(a) This part shall not apply to the possession, handling, storage, transportation, or use of not more than 10 pounds of blasting agents (division 1.5 explosives), two pounds of division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives, or 1,000 feet of detonating cord, or any combination thereof, by authorized employees of the Department of Transportation, acting within the scope of their employment, in the pursuit of seismic explorations.
(b) The Department of Transportation may not undertake that seismic exploration, unless the fire authority having jurisdiction in the area of the proposed seismic exploration has received a written notice from the department at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the seismic exploration. The notice shall include the time and location of the proposed seismic exploration. In addition, the employee supervising the proposed seismic exploration, or his or her designated representative, shall consult with the fire authority to determine if the proposed handling, storage, transportation, or use of explosives would constitute an unreasonable hazard to life or property. If the fire authority determines that such a hazard would arise, the department shall not engage in that handling, storage, transportation, or use of explosives.
(c) The state shall be strictly liable for any injury to any person or property proximately caused by the handling, storage, transportation, or use of explosives by the Department of Transportation for the purpose of conducting seismic exploration. All claims for damages against the state arising under this section are governed by the procedures set forth in Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 478, Sec. 3.)