UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Regulatory mitigation of the adverse environmental effects of urban blasting Loeb, Jeffrey Thomas


Blasting techniques and protective measures exist that can mitigate risks associated with flyrock and the nuisance of vibration, and overpressure. However, these are often misused or not used because there are no prescriptive regulatory requirements and typically, urban blasting guidelines do not exist. The relationship between the increasingly negative publicity that the urban blasting industry receives and the existing state of regulatory control on blasting in urban environments is presented. Specific research points include: 1. Incidents of flyrock, vibration and overpressure related to blasting operations in urban environments were investigated across Canada but with a focus in the province of British Columbia. 2. A comparison and evaluation of blasting regulatory control in Canada, United States and Australia are presented. 3. An analysis of incidents and complaints, complemented with the approaches used to regulate blasting was performed. 4. Provincial and municipal regulators, blasting contractors, and blasting consultants were interviewed to seek advice on practical amendments to Canadian regulations to mitigate the adverse environmental effects of urban blasting. At the provincial level, it is recommended that an amendment to WorkSafeBC’s Blasting Regulations Part 21.66 (1) to hold the blasting company, in addition to the blaster, responsible for flyrock incidents will reduce incidents. At the municipal level, it is suggested that a proposed harmonized blasting bylaw, that includes an education plan in the form of an informative pamphlet, will reduce the number of vibration, and overpressure complaints. This blasting bylaw coupled with delivery of the pamphlet should minimize (i) risk to a municipality, (ii) cost and time commitment to a municipality, (iii) complaints made by concerned residents, and (iv) adverse effects on blaster productivity.

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