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National Coal Board (Blasting)

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will introduce legislation that would reduce the present permitted distance at which the National Coal Board Opencast Executive can use blasting equipment in proximity to occupied dwellings.

There is no statutorily permitted distance at which the National Coal Board Opencast Executive can use blasting equipment in proximity to occupied dwellings in the course of opencast mining operations authorised under the Opencast Coal Act 1958. However, where blasting is to be carried out, I invariably place a limit on the perceived effects at the nearest building in the planning conditions which I impose when I authorise the board to work coal by opencast operations.