National energy needs have precipitated an increased interest in the development of a large coal-based electric power industry in the western United States. This anticipated development has, in turn, spawned a great deal of interest in the environmental impact consequent upon the mining and utilization of these coal supplies. Numerous studies directed to assessing this impact are underway or are in the planning stages by agencies of government at all levels as well as by educational institutions and private firms. It is expected that such studies will continue to increase in number in the foreseeable future. Some idea of the diversity of this work is given by Boulding (1974), who surveyed a broad spectrum of people and organizations concerned about the environmental impact of coal development in the Northern Great Plains. This survey included over 50 governmental organizations and over 50 nongovernmental organizations.
Geochemical survey of the western coal regions; first annual progress report, July 1974