Letter RE: “Province says it has no concerns with lead levels at gun ranges on Tait Road” in July 22 Sounder

Monday, July 29 2013

Dear Sounder readers,

Neighbours of the Gabriola Rod, Gun and Conservation Club (GRGCC) are pleased with the newspaper coverage of the recent meeting of the Islands Trust at which the possible contamination of Gabriola’s water and soil was discussed. A couple of matters, however, need to be clarified.

First, although the current condition of our wells is a concern, neighbours are much more concerned about the possibility of future contamination. Though lead decomposes slowly, there is abundant evidence that decomposition begins as soon as lead is exposed to water, abrasion and other environmental factors. Lead sinks slowly and may eventually reach the water table as well as leach into surrounding areas. Rather than wait for possible contamination to occur, at which point the situation is extremely difficult and expensive to remedy, we are asking for an independent environmental site assessment, followed by the implementation of a realistic contamination management plan. 

Second, although an injunction against firearm use at the gun club may be the final result of the current lawsuit, our goal has never been to close the club but simply to ensure that the environment of the gun club and the surrounding area is safe from contamination for humans, plants, animals and birds; and we want noise to be brought down to a level where it is no longer a nuisance. We have always been willing to work with the gun club to find reasonable solutions to the noise, and even to help pay for effective noise abatement.

We acknowledge the modest steps taken by the province and the gun club to address contamination and noise, but we would like to be involved in the process to help ensure that our concerns and needs, as well those of the broader community, are met. So far they have not been adequately addressed. Contamination is still a concern and the noise level is still a nuisance.

~ David Young

Original story: Province says it has no concerns with lead levels at gun ranges on Tait Road