The city of Mobile will conduct additional environmental studies on the Brookley by the Bay property after a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study found the presence of lead in soil samples from a former pistol range on the property.
The amount of lead discovered in the soil is below the safe amount allowed by the Alabama Department of Environment Management, but Mayor Sandy Stimpson said the city would still do further testing in order to make sure it’s safe before any work begins on a park at the site.
“We’re working with the Corps to decide what needs to be tested,” he said. “We want to make sure the site is clean and able to be used.”
If there are levels of lead that are unsafe on the site, Stimpson said the city would clean it up.
“The lead is under ADEM standards,” he said. “If we find anything different, we’ll remediate it.”
Since the samples came from a pistol range on site, chances are good that the lead comes from bullets used at the range that are still in the ground. If necessary, the city could complete remediation by pulling them out of the ground.
The city announced plans to purchase 150 acres of bayside property near the Brookley Aeroplex in December 2020. The city purchased the property for $16 million from the state’s portion of oil and gas lease payments through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. The property, which was formerly a golf course, was owned by The University of South Alabama Foundation. Another 100 acres were purchased with $15 million in state economic development funds for use by the city’s Industrial Development Board.
More recently, the city planned a workshop for the public on possible plans for the park. More meetings will be held in the future as plans take shape.
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