Impacts of two best management practices on Pb weathering and leachability in shooting range soils
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This study investigated the impacts of two best management practices (BMPs) recommended by US Environmental Protection Agency on Pb weathering and leachability in shooting range soils. The two BMPs included replacing soil berm with sand berm and periodically removing bullets or shot from a berm. A column experiment corresponding to the first BMP was conducted by mixing the bullets with sand/soil, or placing bullets on the surface of sand/soil. After a 16–18-week incubation under high or low rainfall simulations, total Pb concentrations in sand were lower than that in soil. Total leachable Pb in sand (8.48 and 5.52 μg kg−1) was also lower than that in soil (60.0 and 30.4 μg kg−1) when bullets were mixed with sand/soil; however, they were comparable when bullets were placed on the sand/soil surface. These results indicate that lower Pb concentration in the sand than in soil may be attributed to reduced weathering of bullets. Mechanical removal of Pb bullets in the field transferred Pb from large to finer particles, increasing total Pb in the soil (<2 mm) from 2,170 to 5,000 mg kg−1. In contrast, mechanical removal of Pb shot effectively reduced the shot in the soil by 86–92 %. Thus, we concluded that, while replacing soil berm with sand berm can slow down Pb weathering, it may increase Pb leachability in the long term. Removal of Pb bullets and Pb shot can be effective, but caution needs to be exercised to minimize the adverse impacts, especially in pistol/rifle ranges because of increased total Pb content in the soil.
KeywordsBest management practices Lead leaching Lead weathering Shooting range
This work was financially supported in part by Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste and University of Florida. The authors acknowledge the China Scholarship Council for supporting this work.
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