Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Tepordei, Valentin V.
Sand and gravel, pp. 763-791 ff. PDF (2.1 MB)
764 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 15% to 4.2 million tons, but decreased to 2.1 million tons in 1979. Imports of sand and gravel increased 62% in 1978 to 625,000 tons, but decreased in 1979 to 423,000 tons. As appropriate throughout the remainder of this report, where different values exist for 1978 and 1979, the 1978 values are shown first, with the 1979 values immediately following in parentheses. Legislation and Government Programs.—In August 1977, the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act became Public Law 95-87. Through section 709 of the act, Congress directed the Council on Environmental Quality2 (CEQ) to sponsor a study regarding the applicability of this law to the surface mining of noncoal minerals. In April 1978, the National Academy of Sciences, under a contract with CEQ formed the Committee on Surface Mining and Reclamation (COSMAR) whose task was to complete the study requested by Congress. In November 1979, COSMAR's final report on "Surface Mining of Non-Coal Minerals" was published. Recognizing its importance, sand and gravel was studied as a separate commodity with the "Working Paper on Sand and Gravel Mining" being published under separate cover as an appendix to the Committee's report. The COS MAR study concluded that the provisions of the Surface Coal Mining Law had only restricted application in the mining of noncoal minerals and suggested that the sand and gravel industry may be regulated on a local government level and not by the Federal Government. The Council on Environmental Quality, which had been assigned responsibility for developing legislation for the mining of noncoal minerals, then scheduled public hearings on the COSMAR report. In March 1978, the Federal Mine Safey and Health Act of 1977 became effective and was being enforced by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor. As a result of the numerous complaints from industry representatives regarding the provisions of the act, its applicability to sand and gravel operations as well as the cost of compliance with its provisions, bill H.R. 1603 was introduced in Congress on January 29, 1979. This bill was designed to amend the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act by stipulating that its provisions shall not apply to sand and gravel operations. As of December 31, 1979, the bill was still pending in the House Committee on Education and Labor. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION In 1978 and 1979, the Pacific region led the Nation in the production of construction sand and gravel with 224 (221) million tons or 23% of the U.S. total. Next was the East North Central region with 19% (20%) followed, in 1978, by the West North Central region with 11% of the total and, in 1979, by the Mountain region with 11% of the total. In industrial sand and gravel, the East North Central region led the Nation with 14 (14.2) million tons or 43% (42%) of the national total followed by the South Atlantic region with 14% (16%) and the West South Central region with 11% (13%). If the four major geographic regions are compared (table 2), the West led the Nation in the production of construction sand and gravel with 34% of the total. North Central was the next with 30% (31%) and the South was third with 24% of the national total. In industrial sand and gravel, the North Central region produced 48% of the national total followed by the South with 30% and North East, a distant third, with 12%. The five leading States in the production of construction sand and gravel, in order of volume, were California, Alaska, Texas, Ohio (Michigan), and Michigan (Ohio) with 34% of the national total. In industrial sand and gravel, four States produced 49% (47%) of the national total with Illinois (Michigan) first, followed by Michigan (Illinois), New Jersey, and California. For the combined production of construction and industrial sand and gravel, the five leading States in order of volume were California, Alaska (Texas), Alaska (Texas), Michigan, and Ohio with 34% of the U.S. total. The top 10 producers of construction sand and gravel in 1978 were, in order of tonnage, Lone Star Industries, Inc.; Conrock Co., Inc.; Gifford-Hill & Co., Inc.; American Aggregates Corp.; Dravo Corp.; MartinMarietta Aggregates; Kaiser Sand and Gravel Corp.; Owl Rock Products Co.; E. R. Jahna Industries, Inc.; and United Metro Inc. In 1979, the top 10 producers of construction sand and gravel were, in order, Lone
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