Gun range in south Sacramento park leaked toxic lead dust
The city of Sacramento tested for lead in several areas around Mangan Park on Wednesday, seeking to determine whether lead dust that leaked from a closed gun range had spread.
City officials expect results from the tests as early as Friday.
Joe Devlin, district director for Councilman Jay Schenirer, said samples were taken from the deck around the pool inside the public park, the playground, a picnic area adjacent to the gun range and an archery range. Tests have not been conducted in residential backyards near the park.
“Enough samples have been recorded to let us know the scope of the potential problem, if there is one, and to develop a plan of action to deal with it should the results come back toxic,” Devlin said.
The city said Wednesday it also plans to fence off the perimeter of the gun range “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a city news release.
The city’s parks department ordered a separate round of soil tests on April 1 in the area immediately surrounding the gun range after The Sacramento Bee raised questions about lead contamination at the facility. Those results are also expected this week.
A Bee investigation revealed a gun range consultant told the city in 2012 that the ventilation system at the James G. Mangan Rifle and Pistol Range appeared to be sending unfiltered air from inside the building to the outdoors. Tests going back to 2006 showed lead dust levels inside the building that far exceeded the state’s Department of Public Health hazard limits, according to records kept by the city of Sacramento.
Two separate tests in 2014 – one by the city and another by an environmental firm – discovered lead dust on the roof of the gun range in concentrations above the health hazard threshold, according to records obtained through the state’s Public Records Act.
City officials closed the range on Dec. 24, 2014, but did not clean the facility or notify park users or nearby residents of the lead contamination.
Devlin said representatives of Schenirer’s office, the city manager’s office and the parks department met with Sacramento County’s Environmental Management Division and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control on Wednesday to discuss the soil sampling and steps that would need to be taken if toxic levels of lead are found in those tests. Those next steps could include quarantining parts of the park or gun range exterior and placing a sealant on the range roof.
Devlin said city officials plan to meet with the EMD and DTSC after the test results are returned to “develop a long-term solution for the site.”
Schenirer, whose district covers Mangan Park, has said he wants to see soil test results before deciding whether to call for the gun range to be cleaned. A contractor told the city two days before the range was closed that it could clean the interior and roof of the building for $67,274, documents show.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, who sits on the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Toxics and Safety, has called for the range to be cleaned and is exploring whether the state can force the city to clean the facility.