Malta has a number of quarry operators that are engaged in the extraction of hardstone through blasting operations. The Malta Environment and Planning Authority oversees the implementation of regulations and legal obligations related to quarry operations in terms of monitoring of vibration levels from blasting operations.
Given the environmental concerns associated with these vibrations, the Authority is issuing for public consultation terms of reference (TORs) and a guidance document on vibration monitoring of quarry blasting. The purpose of these guidelines is to improve environmental performance by providing quarry operators with details as to how and what is required in order to monitor vibrations from blasting operations. Maximum vibration levels that shall be considered acceptable are also being specified.
Apart from providing details on the parameters that need to be monitored, these guidelines clarify responsibilities of the operators, stipulate threshold levels for vibration monitoring and determine other specifications related to location, design and sensitivity of the monitoring equipment. In addition, the TORs also provide guidance on the documentation that needs to be submitted to the Authority prior to the commencement, and upon completion of the blasting operations.
The TORs and related guidance document are available on MEPA website at www.mepa.org.mt/public-consultation. The Authority is encouraging quarry operators, the public, NGOs and all other interested parties to provide feedback and comments on the proposed guidelines, prior to approval as official documents.
Comments can be submitted throughout this consultation period at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: MEPA, P.O. Box 200, Marsa, MRS 1000 until 31 July 2011.
Draft terms of reference - Quarry Blasting and Vibration Monitoring
Draft Guidance to Vibration Monitoring and Blasting in Quarries