SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (AP) — The South Jordan City Council approved a 14,000-square-foot indoor shooting range this week, in spite of some homeowners' concerns that exploding bullets would send toxic lead into the air.
The complex, proposed by Gun Vault LLC for a site on South Jordan Parkway, would include 15 target lanes, classroom space, a retail shop and a social area with shooting simulators.
Some residents had protested the project, saying it could bring noise, depress property values, and have negative health effects on children in the neighborhood 150 feet away.
"We've learned that the effects of lead are very damaging to children . . . that the cognitive impacts are irreversible," Kevin Funk said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/UiOsWc).
Bill Provencher, president of Carey's Small Arms Range Ventilation, said ventilation systems can mitigate the impact of the lead. He said his company has installed high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in more than 40 small-arms ranges, noting they remove particles greater than 0.3 micrometers in size.
But others, including Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, expressed doubts that the filters alone would fix the issue.
"Research on lead's toxicity has revealed smaller and smaller exposures can do serious damage," Moench said, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But officials from the Utah Division of Air Quality said the range would operate well within the federal guidelines for lead pollution.
Federal rules require lead emissions monitoring for sources that involve at least 1,000 pounds per year, according to Dave McNeill, planning branch manager for the air quality division. The only sources that could emit that much lead are primary lead smelters, metal foundries or a heavy concentration of airplanes fueled by leaded gasoline, he said.
The gun range is expected to emit 0.12 to three pounds of lead each year, according to research from the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and Missouri-based SSC Engineering, Inc., which prepared data alongside Provencher's ventilation company.
"We would not require lead monitoring at this source," McNeill wrote.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com