Dear Eastern PA ISEE Newsletter readers,
Good blasting records are critical in resolving damage complaints. Those records should be very detailed. They should describe, at a minimum, how each blast hole is loaded, burdens and spacings, stemming amounts and accurate locational information. Video recordings of blasts are very important and should be made available with the record. Additionally, including multiple seismograph monitoring reports obtained in different directions from the blast in a blast record is one of the most important elements of record keeping for resolving blasting damage complaints. DEP and Blasting Activity Permittees receive numerous blasting damage complaints every year. DEP resolves its blasting complaints by determining the vibration energy level that occurred at the structure that is alleged to have been damaged. It is impractical to conduct seismograph monitoring at every home near a blast site. However, if directional monitoring is conducted and a complaint comes from a homeowner in a direction where monitoring has been conducted, it is possible to accurately determine the highest vibration level that would have occurred at that home. In areas where homes surround the blast site it is beneficial to conduct seismograph monitoring in several different directions. If directional monitoring is not conducted, worst case predictions of vibration energy levels must be used to determine if blasting damages are possible. The outcome in those cases may not be as good for the Blasting Activity Permittee as they would be if directional monitoring was conducted. Please be careful and safe!