SB 386 - This act creates the Missouri Blasting Safety Act.
The act requires individuals who own, use, possess, or store explosives to have a blaster's license or be supervised by a person with a blaster's license, with exceptions as listed. All blasting, defined as the use of explosives for mining, construction, seismology, demolition, or industrial cleaning, shall be conducted only by licensed blasters or persons supervised by a licensed blaster.
The act directs the division of fire safety to create a blaster's licensing program. The act lays out qualifications for license applicants, which include completing an approved blaster's training course and passing a licensing examination. Licenses are valid for three years and may be renewed upon the applicant meeting renewal requirements as specified in the act. Blaster's licenses shall be required within 180 days of the division promulgating licensing rules.
The division may suspend or revoke a license in circumstances as described in the act. In such a case, the division shall provide written notice to the individual in question and that individual must surrender all copies of the license to the division as well as cease all blasting activity. The decision to suspend or revoke a license may be appealed by the individual to the state blasting safety board. Any decision by the board shall be made within thirty days of the date the appeal is received by the board.
License reciprocity is available to individuals holding a valid license or certification from another source within the last three years provided all requirements meet or exceed the provisions laid out in this act. A license may also be granted to anyone employed as a blaster on or before December 31, 2000, and who has accumulated one thousand hours of training or education and experience.
The act specifies additional requirements for blasting activities within a scaled value of 55 (a measurement taking into account distance and the weight of the explosives being used) of an "uncontrolled structure," defined as any dwelling, public building, school, church, commercial building, or institutional building not owned or leased by the blaster. Blasting within this range requires the use of a seismograph, and must comply with federal ground vibration limits (or approved alternate method) and acoustic limits as described in the act.
People or companies intending to use explosives must register with the division of fire safety prior to first use as well as make a $500 pre-payment toward the fees due at the end of the calendar year. Those required to register must file an annual report and pay a fee based on the number of pounds of explosives used during the year. There is a minimum fee of $500 in addition to a fee per ton of explosives used during the year not to exceed $1.50 per ton. Any pre-payments made shall be credited toward the total amount of fees owed.
The act creates the State Blasting Safety Board. Composed of seven members appointed by the Governor, members shall represent the following areas of interest: municipal director of public works; surface mining operations; construction operations; contract blast monitoring service provider; explosives manufacturer or distributor; and the state fire marshal. The board will advise the division of fire safety on administering and enforcing the act’s provisions and hold hearings on appeals and notices of violations.
The act creates the Missouri Explosives Safety Act Administration Fund. The state fire marshal shall submit a report to the state blasting safety board annually detailing the revenue in the fund generated by fees, and how that revenue was spent.
Notices of violations and how they shall be prescribed are detailed in the act. Any person receiving such a notice has the opportunity to request a hearing before the state blasting safety board. Decisions by the board may be appealed to the Administrative Hearing Commission.
The act creates several notification requirements for blasting. Blasters must notify the division of fire safety at least two business days prior to blasting at a new site. Blasters must notify a local fire protection official. Blasting within the jurisdiction of a municipality requires notification of the municipality at least two business days in advance. Owners or occupants of residences or businesses in a municipality located within a scaled value of 55 of the blasting must be notified.
The provisions of this act preempt existing local laws regarding blasting activities although it allows local governments to regulate blasting within their jurisdictions provided they do not duplicate, exceed or conflict with any of the provisions of this act. St. Charles County is granted an exception and may impose additional regulations on blasting at quarries as defined in the act.
Individuals in violation of any of the act's provisions shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for a second offense. Anyone convicted of a Class A misdemeanor related to this act shall be permanently banned from obtaining a blaster's license.
This act is similar to HB 298 (2007), HCS/SCS/SB 882 (2006) and SB 470 (2005).