[HISTORY: Adopted 1-14-2019 by Ord. No. 19-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter describes the general regulation and enforcement of blasting operations within the Town limits.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An airborne shock wave resulting from the detonation of explosives. The movement of overburden or the release of expanding gas into the air from the detonation of explosives may cause airblast. Airblast may or may not be audible.
- The person responsible for managing and/or conducting of a blasting operation.
- Any activity entailing the use of explosives for the purpose of producing an explosion to demolish structures or to fragment rock for mining, quarrying, excavation, or construction. Related terms are as defined in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 495; Explosive Materials Code.
- BLASTING OPERATION
- Includes all blasting anticipated to be undertaken during the completion of a contract or a series of contracts, for demolition, excavation, construction, and development. A blasting operation includes all work involving the preparation, drilling, loading and detonation of the explosive charge.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Includes the Town's duly appointed Code Enforcement Officer, Assistant Code Enforcement Officer, and any assigned designee of the Code Enforcement Officer.
- The unit of sound pressure commonly used to measure airblast for an explosion.
- A sudden or unexpected occurrence involving a clear and imminent danger, demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential public services.
- Any substance, chemical compound, or mechanical mixture that is commonly used for the purpose of producing an explosion for blasting. Initiating devices such as detonators, detonating cords, etc., are also included in this definition.
- Rock that is propelled through the air or along the ground as a result of the detonation of an explosive.
- GROUND VIBRATION
- The shaking of ground caused by the blast wave emanating from the detonation of an explosive.
- A term used to express the frequency of ground vibrations and airblast. One hertz is equal to one cycle per second.
- INDEPENDENT FIRM
- A bona fide person approved by the Code Enforcement Officer which is not affiliated with the applicant but is contracted to impartially render services. In order to qualify as an independent firm, such firm shall verify the following:
- LEVEL 1 BLASTING OPERATION
- A blasting operation involving less than 250 cubic yards of material to be removed.
- LEVEL 2 BLASTING OPERATION
- A blasting operation involving 250 cubic yards or more of material to be removed.
- PARTICLE VELOCITY
- A measure of ground vibration that describes the velocity at which a particle of ground vibrates when excited by a force producing ground motion such as an earthquake or an explosion. Particle velocity is measured in inches per second.
- An instrument that measures and records earthborn vibration induced by the detonation of explosives. The instrument produces a printout of ground motion frequency, acceleration, particle velocity and amplitude which may be recorded directly or produce a record from which any of these parameters may be calculated.
This section applies to all blasting operations related to demolition, excavation, construction, and development within the Town limits. Emergency blasting operations are not subject to this section.
All blasting permits must be approved, approved with conditions, or denied by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Based on the reliability of the quantity estimate, the location of the project, and other factors that may warrant additional review, the Code Enforcement Officer may elevate a Level 1 blasting operation application to a Level 2 blasting operation application.
A blasting permit is required for all blasting operations.
Permits require the following:
Blasting may not occur without approval or conditional approval of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Blasting operations are limited to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, inclusive.
Blasting applicants shall maintain commercial general liability insurance in accordance with requirements established by the Town. The insurance policy must contain specific reference to blasting as an activity covered by the insurance.
Prior to applying for a Level 1 blasting permit, the applicant shall notify all landowners and owners of public water and sewer services, and any other entity with underground public utilities within 250 feet of the proposed blasting operation. Notice shall be sent by the United States Postal Service (USPS) certified mail at least 10 calendar days prior to the intended date of the commencement of the blasting operation.
Prior to applying for a Level 2 blasting operation, the applicant shall notify all landowners and owners of public water and sewer services, and any other entity with underground public utilities within 500 feet of the proposed blasting operation. Notice shall be sent by the United States Postal Service (USPS) certified mail at least 10 calendar days prior to the intended date of the commencement of the blasting operation.
The landowner notice must include the proposed blasting schedule, a description of the blasting signals to be used during the operation, an address and telephone number where landowners may request further information and additional notification, information about obtaining a preblast survey at no cost to the landowner in accordance with § 8.4.7D, and information about how to receive a twenty-four-hour preblast notification.
No less than 48 hours prior to any blast, the applicant shall inform the Fire Department and Code Enforcement Officer of the impending blast, and include the time of the blast within two hours.
No less than 24 hours prior to any blast, the applicant shall inform all landowners, who have requested to be so notified as per § 8.4.7C(3), of the impending blast. Such notification may be given by telephone or email and must state the time of the blast within two hours. The burden of proof as to whether the notification was in fact received rests with the person responsible for the blasting operation.
Preblast survey requirements.
Level 1 blasting operations require the applicant to arrange for an independent firm to perform preblast surveys on all buildings within 250 feet of the blasting area. All costs of the preblast survey shall be borne by the applicant. Surveys must include a written description and either a video or photographic documentation of any preexisting conditions on the inside and outside of each building. At least three documented attempts must be made by the applicant to physically offer the survey to the landowner.
Level 2 blasting operations require the applicant to arrange for an independent firm to perform preblast surveys on all buildings within 500 feet of the blasting area. All costs of the preblast survey shall be borne by the applicant. Surveys must include a written description and either a video or photographic documentation of any preexisting conditions on the inside and outside of each building. At least three documented attempts must be made by the applicant to physically offer the survey to the landowner.
All preblast survey documentation must be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer and held by the independent firm, and following completion of the blasting operation, upon request, be made available to the landowner at the expense of the applicant.
The applicant will offer the services of an independent water testing company to perform water tests of all active drinking water wells within 500 feet of the blasting area. All costs of the water test shall be borne by the applicant. The test must document the flow rate of the well prior to blasting, as well as the levels of coli form bacteria, e-coli, nitrate, pH, copper, iron chloride, manganese, arsenic, calcium, and sodium. At least three documented attempts must be made to physically offer the water test to the landowner.
The water tests shall be held by the independent water testing company and, upon request, be made available to the landowner at the expense of the landowner within 14 days of the request.
Instrumentation. All seismographs used for compliance with this section must meet the requirements written in USBM RI 8507, current revision. Calibration must be laboratory calibrated as necessary, but at least once every 12 months according to the manufacturer's recommendations. A copy of the latest calibration certificate must be available with any and all seismographs on site.
Level 1 blasting operations require either an independent firm, retained at the sole cost and expense of the applicant, or the applicant to monitor airblast and vibration. All instrumentation must be in compliance with the specifications outlined in this section. Instrument(s) will be placed at the closest point of the building in greatest proximity to the detonation to be recorded. A sketch showing the blast site, its relation to adjacent buildings, the locations of the seismograph(s) and pertinent distances will also be required. Written reports containing pertinent information and seismograph printouts for each detonation shall be submitted weekly to the Code Enforcement Officer and the applicant.
Level 2 blasting operations require either an independent firm, retained at the sole cost and expense of the applicant, or the applicant him- or herself, to monitor airblast and vibration for Level 2 blasting operations. No fewer than two seismographs must be employed to monitor airblast and vibration for Level 2 blasting. All instrumentation must be in compliance with the specifications outlined in this section. The independent firm is required to record each detonation, document the location of surrounding buildings, their distances and relation to the blast site, analyze readings for compliance, and report results to the blaster following each detonation. Written reports containing pertinent information and seismograph printouts for each detonation shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer and the applicant.
Ground vibration from all blasting operations must be measured in terms of peak particle velocity (inches per second) and frequency (Hertz). The permissible maximum ground vibration at any adjacent building must conform to valves established in USBM RI 8507, current revision.
Airblast at any building from all blasting operations may not exceed the values established in USBM RI 8485, current revision.
Sufficient stemming, matting or natural protective cover to prevent flyrock from leaving the property or from entering protected natural resources or natural buffer strips must be used. Crushed rock or other suitable material must be used for stemming when available; native gravel, drill cuttings or other material may be used for stemming only if no other suitable material is available.
Record maintenance. The applicant will provide a record of each blast to the Code Enforcement Office for inclusion in the property file. Written records must contain the following:
Name of person responsible for the blasting operation.
Location, date(s), and time of blast(s).
Type of material blasted.
Types of explosives used.
Amount of explosives used.
Types of protections used (mats, etc.).
Seismograph and airblast readings (when and where measured).
When a blasting operation pursuant to an issued permit is suspended in an area for 90 days or more, renotification in accordance with the standards written in § 8.4.7C(4) and (5) is required. Additional preblast surveys are not required with the renotification unless the blasting operations have been suspended past the date of permit expiration.
Blasting must be conducted in compliance with all pertinent sections of the Town Code except as superseded by the provisions of NFPA 495: Explosive Materials Code, as adopted by the State of Maine. In any particular instance where these regulations are in conflict with any other rules, regulations, or ordinances or the Town the more restrictive regulation or provision prevails.
Where the Code Enforcement Officer has denied a blasting permit under this section, the applicant may appeal the denial to the Board of Appeals within 30 days of the Code Enforcement Officer's decision.
The Code Enforcement Officer and/or the Fire Chief may prescribe any reasonable conditions or requirements deemed necessary to minimize adverse effects upon the neighborhood or community.
Any material misstatement or omission of information required by this section or the violation of this section or any condition of a permit granted under this section constitutes a violation of this chapter and will be assessed a penalty under Title 1, Chapter 1.3.