[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Harrison 6-3-1998 by L.L. No. 7-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish minimum safeguards to life, health and property by adoption of reasonable and effective restrictions relating to the possession and use of explosive materials. To protect the health and safety of our residents and prevent undue exposure of private and public property to risk of damage, the Town Board hereby designates acceptable hours for blasting operations and regulates the intensity of the ground and airborne vibrations during those hours when blasting is authorized. This chapter is also meant to be used to provide information to those who possess or use explosives in the Town. Nothing herein is intended nor shall be construed to relieve the blaster from any liability nor to impose any liability on the Town, its officers, employees or agents.
This chapter shall apply to every person who manufactures, sells, transports, stores, possesses, handles or uses explosives in the Town and shall also apply to the procedures for the issuance of permits, the payment of fees, the recordkeeping required for permit holders and reporting procedures required for such persons.
No blast shall be initiated at any location within the Town limits unless a written permit has been obtained from the Building Inspector and signed by the Town to blast at that specific location. No person shall initiate a blast unless such a permit has been issued to him/her. The blasting permit form shall be approved by the Town Attorney and shall include but not be limited to the following: name, home and business address and phone numbers of the applicant blaster; a copy of the blaster's valid State of New York Department of Labor explosive license to purchase, own, possess and transport explosives; and a copy of the blaster's valid State of New York Department of Labor blaster's certificate of competence to use explosives as s/he is rated by the Department of Labor. The permit shall also list the address(es) and description of the specific location of the blast area and the name(s) and address(es) of the owner(s) of said property, a description of all structures within 500 feet of the blast area and the names and addresses of all owners of said structures, the purpose of the blasting and the amount and type of material to be blasted. The permit application shall be accompanied by the insurance and agreements required by this chapter and a pre-blast property inspection of each structure located within such distance as specified by the Building Inspector by no less than 500 feet from the blast area. The permit application shall also be accompanied by a good and sufficient bond in the amount of $100,000 approved by the Town Attorney conditioned for holding the Town harmless from any and all injuries or damages arising or accruing, directly or indirectly by reason of the storage, handling or use of explosives. The permit shall also contain any other information that the Town Building Inspector, the Fire Chief or his/her designee or any code enforcement officer shall deem necessary to protect the health and safety of the public or to prevent public or private property from exposure to risk of damage.
The applicant shall sign the permit application after acknowledging that all the information provided is true and s/he will abide by all local ordinances, federal, New York State, Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IME) and explosive industry standards regarding the safe and efficient use of explosives as well as the restrictions set forth in this chapter. The permit shall remain in effect for the specific job, and a new permit is required for each new job, as long as the blaster's license and certificate remain valid. Invalidation or expiration of either one causes this permit to be invalid also. The fee for each application shall be as set forth in the most current resolution of the Town Board fixing the fee pursuant to § 137-1 of the Town Code.
[Amended 2-21-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
Before a blasting permit is issued, the applicant shall submit evidence in the form of a certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York guaranteeing that the applicant has in full force and effect a policy of public liability insurance, including a specific endorsement covering the liability arising from blasting and providing bodily injury coverage of not less than $1,000,000 per person and $3,000,000 per event and property damage insurance of not less than $500,000/$1,000,000. "The Town of Harrison, the Village of Harrison, the Building Inspector and their respective officers, employees and agents" shall be named as additional insureds on said policies. The applicant and such policies shall also provide that the Town and the Village be held harmless from all claims, actions and proceedings brought by any person, firm or corporation for injury to persons or property resulting from or occasioned by such blasting operation. Such policy shall have the provision that the policy or policies shall not be canceled, terminated or modified by the insurance company unless 30 days' notice is given the Town and such change or modification is mutually agreed to. No permit shall be issued unless such insurance or a modified insurance policy agreed to by the Town is in full force and effect and copies are on file in the Town office.
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant shall cause to be conducted a pre-blast inspection of each structure within 500 feet of the blast area and such other structures as required by the Building Inspector. The pre-blast report shall include a map of the blast area and areas within 500 feet of the blast area, the location and owner of each structure within said areas, a description of the purpose of the blasting, a detailed description of the procedures to be followed, the names and addresses of each structure inspected and each structure for which access for inspection was denied and, if denied, the name and description of the person denying access, the report of each inspection showing the areas inspected, the composition of each element of the structures inspected, a detailed description with photographs or drawings of each item of damage to each structure inspected and such other information as the Building Inspector may require.
The Town Building Inspector, Town Engineer, Fire Chief or his/her designee or code enforcement officer, for reasons of public safety, may enter without delay any vehicle, structure, dwelling, construction site, workplace or environment within the Town limits, where s/he can articulate grounds to believe explosives are being stored or possessed or used. Said official may revoke said permit for any just cause, including but not limited to false statement or representation on the blasting permit or violation of any local ordinance, federal, New York State, IME or industry regulation of standard for safety. A written report of such revocation shall be made without unnecessary delay or within five working days to the Town Justice Court, and the permit holder shall be notified of his right to a hearing and redress within 10 working days of the alleged violation. Affirmation or withdrawal of the complaint shall be determined by the Town Justice Court.
The holder of a blaster's permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall perform blasting operations in accordance with the provisions, regulations and requirements of the State of New York Labor Law and of the codes, rules and regulations and any and all amendments thereto and, in addition, shall perform such blasting operations in accordance with the recommended good practices of the IME and industry or manufacturer's standards. No person shall use, in a blasting operation, a quantity of explosives greater than necessary to reasonably break the material being blasted or use such amount as to risk injury or damage to persons or property within or outside the blast area. The blaster shall plan each blast, taking special precautions in loading, delaying, initiation, confinement and stemming, as to control the throw of fragments or flyrock, ground vibration and air concussion effects. When blasting is to be conducted near a property line where the owner is not a party of the blasting operations, the blaster shall take all precautions necessary, utilizing any combination of recognized methods of controlled blasting techniques. If the Town designee or enforcement officer so orders, due to the magnitude of the proposed blasting, that pre-blast inspections of the surrounding homes or area are necessary, they must be made by the blaster or his/her representatives at the blasting permit holder's expense, and copies must be provided to the homeowners and be on file in the Town office before blasting begins. The scope of the pre-blasting perimeters shall be determined by the Town Building Inspector but in no event shall be less than 500 feet from the blast.
No explosives shall be sold, given or delivered to any person who does not hold a valid license to possess such explosives. All explosives not being handled or used in a blasting operation shall be securely locked in a container approved for securing the type and amount of the explosives contained therein, and said container shall be under the direct observation and guard of a person holding a valid license to possess the type and amount of explosives contained therein at all times. No unauthorized or unlicensed persons shall have access to explosives in the Town, and the access to and the security of the explosives shall be deemed the responsibility of the blasting permit holder. Blasting caps and detonators shall be stored separately from explosives at a recognized safe distance, and only 50 caps or detonators or fewer shall be transported to explosives for priming and borehole loading at one time. Should the blasting operation require more than 50 caps to be transported to explosives on the blasting site, the blasting caps or detonators shall be transported in a box designed to carry blasting caps or detonators and approved by the State of New York and IME for such purposes.
Blasting will only be permitted Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Weekend and legal holiday blasting is prohibited unless special permission is granted by the Town Building Inspector in writing and attached to the blasting permit in question. The Town retains the right to make other restrictions if necessary.
It shall be the responsibility of the blasting permit holder to notify all owners and occupants of adjacent, abutting or adjoining properties to the blast area, or parcels likely to come under the influence of the blast, at least 24 hours before the blast, of his/her intentions and operations and any recommended safety precautions. It shall be the responsibility of the blasting permit holder to secure the blast area or danger zone and to post a sufficient number of personnel to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons into the blast area. These personnel should be deployed to completely control pedestrians and traffic from entering during blasting operations. In addition, the blaster shall make sure all employees are out of the blast area and any and all entrances to the blast area are carefully guarded with sufficient watchmen to guarantee safety. Just before the blast, the watchmen shall notify all persons in the general area around the blast area, and the blaster shall sound a recognized whistle or siren or horn of sufficient power to be heard in the general area around the blast area. The blasting permit holder shall be responsible for having the Police Department and the Town Building Inspector notified of the impending blast not more than two hours before nor less than one hour before of the exact time and location of the planned blast. The blaster shall be held financially responsible for the cost to the Town of any extra police or emergency personnel that may be necessary as a result of the blasting operation for which s/he is responsible.
Notwithstanding any other regulations, no blasting, whether of overburden, stone, clay or other material, shall be done or performed in such manner and under such circumstances or conditions as to eject debris into the air so as to constitute a hazard or danger or do harm or damage to persons or property. Before firing a blast that might cause injury to persons or damage property from flyrock, the material to be blasted shall be properly covered or screened by a buffer of sufficient mass and strength to prevent, with a margin of safety, the ejection of any material capable of causing any injury or damage.
Any person intending to demolish by explosives any construction that exceeds 25 feet in height shall apply for his required blaster's permit 30 days before commencement of demolition activities. In addition to the normal blasting permit fee, the applicant must agree to be responsible for the cost of any engineer, public safety, environmental impact or historical study that might be deemed necessary by the Town Building Inspector and Town Engineer to determine if such blaster's permit is to be issued. In addition, the blaster applicant must agree to be financially responsible for any additional police, fire or utility response that may be deemed necessary by the Town as a condition to the blaster's permit.
While breaking boulders or other similar objects, trees or masonry, from the time the explosive loading process begins, no one but the blaster and his designated helper(s) shall be allowed in the blast area. Block holes shall contain at least 85% suitable stemming material.
The amount of explosives delivered to, stored by or possessed by the blaster at any blasting area shall not exceed the amount necessary for that day's planned blasting schedule. No explosives shall be left unattended, all explosives shall be securely locked when not being handled or used, and blasting caps or detonators shall not be stored with other explosives.
All empty explosive packages or containers not consumed in the blasting shall not be used again for any other purpose but shall be disposed of in a safe and legal manner. A person shall be considered in violation of this chapter if s/he places or causes to be placed any explosive, package or container, or facsimile thereof, or facsimile bomb or explosive device in a building, place of assembly or facility of public transport or in a place likely to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.
The blaster shall be responsible for determining the location of any utility lines that may be located in the proposed blast area, and shall contact the appropriate representative of such utility prior to any blasting, making available the blast design and any other information the utility representative may require. No blasting shall be permitted unless the blaster and the authorized utility representative are in full agreement as to what precautionary procedures will be performed to protect the utility. The blaster shall be responsible for all gas, water, storm drains, hydrocarbon, sewer, electric, telephone, cable television, alarm, telegraph and utilities, as well as any other utility that may be affected by the blasts. Before blasting in any blast area that borders or is in close proximity to a road, street, highway, railroad or other pathway of transportation or commerce, the blaster shall notify both the owner of the highway or street and the police authorities having jurisdiction over the street or railroad. No blasting will be permitted until the highway owner and police authority are in full agreement as to what precautionary procedures will be performed to protect the highway and its users.
All boreholes or block holes shall be completely sealed with a stemming material of suitable density and cohesion as to prevent rifling with a margin of safety. Proper stem material must be given special consideration in wet holes. The use of sand, dirt or drill cuttings for stemming material under these circumstances is prohibited. Recommended stem material such as pea gravel or one-fourth-inch crushed stone may be used.
A record of each blast shall be kept on a form approved by the Town Board, and all records shall be retained as prescribed by state law. Such records shall be available for inspection as a matter of public record. The Board reserves the right to require a copy of such blasting log after each blast or after the end of daily blasting operations or at any time while the blasting permit holder is required to maintain such records. Required information to be recorded for each blast shall include but not be limited to name and permit number of blaster, blast location, date and time and number of blasts, weather conditions, temperature, wind direction and speed, identification of and distance and direction to the nearest structure, total explosive used per delay, powder factor, number of holes, space and burden, hole diameter, depth, fact, height, subdrill, number of rows, type and length of stemming, type of material blasted, type and brand and pounds of explosives used, brand, type and number of detonators used, number of holes per delay, number of series in parallel, type of blasting machine, names of members of blasting crew other than the permit holder, mats or precaution used, name and type of seismograph employed, location of instrumentation, distance from blast and direction, person taking reading and witness, and the firm analyzing seismic record, sound level and blast diagram. Any injury, accident or misfire involving explosives shall be recorded, and full written report shall be attached to the appropriate blasting log, including the names of all participants and witnesses and any render-safe procedures or remedial actions taken. The Town Building Inspector may require additional or special information from any blaster. The Town Building Inspector may add special restrictions to any blasting permit if any unusual condition exists.
Ground and airborne vibration levels shall conform to the limits set in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, 30 CFR, Chapter VII, Part 816.67, Use of Explosives: Control of Adverse Effects. In no case shall the decibel level of airborne vibrations or the peak particle velocity of groundborne vibrations exceed the limits as specified therein at any aboveground structure not owned by those engaged in the blasting. The maximum allowable ground vibration shall be reduced by the Town designee beyond the limits otherwise provided by this section if determined necessary to provide damage protection to property.
Any documented damage claims received by the Town or its designees may be cause to suspend blasting until the Town Board, Town Attorney, Town Engineer and Building Inspector review the alleged claims. Work on the permit shall not be resumed until so ordered by the Town designee. Work can be halted for cause until the permittee presents a new plan that is approved by the Town designees.
The operations of the United States military or federal, state or Town government, including all departments, agencies and divisions thereof, acting in the proper performance of their duties and functions, the school district of the Town, police and fire-fighting forces, explosives in the course of transportation moving under the jurisdiction of and in conformity with regulations adopted by any federal department or agency are exempt from the requirements of this chapter. The Town Board may grant exemption to other agencies such as public benefit corporations or volunteer service organizations as it deems proper.
Any owner or agent and any person or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply with such provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of this chapter and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days, or both. Each and every day such violation continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.
In addition to the foregoing, the Town may maintain an action for an injunction to enforce obedience to this chapter.