Explosives Industry Stakeholders Meet with IRRC and PA Administration
Representatives of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), and the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) met in Harrisburg, PA with the PA Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) to express concerns over the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) proposed explosives security regulations. The IRRC representatives explained the PA regulation development process which provides nearly unfettered authority for PADEP. IRRC is responsible for advising the legislature on the reasonableness of proposed regulations. Stakeholders explained how despite our offers, we were disenfranchised from the development of PADEP’s proposals. Stakeholders also described the mainstream view of the current state of explosives security. That view is one where the level of threat and current safeguards in-place indicate a balanced and measured approach is appropriate; the radical and hurried approach currently underway by PADEP is inappropriate. The IRRC representatives listened intently as stakeholders described concerns over specific elements of PADEP’s proposals and suggested solutions to those concerns. IME will be providing more information to IRRC in preparation for their public hearing on this matter. Industry members are encouraged to send comments to IRRC at IRRC@IRRC.STATE.PA.US.
After the meeting with IRRC, the stakeholders met with representatives of the PADEP, Office of Homeland Security (OHS), PA State Police (PSP), and Governor Rendell. The meeting was intended to help each side understand the other, but there appears to be no willingness on the part of PADEP, OHS, or PSP to adjust their course or alter their belief that a rampant and critical explosives theft problem exists in PA and the nation. At one point, the PSP stated that IME’s security standard, SLP-27, was “completely valueless” to their process. The Governor’s staff appeared more open to industry’s views, requesting a side-by-side version of how the stakeholders would modify the proposed regulation. APA, IME and ISEE will try to reach consensus on such a proposal in the coming weeks. Industry members are encouraged to send comments to Adrian King, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Rendell at firstname.lastname@example.org.