demolish it.”
Schenirer said he was satisfied with the pace of the clean-up effort.
“I think we’ve been working very well with the county,” he said. “We’re doing exactly what we should be doing as far as making sure people are safe.”