Permits for Blasting and Explosives
- A person may not put or place in waters, within or on the boundaries of this Commonwealth, explosives without first securing a permit from the Fish and Boat Commission.
- Blasting operations near streams are prohibited in all cases where the effect of the blasting is liable to change the course or channel of a stream without first obtaining a permit from the Department.
- Blasting activities generally may not be conducted without first obtaining a Blasting Activity Permit (non-mining) or having an approved Module 16 Blast Plan as part of an individual active mining permit. Some blasting activities that are limited in scope and impact may qualify for a Permit-by-Rule (see below).
- Under the requirements of Pennsylvania’s Title 73 P.S. § 180, prior to any excavation activity (including blasting) the Pennsylvania One Call System must be contacted. If the Blasting Activity Permit applicant is not the designer or primary contractor for the excavation activity, the Blasting Activity Permit applicant must make sure that Pennsylvania One Call System was contacted by the designer or primary contractor.
- The PA One Call Work Request Form must specify blasting as the method of excavation in order to appropriately inform utility owners as required in 25 Pa. Code § 211.182(a). Correspondence with PA One Call is sufficient to demonstrate that notification has been made to utility owners as required in 25 Pa. Code § 211.182(a).
Blasting Activity Permits
To obtain a Blasting Activity Permit (BAP) you must first obtain a Blasting Activity Permit Application or plan to conduct blasting operations that qualify for Permit-by-Rule. A person can assume they have a permit for a blasting activity (Permit-by-Rule) if:
- (a) The blasts are designed and performed for a scaled distance of 90 or greater.
- (b) No more than 15 pounds (6.81 kilograms) of explosives are detonated per delay interval of less than 8 milliseconds.
- (c) The total charge weight per blast does not exceed 150 pounds (68.18 kilograms).
- (d) The person has notified the Department either verbally, in writing, or by other means approved by the Department (e.g. DEP GreenPort).
Please Note: Permits-by-Rule are only intended for use when there is relatively low risk to people, property, public spaces, or the environment as a result of the blasting. A Blasting and Explosives Inspector (BEI) will review your Permit-by-Rule. If it is determined that there is more risk than is suitable for a Permit-by-Rule you will be asked to stop blasting and submit an application for a Blasting Activity Permit. If you are unsure, please contact your local Blasting and Explosives Inspector or apply for a standard Blasting Activity Permit.
If these do not apply to your situation, then a Blasting Activity Permit is needed. These are issued through the local District Mining Office.
For full instructions, see the Blasting Activity Permit form.
e-Blasting online applications are available for blasting activity permits and permit-by-rule. This system is primarily used for trenching and construction blasting permits. To use e-Blasting, complete the security request form for eBlasting.
Blast Plans for Individual Mining Permits
Blast Plans for modern mining permits are the Module 16 portion of the permit. Some older permits may still have a Module 13 Blast plan, instead of the current version. Although operators are not required to do so, old Module 13 Blast Plans should be updated to the new more comprehensive Module 16. Blast plans for individual mining permits should be submitted as part of the permit application. Mine permit authorization packages may be downloaded from our eLibrary.
Explosives Storage Licenses
All explosive materials must be stored in accordance with applicable ATF and Commonwealth regulations. The Commonwealth has adopted the ATF regulations by reference, and has a few unique storage requirements as well, mostly related to site security measures. All explosive storage sites must have an approved site security plan before a storage license can be issued. The locations of explosives storage sites are maintained with strict confidentiality.
Commonwealth regulations pertaining to above ground explosives storage may be found in Title 25 PA Code § 211.
Applications for explosives storage licenses may be downloaded from our eLibrary.
Blasting and explosives use is regulated under Title 25 of the Pa. Code: