1. Environment
  2. Air Quality

Blasting Control Program

BLASTING REGULATIONS

  • The City of Huntsville (COH) blasting regulations were enacted in 1989 and are derived from studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines of structural response to blasting activities near quarries. Based on the U.S. Bureau of Mines studies, the ground vibration and air over pressure limits set forth in the COH ordinance fall below the thresholds that would result in structural damage from blasting.
  • Huntsville’s blasting regulations are among the strictest in the country regarding vibration and air pressure levels and were adopted by several other local municipalities.
  • The State of Alabama passed the “Alabama Explosives Safety Act of 1993,” which regulates any municipality that does not have a blasting ordinance in place prior to its inception. The regulations set forth in this Act are less stringent than the COH ordinance limits.

BLAST MONITORING

  • Every blast must be conducted under the supervision of an Alabama-certified blaster and during daylight hours (no earlier than 7 a.m. CST). Blasting companies must be permitted, licensed and insured.
  • Every blast is required to be monitored using a calibrated seismograph that must be located outside or off of the property under the control of the area where the blast is taking place. Seismographs are required to be calibrated annually by a certified laboratory.
  • Blast notifications are required to be given to the COH four (4) hours prior to the planned blast. A 24-hour notice is required for weekend blasts.
  • The COH DNREM currently has four (4) seismographs that are used to determine compliance and are available for installation at any residence located inside the city limits of Huntsville. These seismographs are calibrated annually and are installed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to monitor your residence, please contact our office at 256-427-5750 for availability.

BLAST ENFORCEMENT

  • Blasting permits are issued by the COH Department of Natural Resources (DNR) prior to initiation of blasting activities.
  • Ground vibrations and airblast standards are enforced by the COH DNR by reviewing site monitoring reports, performance of inspections and conducting seismographic monitoring.

BLAST NOTIFICATIONS

  • Vulcan Materials has a blasting notification system that is available to all citizens. Should you wish to receive blast notifications associated with the Vulcan quarry, please call 256-852-0411 and request to receive pre-blast notifications.
  • Blue Water has a blasting notification system that is available to all citizens. Should you wish to receive blast notifications associated with the Blue Water quarry, please call 865-512-7628 and request to receive pre-blast notifications.

CONTACT

  • If you have questions or concerns about blasting in your area, the DNR can be reached via phone at 256-427-5750 or fax at 256-427-5751. The DNR office is located at 320 Fountain Circle SW, Huntsville, AL 35801.

Must receive certification before applying for a permit to detonate explosives

Must apply for permit to detonate explosive

View current laws on blasting and detonation

Contact
  • Phone:

    256-427-5750  

  • Address:

    Natural Resources Office

    320 Fountain Circle SW

    Huntsville, AL 35801

    View Map

  • Email:

    Scott.Cardno@HuntsvilleAL.gov

    Scott Cardno

    Natural Resources Director

  • Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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