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The Aggregate Industry in Ohio
Aggregates are construction materials consisting of sand and gravel, crushed stone and slag. The single largest market for aggregates is road and street construction, including base and asphalt paving for highways, parking lots and other pavements. One mile of a typical four-lane interstate highway with aggregate base requires about 38,000 tons. Other large markets are portland cement concrete for bridges, pavements and building structures, riprap and erosion control stone and railroad ballast.
About 11 tons of aggregates are required annually for each Ohio citizen. A typical residential subdivision requires about 137 tons of aggregate per home. Approximately 50% of all aggregate is used for publicly funded construction projects.
Firms in the aggregate industry are vitally concerned with protecting valuable air and water resources. Producers do this in a number of ways. Aggregate companies landscape with trees, shrubs, and grasses to control erosion, as well as provide screens and buffers, and beautify the quarry area once mining is complete.
The Ohio Surface Mining Act of 2001 requires all mining operations to obtain a mining permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The permit is issued for 15 years; however, it may be revoked if all permit conditions are not followed. Many other local and state permits and environmental regulations control the operation of aggregate plants. All sites must be rehabilitated before the reclamation bond will be released at the conclusion of mining.
Once reclaimed, crushed stone quarries and sand and gravel sites are desirable as water
reservoirs or recreational lakes, often with residential subdivisions nearby. Beneficial
land uses include creation of wildlife habitats and agricultural fields and lakes for a variety of uses, including groundwater recharge. Wetlands are also often created as a result of mining. The industry is very proactive and responsive to its need to be a good steward of the environment and a good neighbor in the community.
A ready supply of crushed stone, sand and gravel is necessary to support future economic development and infrastructure improvement. The biggest concern facing the aggregates industry in coming years is obtaining zoning favorable to the extraction of aggregates. Near urban areas where construction materials are critically needed, it is important to allow appropriate zoning and the necessary permits to assure a continued supply of aggregates.
The industry is committed to supplying cost effective construction aggregate materials and to educating the public that aggregates are essential and can be extracted in a responsible, environmentally sou
Aggregates are the elemental building blocks of Ohio's economy.
- Over half of all aggregate is paid for by tax dollars. Major users are the state, counties, townships and municipalities in their road and infrastructure programs.
- Ohio's non-fuel raw mineral production is valued at over $1 billion.
- The industry employs nearly 5,000 people with an average wage exceeding $44,000.
- Another 40,000 people are employed indirectly in Ohio's mineral industry as truck drivers, electricians, mechanics and other supporting professions.
- Construction of an average size school or hospital requires 15,000 tons of aggregates.
- Aggregates make up 95% of asphalt and 85% of concrete.
- Aggregate production accounts for more than half of the non-fuel mining volume in the United States.
- Aggregates mined in Ohio generally stay in Ohio.
- Only about 1% of the construction aggregates used annually in the United States are imported.
Aggregates are Essential to Maintaining the Quality of American Life.
- Virgin aggregates of crushed stone, sand and gravel, slag and supporting industries contribute an annual total of $38 billion to the U.S. economy.
- Ohio is the seventh largest aggregate producing state in the United States.
- There are more than 10,000 construction aggregate operations nationwide and approximately 450 in Ohio. Proximity to market is critical due to high transportation and fuel costs.
- Nearly all aggregates produced in Ohio are used in Ohio, usually within 50 miles of the production site. Over 90% of all aggregates are moved by dump truck.
- Because aggregate is a heavy, low cost per ton product, haul distance largely controls the price of aggregate.
- The cost nearly doubles for every ten miles that a ton of aggregate is transported by truck.