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Appropriations



GLIN-folks!

Yet another update from Capitol Hill.  Conference reports have now been 
made available for the Transportation Appropriations and VA, HUD and 
Independent Agencies Appropriations.  Votes on these conferences are 
expected this week.  Of particular interest to the Great Lakes...

        The Transportation conference report provides continued commitment 
to Great Lakes icebreaking and provides $2.0 million for an engineering 
study to replace the Mackinaw with a heavy-duty ice breaker or 
multi-purpose vessel.

        The Transportation conference report provides the Administration 
requested funding level for Coast Guard Activities under the National 
Invasive Species Act.  The increase of $0.995 million will be used to 
expand the program to a national scope, conduct the ballast discharge study 
and create a National Ballast Information Clearinghouse.

        The Transportation conference report provides the Administration 
requested funding for Coast Guard research and development, which included 
funding for ANS research.  Senate increases to this funding were struck in 
conference, but the conference report states that 'the additional work 
proposed by the Senate to improve ballast water management practices can be 
accomodated within the $1.995 million allocated'.

        Thanks to urging of GLTF members, the VA, HUD and Independent 
Agencies conference report included specific language directing that the 
Great Lakes National Program Office be funded at $14.7 million - a 
restoration of FY 1996 level funds.

        Most other EPA programs of interest to the Great Lakes were also 
funded at or above the GLTF recommendation.  The Clean Water SRF is funded 
at $1350 million, the Drinking Water SRF at $725 million, Sec. 106 Water 
Quality Grants at $95.5 million and Pollution Prevention Grants to states 
at $6 million.  
        Sec. 319 Nonpoint Source Grants were funded at $105 million (an 
increase of $5 million above the FY 1997 level and Administration request). 
 No language was included in the conference report which would supercede 
the House report language providing that activities of the Clean Lakes 
Program (zero funded in FY 1997) could be eligible for funding through this 
account.
        Specific report language was included funding the Great Lakes Fish 
Consumption Study at $2.5 million, an increase of $500,000 over FY 1997.  
Specific report lnguage was also included recommending funding of the EPA 
Dispersal Containment Analysis authorized under the National Invasive 
Species Act at $250,000.  
        No specific language was included in the conference report which 
would supercede House and Senate recomendations of level funding ($3 
million) for the Great Waters Program.

For updates on Appropriations progress, check out the NE-MW homepage at 
http://www.nemw.org


Rochelle Sturtevant
Coordinator, Senate Great Lakes Task Force
Rochelle_Sturtevant@glenn.senate.gov