Environmental Project

Firing Range Berm Refurbishment

Prince William County Police Department Prince William County, VA

Solution Overview

Sand congested with debris including shotgun wads and lead bullets prior to firing range berm refurbishment.


Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD)

Business Challenge:

  • Active firing range with health and safety concerns associated with berm degradation and debris ricochets, sand compacting and sloughing


  • Refurbishment of berm sand, recycling of lead debris, and disposal of non-lead debris as hazardous waste
  • Installation of ballistic rubber along the top of the firing range berm


  • Removal of over 80K pounds of lead debris from the firing range allowing for the safe use of the firing range without the concern for ricochets


The PWCPD has a firing range dedicated to their police department staff as well as police departments in other counties. The firing range is used for training of new police staff and required practice for current officers. The firing range consists of a concrete floor surrounded by concrete walls and wooden baffles (for noise control). At the end of concrete floor is a sand berm approximately 100 feet wide, 18 feet deep, and 8 feet high; concrete walls are present to the left, right, and behind the berm. While the sand berm is mostly covered, rain water is able to enter the back of the berm. Due to the configuration of the firing range, over time and use, sand within the firing range berm becomes congested with debris such as shotgun wads and lead bullets. In addition, weathering causes the sand berm to compact and slough down exposing the concrete behind the sand berm.

PWCPD requested Apex Companies’ support in the refurbishment of the firing range to remove material from the firing range berm and restore the backstop to pre‑excavation grade in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ).


Apex excavated the sand from the backstop; processed the excavated sand using an on-site sifter to segregate gross debris from within the berm; restored the berm to is original grade using the processed sand as well as clean, imported sand; and managed the debris separated from the backstop. Non-lead debris was recycled and lead debris with toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) lead concentrations of five parts per million or higher disposed as hazardous waste.


Apex has provided this support to PWCPD on multiple occasions, the most recent effort performed in 2021. Apex’s efforts have removed over 80K pounds of lead debris from the firing range, allowing for the safe use of the range without the concern for ricochets. In addition, the scope of work for the 2021 effort included installation of ballistic rubber along the top of the firing range berm as an added safety precaution.

Freshly sifted sand following firing range berm refurbishment to recycle lead debris, and dispose of hazardous waste.

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