by Dr. Robert Lee Aston

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The Legal, Engineering, Environmental and Social Perspectives of
International — covers United Kingdom, U.S., and Canada

** Getting Maximum Yield from Surface Mines**

Reclaim mined land at a profit - not at a cost.

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A Teaching Success
In 2003-2004!

Currently Used in 22 U.S.
Colleges & Universities


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Surface Mining Law and Reclamation by Landfilling book can be purchased directly by contacting < >
Price : US$86. + shipping and handling

Environmental Law for Engineers, Geoscientists & Beginning Lawyers, please click here for Order information from CRC Lewis Press brochure.
Price: US$99.95 + shipping and handling

Features of Environmental Law for Engineers and Geoscientists:

  • Provides a background in the American legal system and environmental law
  • Discusses important regulations and cases in the areas of air pollution, water pollution, hazardous site and mine site remedial work
  • Contains a chapter on effective expert witnessing, admissible evidence, and testimony
  • Covers the latest environmental case decisions and changes in environmental law
  • Examines and analyzes over 100 environmental court cases
  • Presents the expertise of a mining and geological engineer who is also a practicing attorney

Contents for

Since mining is a basic and essential industry supplying raw materials for medicines; building materials for homes, schools, hospitals, commerce, roads; fuels for heating and energy; metals for transportation(cars, aircraft and ships), machinery, communications infrastructure and other conveniences, it cannot be done away with as some extremist environmentalists would like. What would modern life be without minerals?

Miners are the harvesters of the earth's fruits. To reap those fruits, the earth must be plowed up. After harvesting, the plowed fields can be reclaimed and restored to pristine, natural beauty with only temporary disturbance to the earth. Reclamation of surface mines can profitably utilise the void space for burial of society's solid wastes while restoring the mined land surfaces to their original beauty or utility. Industry and environmentalists should rejoice. (back to top of page)

Contents Cover the U.K., the U.S., and Canada:
An Historical Review - Early Man to Recent Regulations: A Brief History of Mineral Lands and Regulation
A Brief History of Environmental Damage and Litigated Pollution Claims from Non-Fuel Surface Mining with Emphasis on Water Resources;

A Brief History of the Disposal of Wastes by Earth Burial;

A Review of the Environmental ERA Regulatory Actions for Landfilling and Litigated Interpretations
Legislative Environmental Responses - a Review of Subsequent Legislation to update the Initial Regulations;
Transition from Present to Future: Today's Environmental Regulatory Strengths and Weaknesses for Tomorrow's Needs;
Trends and Future Needs: Present and Future Mineral and Waste Trends;
Current and Future Trends for Waste Disposal: The Urgency for Landfill Space;
Landfill Technology and Open-Pit Feasibility;
Future Legislative Problems;
Closing Arguments for Solution and Thesis Solution: New Directions for Environmental Law Policy in Regard to Surface Mined Land Reclamation and Solid Waste Disposal;
A Proposed Best Practice Model Law for Land Conservation and Reclamation Surface Mined Land by Solid Waste In-Filling for the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Canada.
Overview of the U.S. General Mining Law, 1872



Book Review by Ray Bert from the September 2002 issue of Civil Engineering magazine Book Review by Raymond S. Lambert, Jr.
From Environmental & Engineering Geoscience
Vol.VIII, No.4, November 2002, PP. 335

Book Review from American Society of Civil Engineers' September 2002 issue
of Civil Engineering magazine by Ray Bert

Environmental Law for Engineers and Geoscientists [and Beginning Environmental Lawyers] by Robert Lee Aston: CRC Press, 2002, Boca Raton, Florida; 334 pages, $99

Robert Lee Aston's eight university degrees earned over a course of more than 50 years, have given him an incredibly broad and deep background in both engineering and the law. His curriculum vitae is relevant because Environmental Law for Engineers and Geoscientists can benefit not only engineering and science students in need of some legal background, but also lawyers entering environmental law practice. The primary thesis underlying Aston's book, however, is that engineers and geoscientists today need to be better versed in environmental regulations than ever before — both, because of the proliferation of those regulations and because as project leaders they cannot afford to focus solely on technical matters

Citing hundreds of actual cases including reviews of the so-called big five environmental statutes Environmental Law for Engineers and Geoscientists provides much more than an overview, although Dr. Aston explains that the subject matter is so extensive that even this detailed treatment is hitting only “the most important highlights.” Still, his treatment of testimony from expert witnesses is supplemented with historical information and he offers a primer in American jurisprudence. The book also includes nods to Dr. Aston's background as a mining engineer in the form of two appendices, one providing a detailed description of the Iron Mountain Mining Site and the other offering a simplified environmental guide to starting or taking over a mining operation and a chapter covering water pollution and other aspects of mining.

The book, however, is principally concerned with those five major statutes: the National Environmental Policy act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Superfund law, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Sections on each of these landmark pieces of legislation offer careful analysis as Dr. Aston explains their importance and their applications to engineering projects.

With detailed explanations, background, and analysis, along with an abundance of citations of actual cases, Environmental Law for Engineers and Geoscientists covers as much as one could hope for in a single text on such a huge topic. It wasn't intended to cover everything from A to Z, but Dr. Aston knows his letters and he managed to hit most of them.

Environmental Law for Engineers, Geoscientists (& Beginning Lawyers)
by Dr. Robert Lee Aston
A Book Review by Raymond S. Lambert, Jr.
(from Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol.VIII, No.4, November 2002, PP. 335)

Environmental Law for Engineers, Geoscientists “is intended for course instruction in environmental law for engineers and geoscientists, primarily in geological, mining, petroleum, civil and environmental engineering departments; it also is intended for lawyers entering environmental law practice” The student, beginning engineer, or beginning geoscientist is introduced to a cursory treatment and general exposure of U.S. jurisprudence with an overview of the legal system; its courts, terms, and phrases; administrative law; and environmental agencies. The practicing professional will find this book a resource in permitting, environmental impact statements, achieving compliance with environmental laws and regulations, meeting challenges from enforcement agencies, and working with attorneys in litigation.

Robert Lee Aston is a mining engineer, engineering geologist, attorney, professor, man of many letters, stone quarry operator, and writer. Aston presents five primary environmental statutes: the National Environmental: Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA),. The work is concluded with the practical application of environmental law by means of expert witnessing and admissible evidence in litigation.

I appreciated the book’s being hardback and well-made, and I enjoyed its readable text ... . Aston has combined regulatory script, technical discussion, and historical writing into a pleasant and inquisitive read.

Book Reviews for Surface Mining Law & Land Reclamation by Landfilling

Surface Mining Law & Land Reclamation by Landfilling
by Dr. Robert Lee Aston
(from Mining Engineering, May 2000)

This book presents an interesting background history of mineral lands and regulations, including environmental damage and litigated pollution claims, and waste disposal. It discusses the environmental regulations covering surface mining with litigated interpretations and a review of up-dated legislation covering this area.

The author pleads a strong argument for surface mine operators to fully reclaim their surface mined lands at a profit, resulting in a reusable, valuable, and salable tract of land as opposed to ending their operations with a valueless hole in the ground.

Highly pertinent chapters include :
* Today's Environmental Regulatory Strengths and Weaknesses for Tomorrow's Needs
* Societies' Present and Future Mineral Needs, and Waste Disposal Trends
* Landfill Technology and Open Pit Feasibility for Landfilling with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

The book makes informative, good and interesting reading for surface mining and landfill professionals, environmental, civil, mining and geological engineers, environmental and natural resources lawyers, environmentalists, and conservationists.