Senate Bill No. 215

(By Senators Miller, Sharpe, Ross and Plymale)


[Originating in the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining;

reported February 6, 1995.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section eleven, article four, chapter twenty-two of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to surface mining and reclamation of minerals other than coal; blasting restriction, formula, filing preplan, penalties, notice; and permitting seismograph measurement to be used in place of scaled-distance formulas.

Be it enacted by the legislature of West Virginia:
That section eleven, article four, chapter twenty-two of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§22-4-11. Blasting restriction; formula; filing preplan; penalties; notice.

Where blasting of overburden or mineral is necessary, the blasting shall be done in accordance with established principles for preventing injury to persons and damage to residences, buildings and communities. The blasting is in compliance with provisions of this article if the following measures are adhered to:
(1) The weight in pounds of explosives to be detonated in any eight millisecond period without seismic monitoring shall conform to the following:

FormulaDistance in feet from the
blasting site to the nearest
residence, building or structure

W=(D/50)20 - 300 feet
W=(D/55)2301 - 5,000 feet
W=(D/65)25,001 feet or greater

W=Weight of explosives in pounds
D=Distance to the nearest structure:

Provided, That the scaled distance formulas need not be used if a seismograph measurement at the nearest protected structure (residence, building or structure) is recorded and maintained for every blast. The peak particle velocity in inches per second in any one of the three mutually perpendicular directions shall not exceed the following values at any protected structure:
Seismograph MeasurementDistance to the Nearest
Protected Structure

1.250 - 300 feet
1.00301 - 5,000 feet
0.755,001 feet or greater

The director may require a seismograph recording of any blasts based on the physical conditions of the site in order to prevent injury to persons or damage to property. The maximum allowable ground vibration as provided in this section shall be reduced by the director if determined necessary to provide damage protection. The maximum ground vibration standards do not apply at the following locations: (A) Structures owned by the permittee and not leased to another person; and (B) structures owned by the permittee and leased to another person if a written waiver by the lessee is submitted to the director before blasting.
(2) Airblast shall not exceed the maximum limits listed below at the location of any dwelling, public buildings, school or community or institutional building outside the permit area:
Lower frequency limit ofMaximum level in db
measuring system in Hz(+3dB)

1Hz or lower-flat response*134 peak
2Hz or lower-flat response133 peak
6Hz or lower-flat response129 peak
c-weighted-slow response*105 peak dBC

* only when approved by the director.
If necessary to prevent damage, the director may specify lower maximum airblast levels for use in the vicinity of a specific blasting operation.
(3) Flyrock, including blasted material, shall not be cast from the blasting site more than halfway to the nearest dwelling or other occupied structure; beyond the area of control specified in subsection (1) of this section; or, in no case, beyond the bounds of the permit area.
(4) Access to the blast area shall be controlled against the entrance of livestock or unauthorized personnel during blasting and for a period thereafter until an authorized person has reasonably determined:
(a) That no unusual circumstances exist such as imminent slides or undetonated charges, etc.; and
(b) That access to and travel in or through the area can be safely resumed.
(5) A plan of each operation's methods for compliance with this section (blast delay design) for typical blasts which shall be adhered to in all blasting at each operation shall be submitted to the division of environmental protection with the application for a permit.
(6) Records of each blast shall be kept in a log to be maintained for at least three years, which will show for each blast the following information:
(a) Date and time of blast;
(b) Number of holes;
(c) Typical explosive weight per delay period;
(d) Total explosives in blast at any one time;
(e) Number of delays used;
(f) Weather conditions;
(g) Signature of operator employee in charge of the blast;
(h) Seismograph data; and
(i) Date of seismograph calibration.
(7) Where inspection by the division of environmental protection establishes that the scaled distance formula, or the seismograph results, or the approved preplan are not being adhered to, the following penalties shall be imposed:
(a) For the first offense in any one permit year under this section, the permit holder shall be assessed not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars;
(b) For the second offense in any one permit year under this section, the permit holder shall be assessed not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars;
(c) For the third offense in any one permit year under this section or for the failure to pay any assessment hereinabove set forth within a reasonable time established by the commissioner, the permit shall be revoked.
All assessments as set forth in this section shall be assessed by the director, collected by the director and deposited with the treasurer of the state of West Virginia to the credit of the operating permit fees fund.
The director shall promulgate rules which shall provide for a warning of impending blasting to the owners, residents or other persons who may be present on property adjacent to the blasting area.