that year. MSHA’s coal-related R&D budget, in constant 2005 dollars, decreased by almost 13 percent between 1995 and 2006.
The Office of Research and Development12 (EPA-ORD) supports limited research, both internally and through extramural funding, to support the EPA’s primarily regulatory role to implement federal laws designed to protect human health and the environment. The environmental problems associated with active and abandoned mines, particularly land reclamation, water quality maintenance, and the proper handling and disposal of the spoils and wastes from mining operations (e.g., mountain top coal mining, coal combustion residues), are the focus of EPA attention. EPA funds almost 2 percent of the total federal coal R&D, with most research focused on utilization issues (e.g., mercury and other emissions). EPA’s coal-related R&D budget, in constant 2005 dollars, remained approximately constant between 1995 and 2006.
The National Science Foundation13 (NSF) provides funding for fundamental research across all areas of science and engineering. Funding for coal-related research is distributed across NSF directorates and program areas; consequently there was no single contact point for information concerning coal-related activities. The committee determined NSF’s budget by searching NSF’s online listing of grants awarded between 1995 and 2005 for references to coal. Approximately 525 grants were reviewed as a result of the online search, and 30 were identified as falling within the purview of the committee. These were primarily in the areas of coal utilization (64 percent) and mining and processing (21 percent). Because almost all were multiyear grants, the total annual award amount was calculated assuming uniform funding throughout the life of each grant. Consequently, it was not feasible to determine trend data. NSF’s coal-related awards make up a little more than 0.5 percent of the total federal coal R&D budget.