Local blasting ordinance blasted away by state bill
Sebastian del Marmol
over a controversial blasting ordinance was delayed by the Miami-Dade
County Commission Tuesday by news that a state bill awaiting the governor's
signature would preempt Miami-Dade's authority to regulate the mining
Diaz de la Portilla said he sponsored the ordinance as a way to regulate
the industry, which he says has caused major damage to residences
near the Lake Belt in Northwest Miami-Dade.
and several colleagues objected to the state bill, which would strip
monitoring responsibilities from the county and hand them to the state's
Diaz de la Portilla first proposed blasting regulations in November
1999 but was forced to defer them three times because a task force
created to study the issue had not finished its work.
told you so," Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said Tuesday.
said he has been lobbying to protect residences in the area and the
long delays eventually caught up with the commission.
Diaz de la Portilla said state legislation would restrict the commission's
ability to deal with blasting.
ordinance would have limited the number of blasts mining companies
could set off each week and required permit fees to cover costs of
asked County Manager Merrett Stierheim to determine what the county
could do in light of the new legislation.
don't know where we go from here," Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said.
"We should consider legal action" against the state "if
commission voted to ask Gov. Jeb Bush to veto the legislation, which
is included in a larger transportation bill.
Stierheim asked Mr. Diaz de la Portilla to defer the matter until
June 6 to see if Mr. Bush would veto the legislation.
Miriam Alonso, who has long clashed with Mr. Diaz de la Portilla over
the local ordinance, said deferring action would also give the task
force the chance to make its final report.
Alonso said the state should not meddle in the county's affairs. She
also said she felt betrayed by mining companies, which had worked
with her task force to develop reasonable regulations on the industry.
have tried to protect the quality of life of residents and the jobs
of industry employees but I am offended by what has happened,"
well as lobbying for the state law, mining companies recently filed
two suits against the county to block proposed regulations.
Bruno Barreiro said he also felt the state action infringed on county
the state legislature is in session, no life or human being is safe,"
Mr. Barreiro said. "At the last minute of the session anything
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