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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2010
CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 528-8206


DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement Goes Green by Switching to Lead-Free Ammunition

~ New ammunition is cleaner for the environment ~

TALLAHASSEE —The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) announced today that the agency will be switching to lead-free ammunition during training exercises and practice scenarios. The bullet casings to be used are made from recycled brass, and the bullets are compressed copper with a lead-free primer.

“Lead-based ammunition can cause soil and groundwater contamination,” said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “With this change, the division is increasing its conservation efforts at firing ranges and practice sites, where thousands of rounds of ammunition are discharged.”

Florida depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply, and on surface water for the outdoor recreation industry. High rainfall and acidic conditions, typical in Florida, cause lead to be more mobile in the environment. Therefore, proper management of outdoor shooting ranges is especially important.

State law enforcement officers from the Florida Park Police and special agents from the DEP DLE’s Criminal Investigations Bureau train with firearms in accordance with agency policies and accreditation standards.

DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental resource law enforcement, as well as providing law enforcement services to Florida’s state parks and greenways and trails. Division personnel from the three operating bureaus patrol state lands; investigate environmental resource crimes; and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material incidents and oil spills that threaten the environment.

To report an environmental crime, wireless customers can dial #DEP. Callers can also report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (877) 2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335). General environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during normal business hours. For more information about DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/law

DEP produced a manual designed to assist in developing Best Management Practices (BMPs) at outdoor shooting ranges. It was developed through a cooperative effort by members of the shooting range community and industry, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Florida DEP. The manual can be viewed at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/publications/shw/hazardous


"Lead-based ammunition can cause soil and groundwater contamination."

Henry Barnet
DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director



Last updated: February 17, 2010

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