IME Opposes Provision Banning the Use of Explosives in Certain Coal Mining Operations


Contact: John Boling                                                                                     December 14, 2017
Vice President of Government Affairs                                                
(202) 266-4310
Institute of Makers of Explosives Opposes Provision Banning the Use of Explosives in Certain Coal Mining Operations

Earlier today, the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) joined with the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) in a letter to Congress opposing a legislative provision that would negatively impact the commercial explosives sector. 

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva and titled, “Sustainable Energy Development Reform Act” (SEDRA), includes the following provision, which applies to all coal mining on public or private land: 

Title IV, Section 609 – Prohibition on Blasting Within One Mile of Any Occupied Dwelling – Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) to prohibit blasting within one mile of an occupied dwelling, public building, school, church, public park, or other structures.

According to Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) data, the record supports IME’s mission of advancing safety.  Since the year 2000, explosives and breakage agents were attributable to one percent of all mining fatalities.  While even one death is too many, the record is more impressive considering that the industry consumed billions of pounds of high explosives, oxidizers, and blasting agents during each year of this timeframe.  As evidenced by the record, it is clear that this legislative provision has nothing to do with safety.  

Deb Satkowiak, President of IME, stated:

For over 100 years the commercial explosives industry has worked to make the use of explosives safer, through the development of better technologies, training and best practices.  We are proud of this record and we will continue our efforts to further improve safety.  Obviously, this provision has nothing to do with safety, and while I  will not characterize why it was included in the bill, we have asked the bill to be withdrawn and reintroduced without the offending section. 

Founded in 1913, IME represents U.S. manufacturers of high explosives and other companies that distribute explosives or provide related services.  Commercial explosives are used in every state in the union and are distributed worldwide.  The ability to manufacture and distribute these products safely and securely is critical to this industry and to the mining, construction, and oil & gas industries that use our products.  IME’s Safety Library Publications cover all aspects related to the safe and secure manufacture, transport, storage, use and disposal of commercial explosives and are available for free via our website. 

More information on IME can be found at