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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 19 July 1999

     The Great Lakes Task Forces on Monday, July 19, are organizing a
workshop for congressional and state staff on Great Lakes water
diversions.  The proposal to transfer groundwater from Lake Michigan's
hydrologic system for mining purposes and the "Nova Group" permit
issued by Ontario for the bulk export of Lake Superior water to Asian
markets have highlighted inadequacies in existing arrangements for
managing Great Lakes water diversions.

     At the request of Canada and the U.S., the International Joint
Commission is examining the consumption, diversion, and removal of
waters along the common border, including potential uses such as bulk
export.  The Great Lakes governors also have commissioned an analysis
of the laws governing diversions and consumptive uses.  Findings from
both of these investigations are expected in the fall.  In response,
Congress may wish to consider actions relating to these issues.  This
workshop is intended as a primer for congressional and state staff on
the current status of the Great Lakes hydrological system, water use
trends, and legal framework.

     The session on Monday, July 19, will run from 2:00 pm until 3:30
pm in room SC-6 of the U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACTS:  Rochelle Sturtevant at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-1211) and Allegra Cangelosi at the Northeast-Midwest
Institute (544-5200).

     The Senate Smart Growth Task Force on Wednesday, July 21, will
host a briefing on how federal programs affect the smart growth
efforts of smaller communities.  The Task Force in March asked the
General Accounting Office (GAO) to examine, through case studies,
specific smart growth initiatives.

     The Vermont Forum on Sprawl at the Wednesday briefing will
discuss growth management issues facing smaller communities.  Friends
of the Earth will release a new publication analyzing specific
examples of federal actions that have exacerbated unplanned growth. 
In addition, Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT), co-chair of the Northeast-
Midwest Senate Coalition, will announce an important brownfield reuse
legislative initiative.

     The July 21 session will run from 3:00 pm until 4:30 pm in room
430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (224-

     The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition on Thursday, July
22, is hosting a lunch briefing to highlight the important role
teaching hospitals play in the region.  In order to help understand
how Medicare reform could benefit the region's health care
infrastructure, hospital executives from Illinois, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, and Iowa will discuss the challenges and threats facing
teaching hospitals in the Northeast and Midwest.

     The region's teaching facilities provide the quality patient
care, tackle the complex medical cases, assure training of future
generations of health care professionals, and sponsor cutting-edge
medical research.  In addition to being the largest employers in some
communities, these facilities use their Graduate Medical money to
subsidize the cost of providing health care to disproportionately
impoverished and uninsured individuals.

     The July 22 briefing will run from 12:00 noon until 1:30 pm in
room B-369 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  Lunch will be

     CONTACT:  Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (225-5361).

     The Upper Mississippi River Congressional Task Force on Friday,
July 23, is sponsoring a briefing on the Mississippi River Stewardship
Initiative, a public-private partnership to comprehensively reduce
sediment and nutrient loss in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) basin.

     Speakers will include:  Dr. Barry Drazkowski and Dr. Rory Vose,
co-directors of the Resources Study Center at St. Mary's University;
Bruce Knight, vice president of the National Corn Growers Association;
Jim Lyons, under secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Bob
Wayland, with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of
Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.

     The July 23 briefing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am in room
1300 of the Longworth House Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Ted Illston at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200) and Ed Buckner with the UMR Task Force (225-5506).

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Marine Studies Consortium
on Tuesday, July 20, are launching a project that seeks innovative
means to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal funding
programs that address non-point source water pollution.  Despite
continued success in reducing wastewater and other point sources of
pollution, runoff from urban streets and agricultural lands is
degrading U.S. waters.

     Some $2 billion annually is available in grants or loans for non-
point source projects, mainly through Department of Agriculture and
Environmental Protection Agency programs.  While more funding for non-
point source controls may be needed, the project will explore how
existing federal fiscal resources could be used more efficiently.

     CONTACT:  George Dusenbury at the Northeast-Midwest Institute

     The Northeast-Midwest Senate and Congressional Coalition,
applauded President Clinton's decision last week to release $100
million in emergency LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Program) funding.

     The fiscal 1999 appropriations bill established a $300-million
contingency account to enable the federal government to respond to the
recent heat wave and similar emergencies.  State allocations vary; New
York, for instance, will receive $28.5 million, while Michigan obtains
$3.9 million.  State contingency allocations are posted at

     CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (225-5361).

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