MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Mounds of dirt filled with lead bullet casings were found illegally dumped behind Bergen County’s Safety Training center.

Local environmentalists are furious over the discovery.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reports, the county law and public safety training center is required to clean up the huge amount of bullet casings that build up at the center’s gun range every few years.

It was recently discovered that rather than properly disposing of the waste, the thousands and thousands of lead shells were scooped up, put together in a big pile, and left open in the elements — potentially letting the lead bleed out into the water system.

“That facility is supposed to be for law and public safety,” Director of the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter Jeff Tittel says. “They’ve actually broken the law.”

He says it’s unacceptable that the county — or a contractor for the county — could have put the public at risk by what’s essentially laziness.

“Lead is one of those things that are so terrible, whether it’s in drinking water, soil, or air, it can have pretty harmful effects,” he said, “especially on children.”

WCBS 880 reports there’s a well nearby the dumping ground, but so far it doesn’t appear to have been poisoned by the lead.


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