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Odd News on Blue Trail Range

We’ve followed the saga of the Blue Trail Shooting Range up in Connecticut for a while now.  It seems there’s a new twist in this sorry story that’s very strange.  It would seem our villain this story, Pat DiNatale, who argued that the reservoir adjacent to the Blue Trail range was contaminated with lead, is taking about $450,000 of said “contaminated” soil from a dredging project on the reservoir to use as topsoil for a grazing field for his cows.  See stories here and here.  I guess if he’s willing to use it for grazing purposes, he can’t think it’s very contaminated then can he?  The soil apparently tests out fine.

There’s always been something very shady with this whole thing.

13 Responses to “Odd News on Blue Trail Range”

  1. emdfl says:

    IIRC this guy was/is a developer who I suspect covets his neighbor’s(Blue Ridge) land…

  2. Sebastian says:

    I’ve thought so too. This whole thing has felt like a local dispute from the beginning. Not that I think that makes what DiNatale is doing OK, but there’s a lot of local corruption that I expect we’re not privy to behind a lot of this.

  3. Shouldn’t an uninterested third party seek an injunction to prevent him from doing this, since he claims, you know, that it’s a bad idea?

    I’m just sayin’

  4. Sebastian says:

    I think the Blue Trail attorney is jerking him around a bit.

  5. RAH says:

    A range and a sport in danger for greed of a neighbor. Typical human behavior. At least the range is fighting and the hearing boards are listening.

  6. mikeb302000 says:

    But, isn’t it a legitimate concern, the environmental damage at the site of outdoor shooting ranges? In fact, I think this could very well be a contributing factor in glogal warming. That part’s a joke, but wouldn’t some of these places be depositing tons of lead into the ground?

  7. Sebastian says:

    MikeB:

    It’s a concern, but not that big a concern. Most ranges will mine their berm for the lead and copper. That stuff is too valuable to just throw away. These days there’s even trap like backstops that collect the lead in buckets for you for convenient recycling.

    Elemental lead is not that mobile in soil. It tends to stay in the berm, and not seep into ground water. That’s probably why the soil and water in the reservoir behind the range shows no sign of contamination. Most environmental lead pollution comes from lead salts, oxides, and organic compounds, used in industrial processes, rather than from elemental lead.

  8. Linoge says:

    *sigh* I just cannot help myself:

    …but wouldn’t some of these places be depositing tons of lead into the ground?

    Where, exactly, do you think that lead came from to begin with?

    However, in order to prevent this commet from being entirely snarky, I shall present the audience with the Bane of MikeB – facts:

    There were 20 million metric tons of lead bullets fired in the United States in the 20th century. Is that lead having an environmental impact?

    Not at or near the U.S. Forest Service firing range near Blacksburg, according to research by Virginia Tech geological scientists. Donald Rimstidt, a professor in the Department of Geosciences, College of Science at Virginia Tech, will report the conclusions of a five-year study at the 116th national meeting of the Geological Sciences of America in Denver Nov. 7-10.

    However some lead escapes, he said. “But we learned that it is absorbed in the top few inches of soil and does not migrate beyond that,” Rimstidt said. “Lead is not very mobile. It does not wash away in surface or ground water.”

    Lead contamination at ranges is definitely a problem if you intend on gobbling down mounds of dirt from the berm; however, aside from that, so long as the top few inches of soil are not massively disturbed, there is next to nothing to worry about.

    Oh, and the funny situation? Tungsten, often touted by the “green” crowd as a “green” alternative to lead actually breaks down faster than lead, presenting more of a hazard to ground water. Whoops.

  9. Sebastian says:

    That’s the main issue. There’s not really any good alternative to lead. Copper is the closest thing, really. But copper has ballistic disadvantages. Any heavy metal is going to be toxic. There’s no way around that.

  10. Andrew says:

    Thou shalt not covet they neighbors dirty….wife!!

    Is that commandment quoted correctly?

    Quarantine his livestock and make him check them for heavy metal contamination. Should take months and cost him hundreds, if not thousands.

  11. mikeb302000 says:

    Thanks for the answers, guys. I’ve wondered about this and your answers explain why I’ve never heard much about it.

  12. Weer'd Beard says:

    We’ll see how long before he tosses all info aside and plays dumb on the issue when it suits his needs.

    He’s done it before, we’d be stupid to think he won’t do it again.

  13. comatus says:

    Some EPA sources claim that they have never requested any soil remediation at ranges, beyond liming the soil. Lead only dissolves into groundwater if there is significant acid. Spreading lime neutralizes the acid, and the lead stays where it was put.

    Other agencies, of course, may have other priorities.

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