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Enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 fostered interest in land application of treated municipal wastewater and sludge. Most application systems are designed for use in both cropland and forest land. While considerable information is available on application of wastewater and sludge to cropland, there has been a general lack of information concerning the effects of such applications to forest land.
Although surface mining is the most economical method for removing mineral resources, its detrimental impacts on the land surface, landscape, and ecological environment have caused growing concern among public interest groups and government agencies. Given the current energy crisis and increasing scarcity of mineral resources, the problem of reclaiming lands disturbed by surface mining will grow in importance. New reclamation regulations, together with the rising cost of commercial fertilizer, have resulted in an upsurge of interest in the use of municipal wastewater and sludge as fertilizer substitutes and soil amendments to facilitate vegetative rehabilitation of drastically disturbed lands.
The symposium reported in this book was concerned with application of current knowledge on economic and environmental feasibility of treating forest land with municipal sewage effluent and sludge, as well as rehabilitation of land disturbed by surface mining. Interest in this topic was generated by members of the Water Quality Working Group of the Pinchot Institute's Consortium for Environmental Forestry Studies. The symposium was attended by more than 300 participants from 35 states. It was a continuing education service of The Pennsylvania State University's School of Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Institute for Research on Land and Water Resources, in cooperation with the Surface Environment and Mining (SEAM) Program, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Office of Water Research and Technology, U.S. Department of the Interior; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.