Council adopts Blasting Committee suggestions

Thursday, March 14, 2019 0 Comments

Wasting no time since the group was formed two weeks ago, the Miami Lakes Blasting Advisory Committee hammered out a list of solutions the town hopes Florida legislators will consider in an effort to control the blasting.
For years, area residents have complained the rock mining industry’s explosions to make materials to build and repair roads and expressways caused damages to their homes and outside properties.
Miami Lakes elected voices and other residents shared their gut wrenching stories to state lawmakers but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Now, Miami Lakes may have an advantage this year, as Speaker of the House Jose Olivia is a Miami Lakes resident who may be affected by the blasting as well.
Armed with committee’s recommendations, council members are preparing to travel to Tallahassee along with a group of residents and lobby state lawmakers to make changes to the blasting regulations.
At a special meeting last week, the Town Council adopted the blasting committee’s recommendations and added a few of their own to present during the 60-day Legislative Session.
The committee suggested placing mining monitoring devices in multiple sites throughout the town; reduce the legal limit of energy waves created by blasting to 7in/sec.; transfer the authority from the state’s Fire Marshall office to local municipalities within the five areas of the state; and ask the state to extend the statutes of limitation to 36 months.
The committee also recommended to expand homeowners insurance coverage to include damages caused by the blasting.
Council members added several recommendations of their own including opposing any bill that would increase the rates of homeowners insurance if coverage is expanded for blasting, and reinstated a bus trip to the State Capitol which was canceled due to lack of participation.
Claudia Luces, a member of the Blasting Advisory Committee, said only 24 residents registered for the bus trip, which was not enough to voice their concerns to lawmakers.
“Canceling the bus trip was the wrong thing to do,” said Mayor Manny Cid. “We have worked on this to get residents inside the House. “I’ll be going on the bus trip because that’s a promise I made.”
Councilmember Joshua Dieguez said the bus trip is important to lobby legislators on an important issue.
“Most of the legislators who sit on the committees live in North Florida and are not affected by the blasting damages,” he said. “They need to hear from us talking about the damages so they can understand it.”
Councilmember Luis Collazo said Olivia may share the same blasting experience as a resident and he’s the best shot to control the blasting.
”I think he knows how important this issue is to us,” he said.
Collazo said the purpose of the bus trip wasn’t clear enough when Miami Lakes initially sought residents to travel to Tallahassee.
“The most effective weapon is getting residents there in the faces of our legislators,” he said. “If we storm the Capitol, then good. But let’s make sure we know the purpose of the trip.”
Residents are hoping the committee’s recommendations would be included in any blasting bill State Senator Manny Diaz may sponsor this year.
Most residents thanked Councilmember Marilyn Ruano who sponsored legislation to create the Basting Advisory Committee.
Abel Fernandez said Ruano listened to their concerns and acted right away.
“During a meet and greet she listened to our problems and championed the issue,” he said. “And the movement is growing.”
Ruano said to her surprise blasting was the top concern among residents while she campaigned for political office.
“I knew the top issues were traffic and schools but the most important issue was blasting,” she said. “We needed a committee to address this important issue.”

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