ATF Proposes Changes to Applicability of Rules on Ammonium Nitrate

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) recently published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to remove the reference to an outdated guidance document in an explanatory note following the table of separation distances (TSD) of ammonium nitrate (AN) and blasting agents from explosives or blasting agents. ATF also proposed amending that note to clarify that those separation distance requirements apply to all AN.

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ATF Approves Variance from Q/D Based on IMESAFR

According to the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), ATF has approved the first variance from the American Table of Distances (ATD) based on a quantitative risk analysis using the Institute of Makers of Explosives Analysis for Risk (IMESAFR) tool. IME Member Company, Nelson Brothers, was granted the variance in April 2015.  Explosives Risk Managers LLC (ERM) contributed to this effort and congratulates IME and Nelson Brothers for this accomplishment.  Please contact us at (202) 288-2029 or if you are interested in seeking ERM’s support in getting a variance from ATF from quantity-distance (Q/D) regulations.debris

B. Todd Jones Resigns as ATF Director

btoddjonesAfter less than two years at the post, ATF Director B. Todd Jones has resigned, the agency announced on Friday.  Jones was the first ATF Director approved by Congress after a lengthy period from 2006 to 2013 in which a series of nominees failed to meet Congress’ criteria and the agency was rudderless.

So once again, ATF has no permanent leader.  This is not a good situation for the explosives industry.  Initiatives that would be beneficial to industry may now be held up because of uncertainty at the top.

OSM Accepts Wild Earth Guardians’ Petition for Rulemaking on NOx

On July 14, 2014 the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSM) announced that it had received a petition for rulemaking from the Wild Earth Guardians (WEG) to regulate NOx from blasting more rigorously and invited the public to comment.

OSM received 119 comments on the petition, many supportive.  On February 20, 2015 OSM announced that it accepted the petition and would open rulemaking to “address this issue.”   Continue reading