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Appropriations Update


Appropriations conferences are underway.  Conferees on the Energy and Water 
Appropriations Bill (ACoE) met Wednesday (9/24) and have filed the 
conference report.  Conferees on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies (EPA) met 
Friday (9/26), but did not complete the conference before adjourning.  A 
second meeting is anticipated for later this week.  Conferees are scheduled 
to meet tomorrow (9/30) on Interior Appropriations.  A three week 
continuing resolution is expected to pass by tomorrow, avoiding a 
government shut-down in the interim.

On Energy and Water Appropriations, the news from the conferences is 
generally good.  Most programs were funded at or above the levels requested 
by the Great Lakes Task Force.  Conferees provided $21.175 million for 
restoration of environmental quality projects (WRDA '96 Sec. 204) 
nationally and $6.0 million for Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration (WRDA '96 Sec 
206).  $2 million was provided for Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials 
(WRDA '96 Sec. 513) and Buffalo Harbor will receive $125,000 for 
environmental dredging.  On the research end of the dredging world, $4.0 
million is provided for the Dredging Operations Environmental Research 
Account (less than the GLTF and President's request levels of $6.0 
million), $200,000 for the Duluth Alternative Technology Demonstration 
Project and $500,000 for sediment transport models and sediment management 
planning.  The conference provided $500,000 for RAP assistance planning.  
Aquatic nuisance species research by the ACoE also fared well in the 
conference.  Conferees provided $2.0 million for zebra mussel research, 
$500,000 for construction of a dispersal barrier in the Chicago Ship and 
Sanitary Canal and $5 million for aquatic nuisance plant control research.  

For more information on Appropriations levels, contact:
Rochelle Sturtevant
Senate Great Lakes Task Force