implementation through cooperative research efforts with other bureaus. OSM now undertakes a small amount of coal-related research itself, focused primarily on reclamation, in support of its regulatory role. There was a significant increase in OSM’s coal R&D budget between 1995 and 2005, by more than 130 percent in constant 2005 dollars, but this research still comprised only 0.1 percent of the total federal coal R&D budget in 2005. Since 2005, OSM’s R&D funding has increased even more dramatically—from $0.6 million in 2005 to $1.4 million in 2006—primarily to provide increased support for the applied science and underground mine mapping programs.
United States Geological Survey10 (USGS) coal research activities, within its Energy Resources Program, focus primarily on assessments of resources and reserves. Additional efforts focus on compilation of coal quality information and research on the environmental and human health impacts of coal extraction and combustion. The USGS coal program accounts for almost 2 percent of total federal coal R&D funding. Between 1995 and 2005, the USGS coal R&D budget gradually decreased by 29 percent as inflation eroded essentially flat budget allocations.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration11 (MSHA) administers the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents, reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents, minimize health hazards, and promote improved safety and health conditions in the nation’s mines. MSHA provides technical support and training services to its personnel and to personnel from the mining industry through its Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center and the National Mine Health and Safety Academy. Because it is primarily a regulatory agency, MSHA’s involvement in coal mine research is mostly as a “customer” for NIOSH research activities. However, it does undertake field investigations, laboratory studies, and cooperative research activities related to health and safety issues, and evaluates new equipment and materials for use in mines. MSHA also supports state miner training activities through its states-grant program, and it works collaboratively through partnerships and coordinated research to ensure that mining technology, practices, and controls are developed and implemented to protect miner health or safety. The committee estimated that 5 percent of the MSHA technical support funding, almost $1.3 million in 2006, could be considered coal mining safety and health research. This amounted to almost 0.25 percent of the total federal coal R&D for