Journal of Environmental Law and Policy

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Journal of Environmental Law and Policy is an international, interdisciplinary journal that facilitates an understanding of environmental governance, policy and law issues not only by drawing upon and contributing to the environmental social sciences, but also linking the ecosystem health, natural resources, and social sciences. The aim of the journal is to promote communication among academia, government, business and industry, civil society groups, citizens’ action groups, and non-governmental organizations who are instrumental in the solving of environmental problems and grassroots level issues.


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M – 00310Analytical Article

Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts

Tony Sevelka

International Valuation Consultants Inc., Suite 38, Matheson Mews, 2601 Matheson Boulevard East, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5A8 Canada. E-mail: | ORCID:

*Corresponding author

(2022) 02 (03) Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 1-78

Accepted: 30 November 2022

No. of Abstract Views:

Published: 28 December 2022

No. of Paper Downloads:


Aggregate resources are essential for road and building construction. In 2019, the US domestic production reached 1.53 billion tons of crushed stone valued at $18.7 billion produced by an estimated 1,430 companies operating 3,440 quarries, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries. But, it is also recognized that a quarry blasting below the water table is one of the most noxious, toxic and destructive uses of land, with no reasonable prospect of post-extraction-rehabilitation. If permitted and established in the wrong geographic location, a blasting quarry operation can result in significant deleterious impacts on the environment and local inhabitants and can disrupt short and long-term land use planning objectives. Because a quarry can remain operational for 100+ years, impacting five or more generations; quarries have the potential to cause permanent environmental degradation, destabilize communities, damage, sterilize or diminish the use and enjoyment of residential and non-residential properties, and reduce property values. Blasting is the preferred method of extracting rock in a quarry operation, the consequences of which can lead to environmental and property damage, and to injury or death of human and non-human life. In North America, licensing and operational oversight of a pit or quarry are primarily controlled by the individual states, territories and provinces, and address matters of compliance, while issues related to land use planning and zoning are entirely within the jurisdiction of the local municipalities, counties or regions. Accordingly, this research paper seeks to inform land use planners of the importance of protecting the environment and its inhabitants from the adverse effects, including the diminution in property values, associated with aggregate extraction operations generally and blasting quarries specifically, through the use of permanent onsite setbacks and offsite separation distances to avoid land use incompatibility and sensitive land uses.

Keywords: Quarry; Blasting; Mining; Environmental degradation; Legislation; Reclaim


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Tony Sevelka, ‘Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts’ (2022) 02 (03) Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 1-78

Harvard Style

Sevelka,T. (2022). Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03):1-78. DOI:

APA Style

Sevelka,T. (2022). Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03), 1-78.

ACS Style

SevelkaT. Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 2022, 02(03), 1-78.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sevelka,Tony. 2022. “Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts”. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02 no. 03: 1-78.

AAA Style

Sevelka,Tony. 2022. “Blasting Quarry Operations: Land Use Compatibility Issues and Potential Property Value Impacts”. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03): 1-78.

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