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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 23 April 2001



H E A D L I N E S

*  Briefing on Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia
*  Briefing on Mississippi River Flooding
*  Briefing on Flow of Federal Funds to the States
*  Energy Efficiency Appropriations
*  Brownfield Appropriations
*  Great Lakes Appropriations
*  LIHEAP Appropriations
*  Stream Gauge Appropriations
*  Smart Growth Legislation


BRIEFING ON GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA
----------------------------------
     The Upper Mississippi River Task Force on Monday, April 23, will
sponsor a briefing to outline the problem of hypoxia and summarize the
Integrated Assessment and Action Plan promulgated by the Harmful Algal
Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (PL 105-383).  Speaking
will be representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Agricultural Research
Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

     An area within the Gulf of Mexico, about the size of New Jersey,
has dissolved oxygen levels below those necessary to sustain most
animal life.  Scientific evidence indicates that excess nitrogen from
the Mississippi River drainage basin, coupled with hydrologic and
climatic factors, drives the onset and duration of hypoxia in the
northern Gulf of Mexico.

     The April 23 briefing will begin at 3:00 pm in room HC-6 of the
U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACT:  Laura Cimo with the Upper Mississippi River Task Force
(225-5506).


BRIEFING ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOODING
--------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions and the Upper Mississippi River
Task Forces will host a briefing about floods along the Mississippi
River.  The briefing -- which will include presentations by the
Weather Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency -- will begin on Thursday, April 26, at 11:00 am in
room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Olwen Huxley with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-9497).


BRIEFING ON THE FLOW OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO THE STATES
---------------------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions on Friday, April 27, will host a
brown-bag briefing about regional trends in federal spending.  Matt
Kane of the Northeast-Midwest Institute will discuss the factors that
drive the region's poor return on its federal tax dollars.

     Demographic and industrial patterns long have resulted in
relatively low federal spending in midwestern states but relatively
high spending in the Northeast, where high federal tax burdens explain
the low return on federal tax dollar.  Kane will discuss how
population, economic structure, and income levels affect the flow of
federal funds to the states.  He will comment on opportunities to
influence long-term federal spending trends.

     The April 27 briefing will begin at 11:30 am in room 2456 of the
Rayburn House Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-9497).


ENERGY EFFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS
--------------------------------
     Senators Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of
the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are circulating a letter
advocating appropriations for five energy efficiency and data
programs, including the Weatherization Assistance Program, State
Energy Program, Office of Building Technology, Office of Industrial
Technology, and Energy Information Administration.  These initiatives
help states support the nation's low-income families that are most
vulnerable to extreme weather conditions; improve the efficiency with
which we generate and distribute energy; and collect data so that
states, businesses, and individuals obtain critical energy market
information.  The deadline for signature is April 30.

     CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor with the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).


BROWNFIELD APPROPRIATIONS
-------------------------
     Senators Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI), co-chairs of
the Senate Smart Growth Task Force, are circulating an appropriation
letter supporting brownfield programs at the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD).  The members argue that the strong support for, and imminent
passage of, S. 350 reinforce the necessity for significant brownfield
funding.

     The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition is circulating a
similar letter in the House.  That effort -- in addition to supporting
the president's $5 million increase for EPA and seeking $25 million
for HUD -- also requests restoration of the proposed 50 percent cut in
HUD's Section 108 loan guarantees.

     CONTACTS:  Heather Smith with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force
(224-5141) and Olwen Huxley with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-9497).


GREAT LAKES APPROPRIATIONS
--------------------------
     The co-chairs of the House Great Lakes Task Force -- Reps. John
Dingell (D-MI), Vern Ehlers (R-MI), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), and
James Oberstar (D-MN) -- are circulating letters supporting
appropriations for a variety of Great Lakes programs, including the
Coastal Zone Management Program, Great Lakes coastal restoration
grants, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and the Great Lakes Human
Health Effects research program.

     The co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force -- Senators
Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Carl Levin (D-MI) -- are circulating
appropriation request letters for the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-
State, Energy & Water, Interior, Transportation, and VA-HUD
subcommittees.

     CONTACT:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Forces (224-
1211).


LIHEAP APPROPRIATIONS
---------------------
     Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY), Marty Meehan (D-MA), and Joe Moakley (D-
MA) are circulating a letter seeking increased appropriations for the
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The members are
requesting $3.0 billion in fiscal 2002, $300 million in emergency
funding, and advance appropriations of $3.0 billion for fiscal 2003.
The deadline for signature is April 26.

     CONTACT:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-9497).


STREAM GAUGE APPROPRIATION
--------------------------
     Reps. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Ron Kind
(D-WI), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) are circulating a letter seeking
increased funding for the U.S. Geological Survey's Stream Gauge
network.  The network is used, among other things, for water resource
management and flood prediction.  The tentative deadline for signature
is April 24.

     CONTACT:  Laura Cimo at the Upper Mississippi River Task Force
(225-5506).


SMART GROWTH LEGISLATION
------------------------
     Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and others this week will introduce
the Community Character Act.  The legislation would provide $50
million to help states, multi-state regional programs, and tribal
governments revise land use planning legislation and develop
comprehensive plans.  Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Wayne Gilchrest
(R-MD) introduced similar legislation in the House before the April
recess.  Information on smart growth legislation can be obtained at
http://www.nemw.org/smartgrowth.htm.

     CONTACT:  Heather Smith at the Senate Smart Growth Task Force
(224-5141).