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Illegal Sand Dredging

RR061020 KoreaJune 10, 2020 – In an article on CNN Business, North Korea is accused of operating an illegal sand-processing business. Satellite images seem to confirm that ships at work near the city of Haeju are being used to dredge and transport sand. North Korea is actually barred from exporting earth and stone under United Nations sanctions passed in December 2017. Trading North Korean sand is a violation of international law. Despite those measures, North Korea raked in at least $22 million last year using "a substantial sand-export operation," United Nations investigators said in a report released in April. One unnamed country supplied intelligence claiming that Pyongyang sent one million tons of sand abroad from May 2019 until the end of the year.

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New House Bill Would Replace FAST Act

RR052319 HighwayBillJune 4, 2020 – The House has released the text of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” (INVEST in America) Act. The legislation provides $494 billion over five years to make "transformative infrastructure investments in surface and rail transportation." It would replace the FAST Act. It also:

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Everything's Bigger in Texas

RR052820 TexasMay 28, 2020 – Digging a little deeper into the latest U.S. Geological Survey quarterly report, we find that Texas once again leads the nation in crushed stone, and sand and gravel production. In the first quarter of the year, Texas produced 40,600,000 metric tons of crushed stone, and 23,000,000 metric tons of construction sand and gravel, for a total of 63,600,000 metric tons of total aggregates. That despite a decrease of 6.2% from the same quarter in 2019. For full-year 2019, the state produced 282,000,000 metric tons with a value of $3,260,000,000. In looking historically, sometimes California sneaks past Texas for construction sand and gravel production, but not often. This past quarter, California produced 21,800,000 metric tons, still short of Texas, and that with an increase of 24.1% over the same quarter in 2019. Yep, everything's bigger in Texas.

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Barry K. Wendt Memorial Scholarship

RR052720 WendtMay 27, 2020 – The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) is accepting student applications for the 2020 Barry K. Wendt Memorial Scholarship. I knew Barry Wendt and had a lot of respect for him. If you were doing a good job, he told you. If you weren't he told you that too. He was knowledgeable, driven, accessible and totally dedicated to the industry. We miss him around these parts. The Barry K. Wendt Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to a college, university or technical school student who plans to pursue a career in the aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) industry. Eligible students are those enrolled in a mining-related degree program and have completed at least one year of college coursework. Applications are due June 12, 2020, so apply today by clicking here!

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MSHA Cancels Escapeways Guidance

RR090519 MSHAMay 26, 2020 – The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced the cancellation of a proposed Program Policy Letter on escapeways and refuges in underground metal and nonmetal mines. MSHA has determined that the proposed clarification is not needed. The proposed Program Policy Letter was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2019, (84 FR 36623) for public comment. The guidance targeted miners in order to enable them to escape in an emergency and, when they cannot escape, for refuges to enable miners to shelter safely in place until they can be rescued. 

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