Monday, August 22, 2005

ENV: Possible River Threat

This is a document from the Mosty Law Firm with regards to a proposed shooting establishment in the Cypress Creek/Third Creek Watershed. There are implications here for two federally endangered species -- the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo -- one state threatened species -- the Cagle's Map Turtle -- and perhaps a couple of critically declining endemic freshwater mussels. I will post more on this as i receive information.


DATE:August 22, 2005 (Updated)

RE:Shooting range impact considerations


This firm represents various members of the Kerr County community who are
concerned about the impact of the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center. We
have been asked to facilitate and coordinate gathering of information to
assist our clients in evaluating issues related to the environmental,
economic and community impact that this shooting range may have on our
community. It is readily apparent that the shooting range, as currently
operating and as proposed, necessarily requires a thorough examination of
the potential impact on the environment and the economy.

This memorandum is intended, not as a statement of position or opinion, but
rather as an outline of some of the issues that we believe may need to be
addressed. It is our intention that this memorandum will facilitate
discussion between parties who have an interest in the shooting range and
parties who may be affected by it.

These are simply a sampling of the types of questions that are at the
forefront of any decision as to the environmental, and hence the economic
impact of a shooting range.


•The Guadalupe River is the lifeblood of Kerr County, Texas. The Guadalupe
River is designated as an Ecologically Significant River.

•The Hill Country Shooting Sports Center has entered into a seven year
contract with USA Shooting. Over that seven year contract, the business
plan of the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center anticipates a total of 82
shooting events. At 500 shooters as projected by the shooting range, if
every shooter shoots at least 200 rounds at 1 ounce each, then approximately
100,000 ounces of lead would be deposited per shoot. For 82 shoots, the
total lead deposit would be approximately 8.2 million pounds. This does not
include rifle or pistol, clay targets, or arsenic estimations.

•Runoff from the shooting range appears to drain primarily into Cypress
Creek, which flows into the Guadalupe River in Kendall County.


1.In a Kerrville Daily Times article on July 29, 2005, the Kerrville
Daily Times states that Mr. Burch “said he hasn’t studied lead runoff from
the facility.” Mr. Burch has also provided a detailed business plan
outlining various aspects of the proposed range, and to the best of our
knowledge that document does not address or consider environmental issues.
The business plan of the shooting range purports that this will be the
“single most integrated range in the United States.”

2.The NRA Range Sourcebook sets forth that during the planning phase ofan outdoor range every effort should be made to “minimize any adverse impact
on the environment.” See National Rifle Association of America. 1999. §
3.02 The Range Sourcebook: A Guide for Planning and Construction.

Further the NRA Range Sourcebook suggests that a professional engineer
be contracted to conduct an environmental assessment. See id. In addition
to this single source, there are a myriad of other sources from the shooting
industry and the environmental industry setting forth the environmental
concerns which should be taken into consideration of the planning and design
of a shooting range.


1.Have the owners or operators of the shooting range adequately examined
the adverse impact that the shooting range may have on the environment and
the economy?

2.Have the owners or operators of the shooting range developed a
comprehensive plan to minimize the environmental impact of the shooting

3.Will the shooting range potentially deposit lead contaminants within
the waters of the United States, into state waters, or into groundwater

4.Is there any retention or containment plan for the lead deposits?

5.Is there any retention or containment plan for the arsenic deposits?

6.Is there any plan to prevent lead migration into adjacent waterways?

7.Is there a plan to control lead migration, and runoff, during the
construction phase?

8.Is there any reclamation program for lead?

9.Is there any reclamation program for arsenic?

10.What is the expected reaction with the soil type and lead?

11.Is the soil type suitable for reclamation?

12.Is the terrain suitable for reclamation?

13.What is the area of the target or lead shot impact?

14.What is the shot fall zone at the range?

15.Is there a removal and disposal plan for soil impacted by lead,
arsenic, or targets?

16.What are the long-term effects of leaching or dissolution of lead or
arsenic into either ground water or surface water?

17.What is the drainage pattern for the proposed site?

18.Does the drainage pattern flow only through the Cypress Creek

19.Is there any plan to abate or regulate noise related to the range?

20.Are there sufficient financial resources to provide for ongoing
containment, and removal, remediation, reclamation and ultimate clean up?

22.Are there sufficient financial resources and a plan to provide for
ongoing proper disposal of waste?

23.Is there a responsible party who is willing and capable of conducting

24.Is there some entity of the shooting range which has been registered
with any governmental entity, or is it simply a sole proprietorship?


1.Does the range, or parts of the range fall within the extra territorial
jurisdiction (ETJ) of the City ?

2.Does the Kerrville Landfill accept waste such as spent shotgun shells
or clay pigeons?


1.What effect will the shooting range have on groundwater, including
water wells, in the drainage area ?

2.What effect will the shooting range have on surface water, drainage
ways, creeks in the drainage area ?

3.Have spent shot shells been deposited into the landfill?


1.Does Chapter 26 of the Texas Water Code apply, and if so, does the
proposed facility comply with Chapter 26 of the Texas Water Code?

Section 26.121 of the Water Code governs unauthorized discharges of waste
into or adjacent to any waters of the State.

2.Does the Clean Water Act (CWA) apply, and if so does the proposed
facility comply with the Clean Water Act ?

The Clean Water Act makes it unlawful for any person to discharge
“pollutants” from any “point source” into waters of the United States
without obtaining a permit.

“Waters of the United States” is broadly defined to include virtually all
rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, drainage-ways, wetlands, and similar
features, even those on private property.

3.Does the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) apply, and if
so, does the proposed facility comply with the Resource Conversation and
recovery Act ?

The RCRA provides the framework for the nation’s solid and hazardous waste
management program. RCRA potentially applies to many phases of range
operations because lead bullets/shot, if abandoned, may be a solid and/or a
hazardous waste and may present an actual or potential imminent and
substantial endangerment

4.Have any permits been applied for or issued by state or federal
regulatory agencies.

5.Does the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act (CERCLA) apply, and if so does the proposed facility comply
with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability

CERCLA imposes liability on past and present owners or operators of
properties based upon the release of hazardous substances into the

Who will be responsible for CERCLA compliance ?

6.Are there any OSHA regulations which apply to workers at the range or
to lead reclamation at the range?


The following is a summary of some of the results which were reached in the
evaluation of the San Antonio Gun Club.

We have been able to obtain information relating to the San Antonio Gun Club
which is not readily available through public sources.

At the San Antonio Gun Club, Raba-Kistner and Associates conducted extensive
surveys to obtain soil samples to evaluate for arsenic and lead levels.

A significant discovery indicated that the lead shot had dissolved, and
there were essentially no pellets remaining in the soil. The report also
indicated elevated levels of arsenic and lead in the soil.

The soil samples were evaluated by the lab at Chemron Services and analyzed
for lead contamination and lead leachability. One of the samples tested at
17,000 parts per million, and another at 56,800 parts per million. In
comparison, the TCEQ Limit for Human Exposure is 500 parts per million. The
studies further found that one of the samples was nearly 10 times the
allowable limit for leachability. Further, arsenic concentrations were
determined to be approximately twice the TNRCC (now TCEQ) limit.

It is estimated that through substantially less events (six shoots annually)
that the San Antonio Gun Club deposits approximately 50 tons of lead into a
level, accessible, and containable location.

In addition, the San Antonio Gun Club has a program where they are able to
remove all of the fill on a regular basis (every 2 or 3 years) and dispose
of the waste in a proper fashion. Their site is a relatively level site,
with adequate soil to allow removal of contaminants.

Because of the terrain, lack of soil, would such a plan be feasible at the
Kerr County site?

There is also an enormous amount of resources publicly available on the
internet, including:

National Shooting Sports Foundation. 1997. Environmental Aspects of
Construction and Management of Outdoor Shooting Ranges.Available on the
Internet at
ct.htm _

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2003. Best Management Practices for
Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges. EPA_902_B_01_001, Revised. Available on
the Internet at

ITRC (Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council).2005. Environmental
Management at Operating Outdoor Small Arms Firing Ranges. SMART_2.
Washington, D.C.: Interstate Technology & Regulatory Counsel, Small Arms
Firing Range Team. Available on the Internet at

C. Dixon Mosty
Mosty Law Firm
Kerrville, Texas

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