National Geographic : 1975 Oct
Two simplistic points of view. Each valid. Each somewhat at variance with the other. Aggregate mining operations can in deed inconvenience people living and working near them. The machinery can cause noise. Excavating can cause dust. Hauling equipment and materials in and out can result in increased traffic. Sand and gravel mining can also deface the natural landscape. Consequently, some communities have forced close-in mining operations to shut down. At the same time-crushed rock, sand, and gravel are vital to today's building industry. They are among the few low cost materials left. And a significant factor in their low cost is the location of quarries close to construction sites. When pits and quarries are forced to locate in remote areas, transportation costs climb. That makes the price of sand, gravel and crushed stone go up. This means paying more for road con struction. It means higher price tags on new homes, schools and office buildings. And further depression of an already slumping housing market. Facing facts squarely, we need to min imize dust and noise and restore mined lands to attractive usable condition. Responsible producers are doing so now. We must be willing to pay for that protection, reflected in the price of sand and gravel. To be truly realistic and beneficial to all of us, mining ordinances should consider all the factors; the need to minimize noise and disruption, the need to restore mined land and the need to offset the cost of environmental con trols by allowing operators to mine ag gregates as close as reasonably possible to their use. Caterpillar cares because we make the machines that mine sand and gravel and reclaim the land. And because we feel sensible mining regulations and responsible operation are important to both the environment and the economy. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices. Caterpilar,Caland ® areTrademarksofCaterpllarTractorCo.