Metro Council urges state lawmakers to increase regulations on blasting at construction sites

Posted at 6:25 AM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 08:36:51-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — This week, Metro Council members approved a resolution urging state lawmakers to create tighter regulations on blasting at construction sites.

The resolution, which was passed on the council's consent agenda, looks to limit maximum allowable ground vibration at blasting sites and increase fines for companies that break the rules. It cites two bills that were introduced at the capitol last session, but were ultimately tabled as the legislature turned its attention to the COVID-19 crisis.

Council members are turning to state lawmakers because blasting is regulated by state officials, and cities and counties are unable to create their own restrictions.

"It's extremely frustrating because... this is one of those situations where there's nothing I can do to help," District 13 Council Member Russ Bradford said. Bradford was one of the sponsors of the resolution. "We don't have any authority, everything is controlled by the state fire marshal. So when I've gotten complaints over the last year and a half, I've advised them I would send them up to the fire marshal."

Bradford hopes the resolution sends a message to the state.

"I hope the message that we're sending with this is, look, we have a right to have a say in how our city develops and how it grows and what happens in our city," he said.

So far, no bills limited blasting have been introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives or the Tennessee Senate.