As an ex-USGS man and an ex-President of AAPG, may I recall the first words of the conference when Dr. McKelvey said that, for many years, we have watched cooperative efforts of these two the successful fruition of one such effort. Let me relate a few personal impressions I have had about this meeting, with the hope that they may be helpful at the next meeting 18 months from now.3 I am sure that Dr. McKelvey is absolutely right when he says that underground spac3e involves the discovery of an entirely new resource in the realm of environmental management. As was said by Dr. Greenfield at the dinner last night, we have passed the time when we can go high enough in the air to throw away our wastes, nor can we go deep enough in the sea to deposit our wastes.
There is a serious question as to whether our understanding of all the repercussions that may result from disposal of waste into the crust of the earth is sufficient to allow us to proceed without a great deal more concern than we have right now. In the early part of our meeting, there was far more claim to lack of knowledge about the characteristics of that very intricate dynamic system which is the crust of the earth than there was confident knowledge about what is there. Yet, from one of the first papers of the meeting, it become evident that the pace of establishing regulations is outstripping our real knowledge of what we are regulating.