'Aggregate and the Environment'

10/26/04

AGI releases new edition to the Environmental Awareness Series

Used for nearly every road and building in the world, aggregate – sand, gravel, and crushed stone – is a critical component of our society and economy. With over 16 billion tons of aggregate produced worldwide every year, they represent a major component of mining today. A new American Geological Institute publication, Aggregate and the Environment, examines this vital resource and the important ways in which it affects our lives through its use and environmental impacts.

Written by William H. Langer, Lawrence J. Drew and Janet S. Sachs, all with the U.S. Geological Survey, Aggregate and the Environment is part of the AGI Environmental Awareness Series and was produced in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. Publication support was also provided by the American Geological Institute Foundation. Designed for the general public, students, educators and organizations concerned with the current issues related to aggregate resources, the publication provides an in-depth look at the materials we use to build our houses, businesses, roads and even our sidewalks. It helps individuals and society better understand the importance of our aggregate resources.

Aggregate is used in the production of practically everything we touch during a day; toothpaste, glass, paper, chewing gum, even antacids and other pharmaceuticals. In 1880, per capita consumption of aggregate was 0.5 tons per year. By 1990, that figure reached a staggering 10 tons per year for use in power plants, department stores, dams, fertilizers and insecticides. To maintain our current urban infrastructure, it is projected that we will use as much aggregate in the next 25 years as we have in the previous 100 years.

This book explains how the challenge of supplying these needed resources in environmentally sound ways can be met. Aggregate and the Environment provides detailed explanations of the procedures used to manage and minimize environmental impacts of aggregate mining, processing, and transportation. It also provides many examples of how reclamation projects have converted mined areas into many beneficial uses such as recreation areas, golf courses, business parks, and natural habitats including wetlands.

Every person interested or concerned about how our future aggregate needs will be met should read Aggregate and the Environment. It is available from the American Geological Institute, 4220 King St., Alexandria, Va., 22302; tel. 703-379-2480, fax 703-379-7563. ISBN 0-922152-71-3, soft cover, 64 pp. Send e-mail requests to pubs@agiweb.org, or visit the online bookstore at www.agiweb.org/pubs.

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