Temporary Emergency Permit to Detonate Unstable, Deteriorated Dynamite Found in an Abandoned Mine Shaft at the Defense Mine, Inyo County


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
Document Title
Temporary Emergency Permit to Detonate Unstable, Deteriorated Dynamite Found in an Abandoned Mine Shaft at the Defense Mine, Inyo County
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
A temporary emergency Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit has been granted to the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to treat by detonation less than one case of deteriorated nitroglycerin based dynamite found at the abandoned Defense Mine, Inyo County. The mine is located approximately 8 miles south of Panamint Springs and 7.5 miles east southeast of Darwin. The dynamite was discovered and reported on June 12, 2006. Following consultation with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) specialists from the adjacent Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, the BLM determined that the dynamite is deteriorated and unstable and, due to its shock sensitive properties, must be treated on site. The BLM has also determined that the dynamite must be treated soon to avoid the risk of injury to the general public who may be exploring the site. The site is identified on jeep trail maps and is accessible via four wheel drive vehicles. The permit is effective from July 3, 2006 to July 31, 2006. The detonation will take place as personnel and weather conditions permit. The activity will take place in the mine shaft where the dynamite was discovered, between 150 and 200 feet from the entrance. Treatment will be carried out by the Navy EOD, following standard Department of Defense procedures. BLM staff will secure the roads and provide a fire crew during the operation. Once activities have been completed, the BLM will permanently secure the entrance to this shaft.

Contact Information

Beverly Rikala
Agency Name
Department of Toxic Substances Control
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency



Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Emergency Project
Type, Section or Code
Section 15269(c)
Reasons for Exemption
This action is necessary to prevent an emergency. Although there had been a previous report of the existence of the dynamite, the location of the material has just been discovered. Due to its location and condition, BLM, the property managers, and the Navy EOD, explosive specialists, have determined that this dynamite needs to be destroyed on site. Since the dynamite has crystallized and the site is located in mountainous desert terrain remote from paved roads, the material cannot be safely moved. Delay could result in the public finding the material and being severely injured.

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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