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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Kebblish, William
Pennsylvania,   pp. 449-460 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 449

The Mineral Industry of 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Pennsylvania Bureau
Topographic and Geologic Survey, Department of Environmental Resources, to
information covering all nonfuel mineral production from mines and quarries.
By William Kebblish' 
 The value of Pennsylvania's mineral production, excluding fuels, was $629.5
million in 1978 and $722.6 million in 1979. Production value increased for
masonry and portland cement, clays, lime, peat, and crushed stone, compared
with production values for 1977; but, value declined in 1978 for dimension
stone and zinc, rebounding to higher levels in 1979. 
 Nationally, Pennsylvania ranked high in mineral production and led in the
production of masonry cement and cadmium. The State was second in the production
of lime, pig iron, finished iron oxide pigments and other iron oxide materials
(both natural and synthetic), slag, and stone; third in portland cement output;
fifth in dimension stone output; and seventh in the production of zinc, crude
mica, and clay and shale. Leading producing counties were York (cement and
stone), Butler (lime, cement, and stone), Huntingdon (stone), and Armstrong
(sand and gravel, clays, and stone). 
 Trends and Developments.—At the end of 1978, the Environmental
Agency (EPA) drafted air regulations requiring dry emission-control systems
for certain mineral-processing plants. The proposed rules would apply to
new, modified, or rebuilt plants that process nonmetals, with only a minimal
impact on existing plants. The dry emission-control systems, better known
as baghouses, would be used prunarily in the stone, sand and gravel, and
cement industries, all of which are important industries in Pennsylvania.
 The environmental effects of dredging for sand and gravel in the Allegheny
River became an issue in 1978 and 1979 and resulted in hearings held by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As a result, the Corps of Engineers requested
EPA to prepare an environmental impact statement on dredging of the Allegheny.
The Corps also withheld action on new dredging permits, but existing permits
remained valid. 
 United States Steel Corp. announced plans to construct a new steel mill
on Lake Erie at the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. It was expected that the $3
to $4 billion plant would be completed in 8 years, providing over 8,000 jobs.
Steel production was projected at over 6. million short tons annually, or
about 17% of the firm's existing capacity. Pennsylvania authorities had no
objections to the proposed plant, and the application for construction awaited
approval from the Corps of Engineers and EPA. 
 Planned improvements by steel companies in the Pittsburgh area included
four electric furnaces, two by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. and two
Crucible Alloys. Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. planned to construct a rail
mill, and Monongahela Steel Corp. planned to build a reinforcing bar and
rod mill. In the Johnstown area, Bethlehem Steel Corp. planned to install
a new electric melt shop, and Abex Corp. planned to produce railroad wheels.
Legislation and Government Programs.—The Pennsylvania General Assembly
passed five bills pertaining to the mm449 

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