CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. --After more than five hours of debate the decision was made to close a popular gun range in Alameda County.
The Chabot Regional Park Gun Range has served the community for more than 50 years. But the bullets left behind have led to lead contamination in the soil and water.
It took hours of testimony and deliberation before the East Bay Regional Parks District's board decided to shut down the Chabot Gun Range. The Chabot Gun Club, which has run the 50-year-old site, has one year to wind down operations.
Park officials say there is extensive lead contamination from used shells.
"The overwhelming issue is lead, just like everyone else, it's an issue we can't get away from," said Dennis Waespi, a board member.
Hundreds came to the meeting hoping to save the range. The club even offered to help pay for the clean up, which will cost about $200,000 a year just to contain the run off and millions more in the future.
"We just can't afford it," said board member John Sutter.
Some club members think it's an overreaction.
"There is no lead contamination in Chabot Lake lake, they're containing it on the property. There are ways to pull it off and it can be recycled," said Paul Hiller of Fremont.
The decision is also angering many environmentalists who wanted the range to close sooner rather than later.
"We are a public agency and supposed to be the stewards of the land and we're letting lead continue to go into the environment," said Peter Volin, a Sierra Club member.
The gun club recently asked for a new 10 year lease, but that won't happen now.