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Conference letters



GLIN-folks!

The Great Lakes Task Force is circulating letters for signature by Great 
Lakes Congressionals asking conferees to support important Great Lakes 
programs in jeopardy during the Appropriations conferences.  If you are 
interested in any of the following programs, contact your Senators and 
Representatives, asking that they have their staff contact Senator Glenn or 
Rep. Latourette to sign on to the letters before August 12.

The 4 letters include the following programs:

COMMERCE

        The Senate provided an increase of $800,000 for the Great Lakes 
Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) a total base budget of $6 million.  The 
House provided only $5.2 million.  

        The Senate provided $2 million for NOAA's leadership of the Aquatic 
Nuisance Species Task Force and Ballast Water Demonstration Program.  The 
House provided no funding for these programs.

        The House provided $55 million for the National Coastal Zone 
Management Program.  The Senate provided only $49.7 million.  We are happy 
to report that both levels are above the fiscal 1997 funding level of $46.2 
million.

        The following programs also received funding increases at different 
levels in the House and Senate:
        Marine Sanctuaries:
                House: $14 million
                Senate:$14.5 million
                Fiscal 1997: $11.7 million
        National Sea Grant:
                House: $55.3 million
                Senate: $58 million
                Fiscal 1997: $54.3 million
        Sea Grant Research on Aquaic Nuisance Species:
                House: $2.8 million
                Senate: $2 million
                Fiscal 1997: $2.8 million

        
TRANSPORTATION

        The Senate earmarked a $1 million increase for Coast Guard Research 
and Development to be used to "further research efforts into a nonchemical 
interim ballast-management practice for fully loaded vessels to prevent the 
ballast-mediated transfer of species.  This research should focus in 
particular on vessels reporting no ballast on board (NOBOB) ...[and] to 
assist the Coast Guard's other efforts consistent with the National 
Invasive Species Act"

The House did not provide similar funding.

Approximately 90% of the vessels entering the Great Lakes fit the NOBOB 
category.

ENERGY AND WATER

        The Senate provided $6 million for Dredging Operations 
Environmental Research.  The House provided only $2 million. Our letter 
also reiterates the GLTF request that the conference report language 
explicitly make projects dealing with the assessment and remediation of 
contaminated sediments eligible for funding through the contaminated 
sediments and innovative technologies focus areas.

        The House provided $500,000 for RAP assistance.  The Senate did not 
provide funding for this program.

        Both bodies provided funding for the construction of a dispersal 
barrier at the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.  The Senate provided 
$500,000 through the research account and the House provided $500,000 
through the Construction account.  The different funding strategies will 
have to be resolved in conference in order to maintain funding for the 
project.

        The House provided $500,000 for Sediment Transport Modelling and 
Sediment Management Planning.  The Senate provided no funds for this 
program.

        The Senate provided $6.6 million for Aquatic Nuisance Plant Control 
Research.  The House provided only $2.6 million.  We note that funding of 
at least $4 million will be needed in order for the Corps to develop new 
research areas to address Elodea in Lake St. Clair and Eurasian 
watermilfoil.

        The House provided $200,000 for improvement of the Soo Locks.  The 
Senate did not provide for this project.

VA, HUD, and INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

        The House provided $14.7 million for the Great Lakes National 
Program Office.  The Senate provided only $13.3 million for this program.

        The House provided $250,000 for EPA design of the dispersal barrier 
in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.  The Senate provided no funds for 
the EPA portion of this project.

        The House provided $110 million for the combined Section 319 
Nonpoint Source Grants and Clean Lakes Program, with specific language 
designating that funds be made available to support the purposes of the 
Clean Lakes Program.  The Senate provided only $100 million, with no 
mention of the Clean Lakes Program.


Thank you for your support of the Lakes!


Rochelle Sturtevant, Coordinator, Senate Great Lakes Task Force
Office of Senator Glenn 202-224-4229

Whitman Miller
Office of Senator Glenn 202-224-0388

Sara Gottlieb
Office of Representative LaTourette 202-225-5731