City Enacts Stricter Blasting and Rock-Chipping Regulations, and Sets Big Fines

0:00 By Robin Jovanovich At its last regular meeting of the year, the City Council adopted a new local law, Explosives, Blasting, and Mechanical Excavation, […]

Published February 11, 2023 5:19 PM
2 min read

0:00

By Robin Jovanovich

At its last regular meeting of the year, the City Council adopted a new local law, Explosives, Blasting, and Mechanical Excavation, that repeals the existing blasting law and now encompasses rock chipping regulations.

The Council instituted a six-month moratorium last spring that limited mechanical rock removal, drilling, and boring applications to 15 days and disallowed the review or approval of blasting applications. During that period, the Council and City staff worked assiduously to craft a law that was more restrictive than the current one.

Mayor Josh Cohn outlined the major changes: a property owner may apply for a blasting permit or a rock removal permit, but not both; the number of allowable chipping days has been reduced to 15 from 38; a maximum concussion air blast is not to exceed 130 decibels; hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays; work is prohibited on weekends, national holidays, as well as Yom Kippur. Further, an applicant must provide a dust mitigation plan and notify all neighbors within 750 feet of the project. No new blasting permit for the same location will be allowed for at least 18 months. No permit for blasting or chipping will be issued for a property within 750 feet of a property that received a permit for blasting or chipping for at least 60 days. A fine of up to $5,000 will be imposed for a first violation. 

During the meeting, City Planner Christian Miller noted that an average of 20 Rye homes are torn down annually. With that statistic in mind, it is unlikely it will ever be all quiet on the Rye residential front, but the new law goes a long way to making life more tolerable for those who live near properties being redeveloped.

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