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Blasting Mining Expert Witness

Keywords

Geologist Blasting Mining, Blasting Mining Explosive Engineering, Blasting Mining Use Of Explosives, Blasting, Mining, Blasting Damage Claim, Mining Construction Safety, Blasting Vibration, Blasting Mining Explosive Accident, Blasting Accident, Blasting Mining Injury Investigator, Blasting Mining Geotechnical, Blasting Mining Bombing, Blasting Mining, Mining Damage Claim, Mining Vibration,

Kentucky

Expert Witness No.921

Kentucky

Education:

B.B.A. - University of Massachusetts, 1972.  Numerous continuing education courses in explosives chemistry and blasting geology.

Professional Employment

September, 1983, to Present, President of own consulting firm where I specialize in complicated research and development, third party complaint and claim investigation, and expert testimony in explosives and blasting-related litigation.  Clients consist of surface and underground mining companies, heavy and light construction companies, quarries, private citizens, vocational schools, colleges, state and federal regulatory agencies, trade associations, consulting groups, and legal firms.  I am continually involved with the design of complicated blasting rounds for pipeline construction, trenching, quarry and  mine blasting, foundation excavation, shaft sinking, tunneling, and various demolition projects.  I also provide clients with third party consulting and analysis services with regard to explosives selection, project cost analysis, and equipment selection analysis.

February, 1979, to August, 1983, Green Coal and Construction Company, Owensboro, Kentucky, and Oaktown, Indiana.  Director of Safety, Training, and Government Affairs.  Green Coal and Construction Company had 6 surface mining operations in Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, and Southern Indiana, employing over 500 people.  My responsibilities included all, or part, of the following :
Blast designs and its associated duties, to pre-blast surveys, claim and complaint investigations, safety and training and all MSHA related areas.  Also, mine permitting and (including Air, E.P.A., etc.) mine operations, reclamation, all environmental studies, and the assurance that the mines and other associated operations were in compliance with ALL applicable laws and regulations.  I was also involved with equipment and supply purchasing and public relations.  I also helped the attorneys prepare lawsuits for, and against, the company.  I solely represented the company in all violation and settlement hearings and conferences.  I also served (and continue to serve) on various committees for the Kentucky Coal Association and regulatory advisory committees for both the states of Kentucky and Indiana.
In early 1981, the company purchased a contour and mountaintop removal mine in Martin County, Kentucky, and leased a loading dock in Greenup, Kentucky.  It was my responsibility to open these operations, insure that they were properly permitted and operated in compliance with all environmental, mining, and safety laws.  I also trained the new superintendent in the design and operations of the mine.  I also became involved in leasing additional property.
In the summer of 1981, I was given the responsibility of developing and designing the company’s future “Tar Sands” mining operation.  This $53,000,000.000 investment was a partnership with Green Coal Company and Texas Gas Transmission Corporation.  My responsibilities not only included mine design, operation, and planning, but designing the proper environmental studies to answer ALL environmental questions and concerns.

1977-1979 Commonwealth of Kentucky - Division of Explosives and Blasting:
I was appointed to the position of Acting Director and then to Director of the division.
During this period, the Federal Office of Surface Mining was constructing its surface blasting laws.  I represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the hearing and made comments on the regulations, not only for the State, but for the coal associations, to include the National Coal Association, Kentucky Coal Association, and the National Independent Coal Operators Association.  I feel that my comments were responsible for many of the changes in the regulations and the withdrawal of the training requirements for rewriting.

I also had the task of incorporating the new Federal laws with the existing laws of the Commonwealth.  To implement the new laws, the size of the Division was to double, as was the budget. I completed this in less than the allotted time.
I assisted 10 other states and one country in establishing their blaster training programs.  I personally trained the inspectors of some of the nearby coal states in blasting and inspecting.  I was asked by the Federal Government to train their inspectors at a future date.  I wrote a blaster training program for the Kentucky college system and the vocational school system.  I assisted the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University in adding blasting to their engineering programs.  I also had the day-to-day operation of the Division and rewrote and conducted hearings on changes of the Division’s laws and regulations.

1976    Division of Explosives and Blasting:
I was appointed as the first Inspector/Instructor of the Division.  During this time, my job was not only to inspect, but also to instruct.  I developed, and put into action, the first blaster training program of any state or federal agency.  The course was designed to take the individual with little, or no, blasting knowledge and make him a safe, legal, and efficient blaster.  The course was 40 hours long and ended with an exam that, if passed, allowed the student to receive a Kentucky Blaster’s License.  Through this course, I have trained hundreds of blasters across the state.  During this time, I wrote two blaster training manuals for use in the classes, “The Limited Blaster Study Guide,” and “Explosive and Blasting Study Guide for Surface Blasting.”

1976     Carl Jones and Associates:
My position was that of a manufacturer’s representative for Kinepak, a two component explosive made by Atlas Powder Company.  My task was to assist customers with problems and to develop new customers in the state of Kentucky.  During this time, I instructed and conducted numerous training programs for companies such as Kentucky Utilities, South Central Bell, and many utility and pipeline contractors.  This position helped expand my knowledge to include to smaller operation, blasting in residential areas and blasting in close location to homes.  This position also allowed me to work as an explosive user and gave me a different outlook than that of a regulator.

1972-1976      Division of Explosives and Blasting:
I was appointed as the first Explosives and Blasting Inspector for the newly formed Division of Explosives and Blasting of the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals.  My duties were to enforce the laws and regulations governing the use, sale, storage, manufacturing, and transportation of explosives in the state.  I investigated complaints and claims from residents living around blasting operations.  During these investigations, I acted as an intermediary between the resident and the operator to try to get the two to exist in harmony.  Also, during this time, I developed the format for inspections and complaint investigations, I assisted operators with blasting and compliance problems in order to reduce the complaints.  I assisted the Director in writing and rewriting regulations and represented the Division in the absence of the Director.  An additional duty was to train new inspectors for the Division in blast monitoring, blast design, complaint investigation, and blasting operation inspections.  I attended numerous blasting and blaster training schools, seminars, and conferences across the country to improve my technical knowledge.  I used this knowledge to teach informal training programs for operators across the state.  I assisted the Director in developing and organizing the Annual Kentucky Explosive and Blasting Conference held each year in Lexington, Kentucky.  In 1975, I joined the newly formed Society of Explosives Engineers and was one of its first and youngest members.
I worked as a surveyor for Harrison and Associates of Middletown, Kentucky.  I worked in all areas of the survey crew since the company was involved in designing subdivisions in the Louisville area.

Prior to 1972, I was in college and in military service.

Professional Activities

In August, 2005, I presented an updated and Power Point version of the paper “Difficulties and Suggestions when Drilling and Blasting in a Karst Environment” to The 5th Annual Technical Forum of Geohazards in Transportation in the Appalachian Region, in Charleston, WV.  The conference was sponsored by Marshall University and the United States Corps of Engineers. 

In February, 2005, I presented a paper titled “Difficulties and Suggestions when Drilling and Blasting in a Karst Environment”, to the 31st Annual Conference on Explosives & Blasting Technique, sponsored by the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  The paper was also printed in the conference proceedings.

In September, 2004, I started providing expert analysis, opinions, and advice, pertaining to explosives and bomb making to news organizations such as Reuters and WTOP in Washing, D.C.

In May, 2004, I presented a paper titled, “Drilling and Blasting in a Karst Environment”, to The 40th (International) Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals.  The forum was held at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.  The paper will be published in the conference proceedings. The paper was also published by “The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association Bulletin (Sep 2004), and “Pit and Quarry” magazine (Oct. 2004).

In February, 2003, I was requested by Mr. Bob Kwiatkoski, of OSHA, to assist Director Lee Smith, in  the task of revising CFR 29 1910.109 (OSHA explosives and blasting regulations). 

In October, 2003, I worked on the establishment of a blasting program for the opening of an underground limestone quarry in Joliet, IL.  The work involved of review of the blast designs, mine geology, quarry operation, the preblast survey and the establishment of a safe ground vibration limit for blasting close to monitoring wells and a historic coal-fired electric generating plant.

In August, 2003, I started work on establishing the blasting program for the opening of a surface and underground hard rock quarry.  This work consisted of the development of blast designs, blast monitoring, and the conduct of preblasting surveys.  The quarry is located near Rio, Brazil.

In January, 2002, I preblast surveyed, inspected, and established safe ground vibration limits for blasting within a few hundred feet of a historic structure. The work was done in Ottawa, MN. 

In September, 2000, I preblast surveyed, inspected, established safe ground vibration limits, and established the blasting program for blasting

In November 1999, I prepared the explosives, blasting, and blast monitoring contract specifications, and the anticipated hazards and effects for the removal by explosives of the Mc Alpine Lock and Dam near downtown Louisville for the United States Corps of Engineers.   This work also included designing the specifications for the installation and construction of the new lock and dam.

In October 1999, I conducted a blasting training seminar for the managers of the Louisville district of the United States Corps of Engineers.

In May of 1999, I prepared a “Blasting Hazard Report” for the Grundy, Virginia project for the Charleston, WV district of the United States Corps of Engineers.   At the same time, I developed the blasting and explosives contract specifications for the Corps.  This project consists of blasting and moving part of a mountain and moving the entire town to the other side of the river.

In 1998, I presented a blasting, explosives use, and blasting seismology seminar to the Charleston, WV district of the United States Corps of Engineers.

In July of 1996, I was retained by Mr. Joe Savage, a Lexington attorney for the families of the victims, to provide consulting and expert witness services in the New York state bombing case (O’Donnel  vs Kentucky Powder Company).  This is where explosives were purchased in Kentucky, transported to New York, and used to make bombs.  The bombing resulted in the deaths of five people and injured five others.

In April of 1995, I presented a paper in the technical workshop for the, “Effective Drilling & Blasting Seminar” presented by the National Stone Association.  The title of the paper was, “Blasting Public Relations - Ease Their Fears.”

In October of 1994, I was selected to serve on the committee for formulating a statewide policy for blasting adjacent to buried gas pipelines in the state of Connecticut.  The policy will establish safe blasting standards and limitations when blasting is next to the lines.  The committee was established by the Connecticut Chapter of the International Society of Explosives Engineers.

In January, 1994, I was retained by the two largest explosives manufacturers in the world, IRECO Incorporated (of DYNO Explosives Group) and ICI Explosives (formally ATLAS Powder).  The work consisted of explosives and blasting consulting and expert witness services.  The work was in the defense of the $300,000,000.00 anti-trust and patent infringement lawsuit filed against them by Thermex-Energy Corporation.

In September of 1993, my blasting and seismic monitoring proposal was selected by the city of Kansas City and the Gracemore Citizens Group to monitor the blasting and blast effects of Hunt Midwest’s large underground limestone quarry.  The quarry was located within hundreds of feet over 1,500 homes in the Gracemore subdivision.  The residents have been complaining about the blasting and claiming blasting damage for many years.  This work was to conduct structural surveys on selected structures, collect geographical data, develop and install a seismic monitoring program, review the blasting designs used at the quarry, train the city staff on basic blasting, blasting seismology, and the installation and operation of computerized blasting seismographs.  The objective was to determine if the blasting was within industry and regulatory standards, was proper for the existing conditions, and if it was causing any damages to the structures.  The project was to take over a year to complete.

In June, 1993, I was selected by the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to conduct explosives and blasting training classes for the Technical Permit Reviewers and Field Inspectors.  This training consisted of blasting theory, mechanics, systems, designs, seismic monitoring, and seismogram interpretation.  The training was conducted in Frankfort and at the regional field offices.  The training was conducted through Eastern Kentucky University, where I am a member of the educational staff.

In January, 1992, I sat for, and completed, the first Blaster Certification Exam for the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  The exam was to test the technical knowledge and ethics of members wishing to become Certified Blaster by the Society.

In October, 1991, I was asked to serve on a select explosives and blasting committee by the Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association.  The task of the committee was to develop explosive and blasting laws and regulations for the construction and quarry industry within the state of Indiana.  The regulatory package is to be presented to the Indiana General Assembly in late 1992 or early 1993.  It is expected that this package will be implemented into laws and regulations for Indiana.

In late 1990 and early 1991, I started assisting the United States National Park Service with its Blaster Training and Certification Program for Federal Park Rangers.  This service not only included working with the development of the program, but also consisted of conducting training programs and classes for the park rangers.  In May, 1991, I traveled to Yellowstone National Park for the first of a series of blaster training classes for the park rangers of that area.  This work will be ongoing until the program and training is completed.

In February, 1991, I was honored with a service award for serving ten years on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  This award was given at the Seventeenth Conference on Explosives and Blasting Techniques in Las Vegas.

In November, 1989, I was retained by Mississippi Chemical Corporation as a technical advisor and field tester for the development of explosive (blasting agent) grade ammonia nitrate.

In December, 1998, I was appointed as a member of the Certification and Training Committee for the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  This group will formulate the certification and testing program for members of the Society who wish to be certified as blasters by the Society.

In December, 1988, I was elected for a fourth term as a member of the Board of Directors of The International Society of Explosives Engineers.

In February, 1987, I developed, and was chairman of a workshop entitled “Protecting and Defending Your Blasting Operation.”  This workshop was presented at the 1987 Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique, for The Society of Explosives Engineers in Miami, Florida.

In December, 1986, I was elected to a third term on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Explosives Engineers.

In October, 1986, I was appointed to the Kentucky Steering Committee for Miner Education and Training.  The committee consists of a group of industry experts, university educators, and state and federal regulators.  Their function is to research mine accidents, and safety and training problems within the coal industry.  Other functions are to make recommendations for safer work methods and to improve training.

In September, 1986, I started expert consulting work for Mr. Jerry Weislander of Altoona, Iowa.  This work was for the litigation filed on behalf of the families of two young boys killed in the explosion of a dynamite magazine in 1983.  This case was settled out of court for the largest wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Iowa.  This work consisted of proper storage and use of explosives.  It took about three weeks to complete.

In March, 1986, I was appointed to the 1986 Proceedings Review Committee of the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  This committee reviews paper presented at the annual meeting for technical content and grammar.

In January, 1986, I was asked by the Commissioner of the Department for Surface Mining and Reclamation & Enforcement to conduct a refresher course for all of his reclamation inspectors.  These classes explained, up-dated, and advised the inspectors as to the enforcement actions of the new permanent program blaster regulations.  This class also included the explanation of the blaster certification and training program and suspension and revocation of blaster certification.

In December, 1985, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Society of Explosives Engineers.  This was the first time an independently nominated (write-in) member had ever been elected to any Society office.  This is the second time I had served on the board.

In December, 1985, I was asked by Mr. Charles A. Nork, Chief Blasting and Safety Section, for the State of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Mining & Reclamation, to serve on a special advisory council.  The duties of the council were to review the new blasting laws and regulations and to advise the state as to the “workability” of the program and any necessary changes.

On December 6th, 1985, I wrote and delivered a paper titled “Clearing the Blasting Area, and Reducing the Fly rock Hazard.”  This was presented to the Kentucky Blasting Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.

In September, 1985, I wrote and delivered a paper titled, “Blasting Effects on Water Wells & Ground Water.”  This paper was presented to The 10th Annual Governor’s Conference on the Environment in Frankfort, Kentucky.

In 1985, I was the “expert” who provided the research and blasting consulting services for the Adkins Coal Company in the “Topmost Mining Disaster.”  This was a 53 million dollar lawsuit resulting from the death of 8 miners from the underground mining method of “shooting on the solid” at the Adkins #18 underground mine in Eastern Kentucky.  The case was settled for 3 million.

In April, 1994, I was asked by the State of Virginia, through the University of Kentucky, to instruct all of the state inspectors in blasting and explosives regulations.  This course was taught in early August, 1984.

In October of 1983, I developed a course titled, “General Blasting Techniques and Explosives Regulations” for the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Mining and Minerals Research and the U.S. Bureau of Mines.  This course was developed to educate lawyers, engineers, insurance adjusters, and real estate professionals to generate blast design, blast engineering, blast vibrations, blasting and explosives regulations.  I taught this course at various locations across the State of Kentucky in early 1984.  The course has also been accredited by the Kentucky Bar Association.

In March and April of 1983, I developed and conducted an “Advanced Blasting Workshop” at each district office for the reclamation inspectors in Kentucky.  This was sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University.

In March, 1982, I was selected for the newly formed “Steering Committee, Mine Education and Training,” by the Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Commissioner of Education of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  The responsibility of the group of industry experts was to guide and develop the necessary safety training for surface and underground miners.

In December, 1981, I taught a “mini” blaster training course for the “1981 Symposium on Surface Mining Hydrology, Sedimentology, and Reclamation.”  The book I wrote for this course was published by the University of Kentucky College of Engineering and is still used in its technical programs.

In October, 1981, I wrote, presented, and had published by McGraw Hill, a paper entitled, “How Can We Afford Production at F. Graber Mine.”  The paper was presented during a session of “Containing Costs in the Pit” during the Coal Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

From August, 1980 to present. I was elected to the staff of Eastern Kentucky University as a special instructor.  My task is to train all the Department of Natural Resources personnel in blast engineering, blasting regulations, blast monitoring and blasting operation inspection and investigation.

In June, 1980, I was requested by the new Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, to develop and instruct blasting and use of explosives training program for his instructors and inspectors.  This program became part of the Commonwealth’s training program for new inspectors.

From March to June, 1980, I was selected by the Office of Surface Mining to serve as a member of a panel of industry experts to develop the Federal Blasters Certification Program and Exam.

In November, 1979, I was appointed to a special industry task force to review the proposed permanent regulatory program for Kentucky.  This program was the one sent to the federal government to allow the state to receive primacy.  The task force was selectively appointed by the Secretary of Natural Resources and made up of top industry experts whose job was to review all the proposed regulations and submit comments on what the industry could live with and what put an extreme hardship on us.
Committees I have worked on and will in the future are: Permitting, Bonding, Use of Explosives, Hydrology, Prime Farmland, Engineering, and Lands Unsuitable.

In October, 1979, I was asked, and accepted, an invitation from McGraw Hill to be the Chairman of the Blasting Session at the Coal Age Conference and Expo to be held in Louisville.  There, I moderated the session and delivered a paper along with the top industry experts to the conference.

In September, 1979, I was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to a special coal marketing advisory committee.  The purpose of this group was to keep the governor informed of the current state of coal sales and advise him on how his office can assist the industry.

In March, 1979, I was asked by McGraw Hill to chair the blasting workshops at the Federal Surface Mining Regulations Conference in Washington, D.C.  There, I conducted a session to explain the blasting laws and how to comply with them.

In December, 1979, I organized the Fifth Kentucky Explosive and Blasting Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.  This proved to be the most successful conference ever, since more  than 300 attended from across the country.  Also, in December, I was appointed as Director of the Division of Explosives and Blasting by the Governor of Kentucky.  This was indeed an honor, as Kentucky is the leader in fair and complete explosives and blasting regulations and training.  

Past and Present Professional Associations

Society of Explosive Engineering, Director, Membership Committee Chairman, Paper Selection Committee, Proceedings Review Committee, Blaster Certification Committee, S.E.E. representative for the development of “Safe Transportation of Explosives” film for the Institute of Makers of Explosives, Workshop Chairman, Conference Session Chairman, and member of the Certification and Training Committee for society members.
Western Kentucky Coal Association, Chairman, Board of Directors
Kentucky Coal Association, Technical Advisor, Legal Committee
Kentuckians for Better Transportation
Kentucky Waterways Association, Director
Kentucky Coal Council
Kentucky Coal Marketing Advisory Group
National Mine Inspectors Institute
Indiana Coal Council, Technical Advisor, Government Affairs Committee
Indiana Mine Institute
West Virginia Surface Mining and Reclamation Association
Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association
Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association
Mine Education, Safety and Training Steering Committee
THE Coal Journal, Technical Advisor, Assistant Editor, and Writer
Tri-State Chapter of the Society of Explosives Engineers
Hartlands Chapter of the Society of Explosives Engineers
Education Committee, Madisonville Community College       

Licenses and Certifications

Registered Professional Geologist Registration

Blaster Licenses or Certifications:

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Commonwealth of Virginia
State of West Virginia
State of Indiana
State of Alabama

Certified Blasting Instructor:

Commonwealth of Kentucky
State of Indiana - Surface Coal Mine Blasting
State of West Virginia
Surface Mine Foreman: Commonwealth of Kentucky

MSHA Certifications, Courses, and Instructor Certifications:

Dust Sampling (underground and surface)
Dust Calibration & Maintenance (underground and surface)
First Aid Methods
First Aid (instructor)
Noise Level Testing (instructor)
Principles of Noise Generation & Control (instructor)
Instructor Training (instructor)
Accident Prevention (instructor)
Surface Mining (instructor)
Gas Detection (instructor)

Publications and Paper Presentations

Available upon Request.

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