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NORTHEAST-MIDWEST WEEKLY UPDATE -- 23 MARCH 1998




FINANCING BROWNFIELD REUSE
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     The Northeast-Midwest Institute on March 25 will host a
roundtable discussion on how federal and state policy can help
encourage private investment in brownfield projects.  Participants --
including financiers, developers, real estate appraisers,
environmentalists, and government officials -- will examine current
financing barriers and opportunities facing brownfield reuse
advocates.

     The realm of brownfield finance is rapidly evolving, driven by
factors such as changing levels of lender sophistication, new state-
level approaches, and the emergence of new insurance industry
products.  At the same time, federal policymakers are recognizing
their role in addressing the issues, and an increasing number of non-
profit entities are focusing on site cleanup and redevelopment.

     The roundtable is supported by the Department of Housing and
Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research. 
Participation is limited to invited brownfield financing experts.

     Also on the brownfield front, the Clinton Administration last
week named 16 cities to receive $28 million in federal environmental
cleanup and economic revitalization funds.  Seven of the 16 so-called
"Brownfields Showcase Communities" are located in the Northeast-
Midwest region, including:  Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Glen Cove, NY;
Lowell, MA; the State of Rhode Island; St. Paul, MN; Stamford, CT; and
Trenton, NJ.

     CONTACT:  Charles Bartsch at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(544-5200).


SENATE TASK FORCE ON MANUFACTURING BACKS MEP REAUTHORIZATION
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     Senate Task Force on Manufacturing co-chairs Senators Olympia J.
Snowe (R-ME) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) are urging their
colleagues to cosponsor S. 1325, the Technology Administration Bill,
which reauthorizes the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  In
a letter sent last week, the senators wrote that MEP has "provided
critical assistance to over 55,000 small and medium-sized U.S.
manufacturers."

     S. 1325 awaits action by the Senate Commerce Committee.  If
Congress does not enact reauthorization legislation this year,
extension centers in California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio
will lose their federal funding and may be forced to cease all
activity.

     CONTACT:  Geoffrey Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).


BUDGET UPDATE
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     In an effort to avoid some of the acrimony of previous years, the
Senate Budget Committee's blueprint for federal spending accepts the
president's level of spending for the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The president's fiscal 1999 budget calls
for $1.1 billion in regular funding for LIHEAP and $300 million in
contingency/emergency funding.

     The budget mark would permit overall federal spending to increase
3.6 percent, from $1.670 trillion in fiscal 1998 to $1.731 trillion in
fiscal 1999.  The mark abides by the discretionary spending caps
established in the Balanced Budget Agreement (BBA) of 1997.  Funding
for highways and mass transit beyond BBA levels -- $25.9 billion in
contract authority for highways, $18.5 billion outlays for highways,
and $5.0 billion for mass transit -- will be offset with reductions in
direct spending programs.  The budget should be ready for debate on
the Senate floor this week.

     CONTACT:  Geoffrey Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).


STAFF UPDATES
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     Julie Gorte has joined the Northeast-Midwest Institute's staff as
a senior policy analyst focusing on manufacturing competitiveness and
industrial efficiency.  Formerly with the Office of Technology
Assessment and the Environmental Protection Agency, Gorte has her
doctorate in resource economics. ... Tina Kaarsberg was the leader of
the U.S. Team on "The Outlook for Small-Scale Combined Heat and Power
in the U.S.," which will appear in CADDET (Centre for the Analysis and
Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies) Energy Efficiency
Newsletter, No. 2, June 1998, published in the Netherlands and also at
http://caddett-ee.org. ... Allegra Cangelosi this week is making a
presentation about the National Invasive Species Act and the Great
Lakes ballast technology project at a joint meeting in The Hague of
the International Maritime Organization and the International Council
for the Exploration of the Sea; next week, she will participate as a
U.S. delegate to the IMO Ballast Working Group, which is meeting in
London.


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