0 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2009 1:17 AM by Randall Detra

    How dangerous are old golf courses?

    Randall Detra

      Golf was a game which became a great symbol for status concious business men as far back as the late 19th century.  Heavy fees were paid to be members of exclusive clubs and for those fees the members expected nothing less than perfection.  Even today golf course superintendents tell how they are under constant pressure to achieve horticultural perfection and, if they fail, they often lose their employment.  Consequently golf courses have been shown to receive pesticide doses which are, on the average, 8-times greater than typical agricultural food-stock uses.  This was as true in the 1890's as it is today.  However, in the 1890's the options for pesticides were quite limited and there was little regulation or enforcement in its application.  Most golf courses were subjected to routine doses of basic lead arsenate.  This continued well into the 1970's

       

      Because most metals such as lead and arsenic bind to soil, the lead and arsenic added to the soil in the early 1970's was simply added on to the lead and arsenic added nearly 100 years ago.  Consequently some golf courses still have residues of lead and arsenic which vastly exceed the average RCRA site.  I have worked on one golf course in which lead levels of 4000 ppm were not all that uncommon.  The average RCRA site has around 1500 ppm.

       

      It is curious how the regulatory agencies of the stated react to such dilemmas.  Often it seems they bury their heads or they come up with some sort of excuse such as "out of our jurisdiction" and so forth, all to dodge any responsibility but also to protect developers and industry.

       

      So we have two problems.  An environmental problem and a bureaucratic one...what do you do with the awful place after it has been exposed?

       

      I would be interested in hearing any input others my have on this subject or similar subjects.  I also have some studies I have prepared in response these issues which do need a place to be published.  Suggestions?