[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Highland Falls 7-11-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 89, Explosives, adopted 8-10-1971 by L.L. No. 5-1971 as Ch. 51 of the 1971 Code, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish minimum safeguards to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Village of Highland Falls as well as their property by establishing reasonable regulations governing the possession and use of explosive and blasting materials. The intention is to prohibit blasting within the Village of Highland Falls unless there is no alternative feasible means to accomplish a lawful and necessary activity or purpose, as determined by the Building Inspector and the Village's consulting engineer.
This chapter shall apply to each and every person, corporation and business engaged in the manufacture, sale, transportation, storage, handling or use of explosives and blasting materials in the Village. The provisions of this chapter and Article 16 of the Labor Law of the State of New York and Industrial Code Rules contained in Title 12, Part 39, of the New York State Code of Rules and Regulations are applicable to the manufacture, sale, possession, handling, storage, and transportation of explosives within the jurisdiction of the Village of Highland Falls and are applicable to all blasters.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following:
The military forces of the United States or the duly authorized militia of any state or any police force, providing the same are acting in the performance of their public duties.
The transportation of explosives in interstate or intrastate commerce regulated by state or federal law.
Fireworks subject to regulation under the Penal Law.
Small arms ammunition, including smokeless or black powder when possessed for noncommercial purposes in quantities of five pounds or less.
A written request for an exemption may be granted by the Building Inspector where it is evident that strict compliance would cause an undue hardship and public safety would not be compromised by said relief.
No person, firm or corporation shall detonate explosives within the Village of Highland Falls unless licensed pursuant to § 458 of the Labor Law of the State of New York and all other applicable laws and regulations. In addition, such person, firm or corporation shall obtain a permit authorizing such blasting from the Village of Highland Falls pursuant to this chapter.
Storage of explosives and/or blasting agents within the Village is prohibited, except for temporary storage authorized by a blasting permit issued by the Building Department.
Any person, firm or corporation intending to detonate explosives within the Village of Highland Falls shall, prior to such detonation, apply for and obtain a permit to detonate such explosives from the Building Department of the Village of Highland Falls or successor agency. Such person, firm or corporation shall supply the Building Department with the following:
The name of the owner of the property upon which the detonation of explosives is intended to occur.
The business address of the person, firm or corporation proposing to detonate explosives on the subject property.
Evidence satisfactory to the Building Inspector that the person, firm or corporation intending to detonate explosives is duly licensed pursuant to § 458 of the Labor Law of the State of New York and other applicable law or regulation.
The precise location of the intended detonation of explosives, as well as the size of charges intended to be detonated and the proposed schedule for detonation of explosives.
Evidence satisfactory to the Village that the person, firm or corporation intending to detonate explosives has sufficient financial security or insurance coverage to provide payment for damages to any person suffering injury or damage by virtue of the detonation of the explosives.
A survey with photographs of all structures within 500 feet of the blast site. This survey shall indicate the physical condition of such structures prior to the blast sufficient to determine after blast residual damage. In cases where the surrounding area is serviced by well water, the applicant shall sample and inspect all such wells. All results shall be submitted to the Building Inspector and retained by the applicant for follow up. Such survey shall be permissible for use in support of a permit application for a period of one year after the survey was conducted of a particular property.
Upon the submission of the foregoing information in a manner satisfactory to the Building Inspector on a form to be supplied by the Building Department and payment of an application fee in the amount of $250 or such other amount established from time to time by the Board of Trustees, the Building Inspector is authorized to issue a permit for blasting to the applicant. However, no permit shall be issued unless the Building Inspector finds that the applicant is in compliance with this chapter and all applicable laws of the State of New York and the Building Inspector and the Village's Engineer and/or their respective designees each determine that there is no feasible means other than blasting to accomplish the proposed activity or purpose.
A blasting permit shall be valid for a period of 45 calendar days.
Before any permit is issued, the applicant shall submit proof of insurance by supplying a certificate of insurance, issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York, certifying worker's compensation and general liability coverage for the handling or use of explosive materials and blasting activity in an amount not less than $2,000,000 for general liability, including bodily injury, and $2,000,000 for property damages. The insurance certificate shall name the Village as an additional insured and provide a statement that the policy or policies involved will not be canceled, terminated or modified by the insurance company unless 30 days' written notice is given the Village and such changes or modification is agreed to by the Village.
The applicant shall also furnish a notarized statement agreeing to defend, indemnify and hold the Village harmless from any and all claims, actions, proceedings, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, brought by any person, firm or corporation for any injury to any persons or damage to any property arising or resulting, directly or indirectly, from the use, storing, handling, transporting or manufacture of explosive material or the conducting of blasting activity.
Inspection. Every applicant pursuant to this chapter and the owner of the property upon which the applicant intends to detonate explosives is deemed to consent to entry and inspection by the Building Inspector, consulting engineer, Highway Superintendent or any police officer of any vehicle, structure, construction site or other area where explosives are possessed, stored, transported or used within the Village for the purpose of verifying compliance with and enforcing this chapter.
Permit revocation. The Building Inspector, his deputy or any other officer or employee designated by the Board of Trustees may revoke or modify a permit issued pursuant to this chapter where it appears the permit holder has violated any local, state or federal law, rule, code or regulations or provided a false statement or representation on the application for a blasting permit or for violation of any applicable safety standard or where the Building Inspector determines that public safety has been or may be compromised. Where a permit has been revoked or modified, the Building Inspector shall send a written notice of same to the permit holder by first class certified mail within two working days, setting forth the reasons the permit was revoked or modified and informing the permit holder of his right to appeal such revocation or modification by filing a notice of appeal with the Board of Trustees within 20 working days.
Appeals. An appeal pursuant to this section shall be heard by the Board of Trustees. The Building Inspector shall appear and state his findings and the reasons for revoking or modifying the permit. The permit holder shall be offered the opportunity to appear, with or without an attorney, and present evidence and witnesses on his behalf. The Board may sustain the Building Inspector's decision, reinstate any permit or amend any modifications imposed by the Building Inspector.
No person shall use, in a blasting operation, a quantity of explosives greater than the minimum necessary to properly shatter rock or other substance nor use such quantity as may endanger persons or property.
Notice of blasting shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 14 calendar days before the proposed commencement of blasting. Said notice shall be mailed to all owners of property within 500 feet of the blast site. The notice shall contain the information set forth in Subsection C below. Signs, of a size determined adequate by the Building Inspector, shall be placed stating the date and approximate time of each proposed blast.
In the case of multi-occupancy structures, residential and commercial, located within 500 feet of the blast site, a notice of intent to blast shall be conspicuously posted at all commonly used entrances to such structures at least 10 business days prior to blasting. The notice of intent shall contain the location where the blasting is to occur, with as much specificity as possible, as well as the projected dates and times of the blasting, the name, address, and telephone number of the blaster and his local designated representative.
At least five business days prior to the scheduled start of blasting, the permit holder shall meet with the Building Inspector to review and finalize the proposed blasting plan.
Each blasting permit holder shall establish and delineate a blast zone prior to detonating a blast. The blast zone must be clearly marked and adequate precautions implemented to prevent unauthorized entry into the area.
The blasting permit holder shall notify the Building Inspector, or the designated representative, and the Police Department of an impending blast at least three hours, but not more than 12 hours, prior to the time each blast is scheduled. If the Building Inspector determines that an on-site inspector or police personnel is required during blasting, the permit holder shall reimburse the Village for the cost of any such inspection services and police personnel.
The blaster shall sound a siren or horn loud enough to be heard throughout the designated blast zone five minutes prior to blasting and again 30 seconds prior to blasting, warning all persons that blasting is imminent.
The permit holder and the blaster shall make available to the Building Inspector a copy of all seismic readings and data collected regarding any blasting.
The material to be blasted shall be properly covered or screened by the blaster to prevent injury or damage to persons or property.
The permit holder shall immediately notify the Building Inspector, Police Department and any other agency with jurisdiction of any accident and prepare a report regarding same on a form supplied by the Building Department. No further blasting shall be conducted until the Building Inspector and Police Department has reviewed the accident report and the permit.
Blasting may only be conducted Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. No blasting shall take place on legal or religious holidays.
A record of each blast shall be kept by the blaster on a form approved by the Building Inspector. All such records shall be retained by the permit holder and blaster as prescribed by state law and a copy shall be provided to the Building Inspector at the end of each day. Said record shall include location of each blast; time of each blast; number, diameter and depth of each hole and distance between holes; burden depth; stemming length; make and type of explosives; delay make and model number and period; and weather conditions. Seismograph information must also be recorded for each blast and provided to the Building Inspector, including seismograph serial number; range/gain setting; date of last shake table calibration and microphone calibration; air channel low-frequency limit; exact seismograph location and location in relation to the blast; peak over-pressure readout; peak particle velocity readout; and the name of the operator.
The maximum allowable concussion or air blast resulting from blast operations shall not exceed 130 decibels peak, measured at a flat frequency response (2 decibels) over the range of at least six to 200 Hertz.
When blasting is of a continuing nature, 124 to 130 decibels shall be the acceptable range.
The permit holder shall report each blast exceeding acceptable parameters to the Building Inspector within 24 hours. Following a blast exceeding acceptable parameters, the Building Inspector may order all blasting to cease.
When no instrument is used to measure the seismic effect of a blast, the maximum amount of explosives detonated shall not exceed the limits shown in the following table:
Any person, including any owner or agent or corporation, who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any lawful order issued hereunder shall, following conviction, be guilty of a violation. Each day that a violation of or failure to comply with this chapter or any lawful order occurs shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any lawful order issued hereunder shall, for the first violation, be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500 and/or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 10 days. For the second and each subsequent violation, each person shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or imprisonment subject to a period of incarceration not to exceed 15 days.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector, Village consulting engineer, Highway Superintendent or any other officer or employee designated by the Board of Trustees.
If any section, paragraph, sentence or word of this chapter is held void or invalid or unenforceable for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remaining provisions of this chapter.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the state Municipal Home Rule Law. The provisions of this chapter are intended to supersede any inconsistent provision of the state Village Law or of any general law.