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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 23 October 2000



H E A D L I N E S

* Senate Passes Energy Policy Conservation Act
* WRDA 2000 Authorizes Numerous Regional Projects and Studies
* Site Visit to Blue Plains Wastewater Plant
* Institute Posts Great Lakes Appropriations
* Institute Updates Brownfield Publications
* Bonneville Power Offers "Comical" Defense


SENATE PASSES ENERGY POLICY CONSERVATION ACT
---------------------------------------------
     The Senate on October 19 passed, by unanimous consent,
legislation reauthorizing the Energy Policy Conservation Act, which
authorizes operation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The
legislation includes several provisions important to the Northeast-
Midwest region.

     * improvements to the weatherization assistance program (S.2429);

     * establishment of an education campaign regarding summer fill
and fuel budgeting programs (S.2224);

     * creation of a Northeast home heating oil reserve (revised
version of S.2047);

     * establishment of an Annual Home Heating Readiness Report
(revised version of S.2072); and

     * creation of a national oil heat research alliance (S.348).

     House action is expected soon.  A summary of regional provisions
within the Senate bill can be found at http://www.nemw.org/energy.htm.

     Contact:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).


WRDA 2000 AUTHORIZES NUMEROUS REGIONAL PROJECTS AND STUDIES
------------------------------------------------------------
     The Water Resources Development Act of 2000, which passed the
House last week by an overwhelming margin, contains several provisions
of interest to the Northeast-Midwest region.

     The bill, for instance, authorizes a $10-million Upper
Mississippi River Basin Sediment and Nutrient Study, which will enable
the Corps of Engineers to develop a computer modeling system to
investigate sediment and nutrients flows in the basin.  WRDA 2000 also
authorizes a Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment study; this
study would investigate the river management options, habitat needs,
and recreational opportunities in the lower basin, a first step toward
creating a program such as the Upper Mississippi River Environmental
Management Program for the Lower Mississippi region.  Finally, the
bill extends the authorization period on the Upper Mississippi River
Comprehensive Plan, a flood control and river resource study that has
not yet received funding.

     The WRDA 2000 bill also contains several important provisions
related to the Delaware, Potomac, and Susquehanna River basins.
Section 402, which authorizes watershed and river assessments (known
as "Section 729" assessments), designates the Delaware, Potomac, and
Susquehanna Rivers as priority watersheds for study.  These
assessments would be conducted through the coordinated efforts of
relevant federal, state, and interstate agencies and would evaluate
ecosystem protection and restoration, flood control, navigation, and
water supply issues. A separate Delaware River Watershed Study is
authorized through Section 440; this study would focus on the sources
and impacts of sediment contamination in the Delaware River basin.
Section 554 of WRDA 2000 creates a $10-million program to implement
wetlands restoration activities in the the Upper Susquehanna River
basin; this fiscal 2001 Energy and Water Appropriations bill allocates
$1 million for studies related to this effort.

     WRDA also includes numerous provisions associated with the Great
Lakes.  Details on those items can be found at
http://www.nemw.org/wrda2000gl.pdf.  Data on projects in each of the
Great Lakes states can be found at
http://www.nemw.org/wrda2000gljproj.pdf.  Information on national
authorities within WRDA can be found at
http://www.nemw.org/wrda2000national.pdf.

     Contact:  Allen Hance at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200) and Rochelle Sturtevant at the Great Lakes Task Force (224-
1211).


SITE VISIT TO BLUE PLAINS WASTEWATER PLANT
-------------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute has rescheduled its tour for
congressional staff and others of the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment
Plant, located in Southeast Washington, D.C.  This field trip -- now
scheduled to leave Capitol Hill on Wednesday, 25 October, at 10:00 am
--  will allow staff to learn first-hand about the large-scale
facilities that treat our cities' sewage and stormwater runoff.  It
will highlight challenges associated with wastewater and nonpoint
source water treatment.

     Contact:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).


INSTITUTE POSTS GREAT LAKES APPROPRIATIONS
-------------------------------------------
     Updates on funding for key Great Lakes programs can be found at
http://www.nemw.org/tracking2001.pdf.

     Contact:  Rochelle Sturtevant at the Great Lakes Task Force (224-
1211).


INSTITUTE UPDATES BROWNFIELD PUBLICATIONS
------------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute has updated three brownfield
publications.  The guide to state brownfield programs and impacts can
be found at http://www.nemw.org/brown_stateof.pdf.  The review of
brownfield initiatives within the various federal agencies can be
found at http://www.nemw.org/FedGuide2000.pdf.  The listing of federal
legislative proposals can be found at
http://www.nemw.org/brownleg.pdf.

     Contacts:  Charles Bartsch and Bridget Dorfman at the Northeast-
Midwest Institute (544-5200).


BONNEVILLE POWER OFFERS "COMICAL" DEFENSE
------------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute last week issued a critique of
BPA's deceptive and "comical" press release that tried to deflect
criticism of the agency's profiteering sales into the tight California
electricity market.  BPA attempted to suggest that it provides U.S.
taxpayers with a tremendous investment return, but the utility is
doing nothing more than paying off its debt to the Treasury, as
required by contract and law.  Rather than benefit U.S. taxpayers,
BPA's real goal is to lock in subsidized power for northwestern
aluminum companies and select utilities.

     The Institute's critique is available at
http://www.nemw.org/BPAdeceptpress.pdf.

     Contact:  Dick Munson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).