Environmental Stewardship: Responsible Care for Resources Entrusted to You

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges” recommends ranges develop and implement a site-specific Environmental Stewardship Plan (ESP). An ESP is a written guide or “road map” for planning, implementing, monitoring, and documenting the progress of environmental management and improvements at your shooting range consistent with EPA guidance, that has been adopted by most States. By developing and implementing an ESP, you will document your commitment to the environment and the community, while at the same time protecting the interests of your range. Site-specific ESPs are encouraged by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Rifle Association, National Skeet Shooting Association/National Sporting Clays Association, and similar organizations as the best and most cost-effective way to minimize the potential for environmental issues to adversely affect a range. A fundamental underlying objective of ESPs is to help limit potential short- and long-term environmental and legal/regulatory liabilities in ways compatible with financial realities and the practical requirements of day-to-day shooting range operations.

Specific benefits of developing and implementing an ESP for your range include:

  • Discouraging legal & regulatory actions against your range. This is especially effective if you have already begun implementation of the plan.
  • Documenting optimal protection of the environment.
  • Providing tangible evidence of pro-active efforts to be good environmental citizens regarding both wildlife management and management of lead. This can be very valuable if a legal or regulatory action is initiated against your range on environmental grounds.
  • Maintaining control of your own destiny in relation to actions, costs, and schedule, which will be largely controlled by a court or regulatory agency if an environmental allegation is raised against your range.
  • Systematically gathering and evaluating the information necessary to determine whether there are legitimate environmental concerns at your range. This record can be valuable historical documentation for your range, as well as helping to defend against environmental allegations.
  • Documenting the fact that no legitimate environmental issues are identified, or identifying effective and appropriate ways you can pro-actively resolve any legitimate environmental concerns that may be identified.
  • Demonstrating within your organization the need for action, raising funds, planning expenditures, etc.
  • Assisting in making prudent decisions that will increase your legal and regulatory protection as cost-effectively as practical.

In addition to the positive benefits of an ESP, the potentially huge costs, long-term liabilities, legal uncertainties, and adverse public relations of dealing with environmental allegations provide “negative incentives” for developing and implementing an ESP specific to your range.

While range owners can create their own ESP, you can be confident that Environmental Range Protection will develop for you a state-of-the-practice ESP that has the credibility of professional quality and is consistent with current guidance, major case law, and science & engineering practices.

While an ESP can benefit every range, the optimal time to develop an ESP may be during range planning and design or as part of obtaining zoning and other approvals for range construction or expansion. Among the ESPs Dr. Peddicord has developed for nearly 200 ranges across the country, several dozen have been for ranges in the design or approval stages of development.

Assessment and Management

Dr. Peddicord provides his clients with detailed technical knowledge of the potential impacts of lead, other shooting-associated metals, and clay target components on soil, water quality, aquatic organisms, wildlife, birds, and human health.

Technical Support of Counsel

Dr. Peddicord has provided technical support to counsel in cases resulting in decisions key to environmental assessment and management of outdoor shooting ranges consistent with major Federal laws and their state counterparts.