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EPA Acknowledges Orvis Shooting Preserve as a Model of Environmental Stewardship; Historic Millbrook Facility First in Nation to Submit Lead Management Plan

Release Date: 10/02/2002
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(#02104) New York, N.Y. – Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny presented a Certificate of Recognition to Orvis Sandanona, the oldest licensed shooting preserve in the nation, for being the first to formally adopt EPA-recommended best management practices for lead at outdoor ranges. The Agency developed the practices in conjunction with the shooting range industry, which played an important role in identifying the potential risks posed by lead at ranges and how best to prevent them. Orvis Sandanona’s bucolic 450-acre range and hunting preserve in Millbrook, New York was the setting for the event, which highlighted the range’s voluntary efforts to reduce the amount of lead from lead shot and bullets that enters the environment. Shooting ranges in the U.S. deposit more than 160 million pounds of lead into the environment annually. EPA considers Orvis’ commitment to be a major step in the industry’s effort to manage lead from spent ammunition at ranges nationwide.

“Today we are making a little history,” said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator . “Today, for the first time, the EPA is issuing a certificate that recognizes a gun range’s commitment to environmental stewardship. By following the best management practices that EPA has compiled, shooting ranges can manage the lead on their properties quite effectively and with less environmental risk.”

Present at the event were Orvis Sandanona’s Director Dan O’Connor and Rick Patterson, the Executive Director of the National Association of Shooting Ranges. After Regional Administrator Kenny presented the award to

Mr. O’Connor, Orvis representatives demonstrated how sporting clays are shot. They then showed attendees the areas at the facility that the company has identified as in need of lead management.

With the help of shooting sports organizations and the shooting range industry, EPA Region 2 created the Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Ranges manual to address concerns that accumulated lead from shot and bullets may pose a risk to the environment and human health. Since the manual was published in 2001, shooting ranges nationwide have expressed a strong interest in adopting these practices. Orvis is the first in the nation to formally submit an environmental stewardship plan to EPA, but several other facilities’ plans are forthcoming. The manual has received widespread accolades: a European shooting trade association has published a handbook on the same topic based on EPA’s manual, which holds up EPA’s publication as a “model for other countries.”

EPA’s efforts to promote environmental practices at shooting ranges complement the Agency’s Resource Conservation Challenge, which calls on all Americans to reduce, reuse and recycle goods to decrease the use of new natural resources. EPA’s best management practices for outdoor ranges call for reclaiming lead and recycling it into new shot and bullets. This reduces the amount of virgin lead that must be mined. As EPA’s recommended practices grow in popularity across the nation, the Agency expects to see an increase in lead reclamation and a reduction in the threat lead from ranges poses to the environment.

Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Ranges may be downloaded for free or call (212) 637-4145 to have one sent by mail.