It is blasting season. Explosions removing overburden at the Biesanz Stone quarry will be closer to certain residences and farther from others compared with past years, company officials say. A public meeting to answer questions from nearby residents about blasting will be held at 7 p.m. at Michael LaCanne Park today.
Tony Russell of Austin Powder Company, who will be assisting with the blasts, said blasts are going to be smaller than in years past. He said that blasts will be farther than 500 feet from residences, as required by the National Fire Protection Association, but declined to give a specific distance. It appears the closest blasts will not be a great deal farther away than 500 feet, judging by a map detailing the company's plans for this year's work.
Russell stressed that the meeting is to answer questions and respond to concerns regarding the blasting and that questions about frac sand will not be answered. Ryan Gavin, Office Manager for Biesanz Stone, said that whether frac sand will be extracted as a by-product of other quarrying this year is unknown, but "the blasts are strictly to extract dimensional limestone."
Russell said, "If there's any sand it will be way later in the year."
Gavin stated that the overburden to be removed does not contain frac sand.
Austin Powder Company, Biesanz Stone, the local Citizens Concerned About Blasting committee, and local government officials have been very successful in working together and addressing complaints, Russell said.