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Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting, Oct. 19-20, Buffalo

Great Lakes leaders to convene in Buffalo

Lake levels, water export and brownfields redevelopment top agenda at
Commission’s annual meeting

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Great Lakes leaders from an array of public, private
and citizen organizations will convene Oct. 19-20 in Buffalo for the
1998 Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission.  The Commission, an
eight-state agency founded in state and federal law, is responsible for
developing and advocating public policy on environmental protection,
resource management, transportation and economic development issues.

 The meeting will focus on a number of issues–some controversial–that
have important implications for the future use and protection of the
resource.  Topics include lake level regulation, a proposal to export
Great Lakes water overseas, directional drilling under the Great Lakes
for oil and gas, and emerging strategies to redevelop old industrial
sites, or brownfields, as a means to protect loss of farmland and open

 “Our Buffalo meeting provides all members of the Great Lakes community
with an opportunity to share information, develop regional policy and
advance the collective binational management effort,” states Commission
Chair Donald Vonnahme.  “We recognize that we must work together–across
geographic boundaries, disciplines, and viewpoints–to protect and manage
the world’s greatest freshwater resource.”

 The event, which will attract more than 120 officials from the United
States and Canada, features a number of notable speakers, including John
Cahill, commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental
Conservation; Mayor Anthony Masiello of Buffalo; Sen. George Maziarz and
Assemblyman Paul Tokasz, co-chairs of the New York Coalition of Great
Lakes Legislators; and Eugene Zeltmann, president and chief operating
officer of the New York Power Authority.

 On Oct. 19, following the formal business session, the New York Power
Authority will host a tour of its Niagara Power Project, followed by a
reception and dinner at the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara
University.  The following day will feature a half-day session on
brownfields redevelopment in the Great Lakes region with a focus on
upstate New York initiatives.

 Meeting sessions, to be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo,
are open to the public.  Registration fees will be waived for those with
media credentials, but everyone must register in advance or on-site (see
the attached program and registration form).

# # #

 The Great Lakes Commission is a nonpartisan, interstate compact agency
created by state and federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong
economy, clean environment and high quality of life for residents of the
eight-state Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin).  The Commission consists of
state legislators, agency officials and governors’ appointees from its
member states, and also maintains a formal Observer program involving
U.S. and Canadian federal and provincial agencies, tribal authorities,
binational agencies and other regional interests.  The Commission
offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.