National Coal Resources Conference held in Rolla

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Volume 37-322 For Immediate Release: Sept. 10, 2009

ROLLA, MO. — Geologists and other coal resources experts from around the nation, met at the Department of Natural Resources' Geology and Land Survey Division campus last week to discuss work regarding the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS).

Each state geological survey or the equivalent contributes to the NCRDS, a database developed and maintained by the USGS. Conference participants came from 18 of the country's 23 coal producing states and USGS representatives from Reston, Va. and Denver, Colo.

These state cooperatives support a publicly available database that compiles information on the nation's available coal resources which furthers other understanding of how much coal is economically recoverable and of sufficient quality to meet current emission standards.

"It is our pleasure to host this conference," said Joe Gillman, the Department's Geology and Land Survey Division Director and State Geologist. "Increased public demand for energy is requiring us to understand better our natural resources and the technologies that can help us make more environmentally sustainable use of them."

Conference participants summarized coal research activities in their state and discussed future related opportunities.  Some future possibilities being considered by geologists with the Missouri Survey include increased research regarding Missouri's coalbed methane potential and a greater focus on carbon sequestration. 

"This was an excellent opportunity to bring researchers together to address important energy issues for the nation. Missouri provided an excellent venue for this conference," said Susan Tewalt, who heads the NCRDS project for the USGS.  Tewalt is a geologist with the Eastern Energy Resources Science Center in Reston, Va.