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April 19, 2018

Lead-Impacted Waste Disposal Part II – Your Liability

By Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Shooting Range Services, and Rob Anderson

In the first part of this two-part series on lead-waste disposal documentation for firearms ranges, we spoke with MT2 Firing Range Services Senior Range Engineer Rob Anderson to learn more about best practices for this process. That column focused on the manifest, what it contains and how it differs from a bill of lading. In this second column, we talk with Rob about timeline expectations with your range’s manifests, as well as the factor that’s really at the heart of this matter: your range’s liability, as the generator, for its lead waste maintenance and disposal.

Zach Snow (ZS): What’s the timeline for initiating a manifest?

Rob Anderson (RA): Before you can transport waste off your site, you must initiate the manifest process of submitting what is called a “profile” to the facility where it’s going to be disposed. Upon acceptance, you’ll receive approval from that facility to have your waste disposed of in the form of an approved profile.

The profiling process can take a matter of hours in some cases, or weeks or months in other cases, because the disposal facility must make sure you’re on top of all the steps in your paperwork. You really can’t start the profile until you’ve generated the waste. Critical at this point is that your range needs to make sure that its waste is being properly stored and containerized onsite, because it may have to sit anywhere from days to weeks or perhaps even months before getting disposed of.

Your range will also need to identify if it has hazardous or nonhazardous waste (or both). This distinction is typically obtained through a sampling process called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). TCLP is a soil sample extraction method for chemical analysis that is used as an analytical method to simulate leaching through a landfill.

ZS: Can you talk a bit about the liability aspect of the disposal process?

RA: The generator of the waste is liable for ensuring that their waste is being managed, transported and disposed of properly. If any of this process is not performed and documented correctly, the liability always falls back on the generator, even after the point of disposal, though of course other people involved in the cradle-to-grave process also assume some liability. For example, the transporter assumes a liability that they are looking at the material, determining it was adequately stored and then they have properly handled the transportation from one location to the other. The disposal company also holds a liability, because this waste is going to be placed on their site. If a problem arises at the waste facility, they may be held liable-but the generator is never removed from liability. So, because the disposal facility has a liability, they also have the right to determine whether they want to accept your waste.

For instance, if a contractor is recycling your lead in a smelting operation and causes contamination of the operation’s property because of an inappropriate recycling process, you as the range owner can be held liable for the cleanup of their property because it was your material that was transported to that site! Bottom line, with waste intended for recycling, it’s essential you ensure this material is being sent to an appropriately vetted recycling facility and that you have documentation of the bill of lading-remember, this kind of waste is a good with commercial value as well as a certificate of recycling/certificate of destruction.

About MT2
MT2 Firing Range Services is a leading provider of indoor and outdoor firing range lead reclamation and maintenance contractor. Now in its 18th year, MT2 offers full-scale outdoor and indoor firing range environmental, maintenance and construction services at more 2,000 ranges nationwide, and for law enforcement, military and commercial ranges in all 50 states.

Read the First part of this series: Lead-Impacted Waste Disposal Part I – Documentation

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