What is NSSGA?
NSSGA is the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. On Feb. 12, 2001, the National Stone Association and National Aggregates Association merged to become the NSSGA. The association represents the crushed stone, sand and gravel-or construction aggregates-industries. Our member companies produce more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel consumed annually in the United States. Two billion metric tons of aggregates were produced in 2012 at a value of approximately $17 billion, contributing $40 billion to the GDP of the United States. The aggregates industry workforce is made up of about 110,500 men and women. Every $1 million in aggregate sales creates 19.5 jobs, and every dollar of industry output returns $1.58 to the economy.
Click on this map to view all aggregate operations in the U.S. that produce over 20,000 tons per year.
Nearly two-thirds of the non-fuel minerals mined each year in the U.S. are aggregates. When coal mining is added to the crushed stone, sand and gravel industry, they account for more than one-half of the volume of all U.S. mining activity, and aggregates equal more than twice the amount of coal produced yearly.
The director of the U.S. Geological Survey called NSSGA the "largest mining association in the world," based on the volume of product represented. Thirty-one percent of our market is roads and highways, 33 percent is residential construction and the remaining 36 percent is made up of commercial construction and public works (airports, water treatment plants, schools, etc.). NSSGA and its member companies are committed to assuring the safety and maintaining the good health of the workers across the nation who help produce the aggregates for those markets.
There are more than 10,000 construction aggregate operations nationwide. Virtually every congressional district is home to a crushed stone, sand or gravel operation. Proximity to market is critical due to high transportation costs, so 70 percent of our nation's counties include an aggregates operation.
Construction aggregates are used primarily in asphalt and concrete. Ninety-four percent of asphalt pavement is aggregate; 80 percent of concrete is aggregate, whether pavement ("horizontal construction") or buildings, dams, sewage treatment plants and the like ("vertical construction"). About 10 tons of aggregates per person are used annually in America. Every mile of interstate contains 38,000 tons of aggregates; about 400 tons of aggregates are used in construction of the average home.
America's highway and transportation infrastructure is badly in need of upgrading. Together, the ISTEA, TEA 21 and SAFETEA-LU transportation infrastructure programs passed by Congress and enacted by the president have begun to address the enormous job (estimated by the Federal Highway Administration to be more than $50 billion a year in highway needs alone) of simply repairing and maintaining our nation's highway system. For every $1 billion spent on highway construction, between 28,000 and 34,000 jobs are generated each year. Every dollar invested in the highway system yields $5.20 in economic benefits to the nation. For these reasons, full funding of the nation's surface transportation programs is a high priority for NSSGA.
Because more than 11,000 fatalities are attributed each year to hazardous road and bridge conditions, safety is a top concern of the aggregates industry. We believe that taxes paid by motorists and airline passengers should be used for the purposes for which they are collected (highway and airport construction and maintenance) and not diverted to other programs.
Meanwhile, our nation's air is getting remarkably cleaner, in large part due to vehicles burning cleaner fuel. Reduction of gridlock and traffic congestion by improving old highways and building new ones will make the air even cleaner. The aggregates industry is a responsible steward of the environment. Not only are our products used for environmentally beneficial purposes, such as flue gas desulphurization, erosion control and aglime, but also to reclaim and return to the communities a variety of positive land-uses from wetlands to lakes, wildlife habitats, recreational centers and even amusement parks and golf courses.
NSSGA supports Quality Growth, the cultural ideal and experience of America: freedom to choose where to work, live and travel. NSSGA believes the American dream of home ownership and the ability to choose an urban, suburban or rural domicile and workplace is still viable and worthwhile. Quality Growth depends on local land-use planning, reduction of congestion, which will save Americans some of the 4.2 billion hours they now spend every year stuck in traffic, and improvement of air quality by reducing emissions.
The production of crushed stone, sand and gravel is a basic industry, but one not well known to the American public, as few of our materials are sold directly to consumers. However, our products go into the manufacture of glass, paper, paint, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chewing gum, household cleansers and many other consumer goods. Our natural materials are essential for the safety, security and high quality of life of all Americans.
Environmental Uses and Benefits of Stone, Sand and Gravel
- Erosion Control and Slope Protection
- Shorelines/Navigation channels
- Sewage control
- Wastewater Control
- Drinking Water
- Flue Gas Desulfurization
- SO2 reduction using limestone
- Acid Neutralization
- Agricultural land
- Reclamation of Mine Sites
- Treatment of Landfill Leachate & Landfill Construction
- Precipitates heavy metals from discharge
- Construction of Water & Sewage Treatment Plants
- Coal Mine Dusting to Prevent Explosions
- Non-combustible limestone
Learn More About Stone, Sand & Gravel
- Watch the "Spotlight On" Public TV Video
- Watch the American Environmental Review (56K, (ISDN, (T1)
- 50 Fascinating Facts About Stone, Sand & Gravel (267KB PDF). Since the dawn of recorded history aggregates are the foundation of our world and environmental solutions for the future.
- Rocks Build Cities Brochure (3316KB PDF). Since humankind has been building, we have been building with stone, sand and gravel.
- Commodity Statistics and Information. Statistics and information on the worldwide supply, demand, and flow of minerals and materials essential to the U.S. economy, the national security, and protection of the environment.
- What About Sand and Gravel?. Sand and gravel are fairly common minerals resulting from the geological erosive forces of water, wind and ice. Consequently they are generally found in river and stream valleys where they have been deposited by water, and in ridges and hills where they were left behind by receding glacial action and subsequently altered by erosive forces.
- What's a Wonder Mineral?. If aspirin is considered a wonder drug then calcium carbonate (CaCO3), commonly called limestone, is a wonder mineral. Mined from stone quarries and pulverized into a powder, it enhances the quality of a vast range of products from plastics and coated papers to medicines and foods.
- The Properties of Aggregates. Learn about the properties of aggregates that are important in specific end-uses. Each Guide discusses the features that make aggregates the materials of choice in many applications.
- Aglime, Why Quality Counts (208KB PDF). Aglime is used to neutralize soil acidity, reduce certain toxicities, increase fertilizer efficiency and improve soil physical and biological conditions.
- Aglime pH and Plant Nutrient Availability (70KB PDF). Nutrient availability and plant growth are optimum at a pH range of 5.8 to 7.0 for most soils and plant species.
- Aglime Basics for Crop Production (103KB PDF). Today's agriculture is all about sustainability.
- 7 Reasons Why It Is Never A Good Time To Cut Aglime Use (71KB PDF). Is soil acidity robbing you of crop profits?
- Our Picture Gallery
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Alexandria, VA 22314
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