The Continental Scientific Drilling and Exploration Act of 1988 regulates the Interagency Coordinating Group for Continental Scientific Drilling (ICG/CDS), made up of the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) of the Department of the Interior. The Act requires one of these agencies to submit an annual report, on a rotating basis, to the US Congress on the United States Continental Scientific Drilling Program (CSDP).
The primary mission of the CSDP consists of enhancing understanding of the continental crust and its affects on earthquakes, volcanoes, geothermal energy sources, distribution of mineral deposits, and occurrence of fossil fuels. The government funds these studies with the intention of producing early detection systems for natural disasters, and with hopes of benefiting our economy with new information about geothermal energy sources and the determination of the location and distribution of fossil fuels. The CSDP is also developing a method for isolation of radioactive material and other hazardous wastes. The ICG/CDS is responsible for monitoring the entire drilling process performed by the agencies including pre-drilling site studies, drilling methods and documentation, and post-drilling studies.