Washington State Department of Ecology - May 2, 2013


Public invited to comment on Sunnydell Dryke Shooting Range cleanup proposal

OLYMPIA -- The Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comments on proposed cleanup plans for the Sunnydell Dryke Shooting Range, which is contaminated with lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The site is an active shooting range, located at 292 Dryke Road in Sequim. It has been a gun range since the 1960s.

Soil and pond sediment on the site contain lead from shot and PAHs from clay targets. These toxins can harm human health and the environment, so cleanup is important.

Rebecca Lawson, Ecology Southwest Region Toxics Cleanup Program section manager, said: “We look forward to working with the gun range’s owners to clean up this site. This will help protect the health of people who go to the site to practice shooting and may be unaware of contamination, and it will help address community concerns about the site.  The proposed cleanup plan reduces the spread and buildup of lead shot and targets, and calls for managing recontamination issues on an ongoing basis.”

Ecology is seeking comments on the following documents through June 3, 2013.

The documents are available at the following locations:

Comments and questions may be submitted to site manager Guy Barrett, Southwest Regional Office Toxics Cleanup Program, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775 or by email to Guy.Barrett@ecy.wa.gov. People can call Barrett with questions at (360) 407-7115.

Once the comment period closes, Ecology will respond to comments and make changes to the plan if needed. Ecology will then finalize the cleanup plan and sign a legal agreement called an agreed order so the owners can proceed with cleaning up and managing the site.

Under the cleanup plan, the site will be broken up into three cleanup and management areas – the active shooting ranges, which includes the “upper pond area” in the property’s center; the “lower pond area” that is adjacent to neighboring properties; and non-shooting areas.

The cleanup action to address the lower pond area includes removing soil and sediment contaminated with lead and PAHs, and maintaining a soil barrier, or berm, along the northern property line to keep water from running off onto neighboring properties.

There are four designated shooting areas on the site. Shooting is not allowed on the remainder of the site, including the lower pond area. The owners will keep soil from shooting areas out of areas where shooting is not allowed to minimize contamination risk.

Lawson said: “Because this is an active shooting range, more lead shot will accumulate after any cleanup. The site owners are working to remove lead shot from the property, and under the proposed plan they’d continue to conduct periodic cleanups of lead shot in active shooting ranges.” 

The plan also calls for Ecology to review the site every five years to ensure that management practices used there are protecting human health and the environment.

Ecology and the property owners originally entered into an agreed order to investigate contamination and evaluate cleanup options in 2009. Some water coming onto a neighbor’s property showed high levels of lead, which is a common contaminant at shooting ranges. Lead, a powerful neurotoxin, is used in man-made materials and also can be found in nature. Lead can cause many different types of health problems in both people and wildlife.

PAHs are a group of more than 100 different chemicals and generally occur as complex mixtures that are toxic to organisms. PAHs can be found in man-made materials as well as some natural substances like coal, can be released during commonplace activities such as burning wood, and are widespread in Washington’s environment. Studies have linked PAHs to cancer, reproductive problems and weakened immune systems.


Media Contacts:

Linda Kent, Ecology media relations, 360-407-6239 (desk); 360-791-9830 (cell); linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

Tom Kirkman, Sunnydell Dryke Shooting Range facility manager, (425) 922-7450

For more information:

Ecology's Sunnydell Dryke Shooting Range website (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3572)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)