Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is investigating the extent of lead and hydrocarbon contamination within the eastern part of the public open space that is associated with the Marty Busch Recreation Reserve in Sebastopol after soil testing in several areas near the Sebastopol Gun Club returned results above recommended health limits for recreational activities.
EPA Group Manager of Specialist Operational Services Richard Marks said that the primary concern was limiting public exposure to the potential contamination from lead shot and PAHs (a chemical within clay targets).
“The City of Ballarat will put up signage in public spaces between the gun club and the Yarrowee River asking the community to avoid some areas until further notice,” Mr Marks said.
“Soil testing by EPA officers was conducted this week within the club’s licensed range approval area and on nearby public land that includes the Yarrowee Trail, which is in the same area where the signage is being erected,” Mr Marks said.
“While testing indicated the presence of lead and hydrocarbons in soils in these open areas, it is important to note that the test result taken from a soil sample taken from the nearby sporting oval was clear of lead and hydrocarbons.”
Mr Marks said further testing would be required to understand the extent of the contamination, the results of which would determine how the site would be managed.
EPA will continue to work with the shooting range’s management, the City of Ballarat and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to achieve the best environmental and public health outcomes for the community.
Anyone concerned about their health should consult their doctor. For more information about lead exposure, visit: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au