COLUMBIA – The South Carolina National Guard is complying with the National Guard Bureau Directive received in December 2016 to begin assessments for any potential lead dust residuals from previous indoor firing ranges. National Guard Bureau changed the acceptable measurement standard for residual lead that was in compliance with the OSHA standard of 200 micrograms per square foot, to 40 micrograms per square foot, which is the EPA and HUD standard.
Additionally, testing and these standards have expanded into the entire armory facility, not just the areas that were former indoor firing ranges. Out of 63 S.C. National Guard Armories state-wide, 46 were identified that had previously had an indoor firing range. Records indicate these indoor firing ranges have not been used since the mid-1980s and many were converted to storage space. The directive also mandates that rentals to the general public be stopped until the facility meets the new measured standard when tested.
As of March 2017, 36 South Carolina National Guard Armories are impacted by this directive and are not available for rentals:
There have always been policies for the safe use of indoor ranges and the S.C. National Guard has been held to the OSHA standards before this change. This directive simply sets a more stringent standard. In order to provide the highest level of protection to the community, National Guard leadership decided to limit access until identified facilities meet these new standards and therefore, rentals to the public in impacted Armories have been suspended.
As soon as a facility meets the new standard, rentals of that facility to the public will resume. The South Carolina National Guard regrets the impacts during this mandate and understands these facilities are important to the community. We appreciate the support and understanding while we abide by this directive.