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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 14 May 2001



H I G H L I G H T S

*  Briefing:  Army Corps Reform Proposals
*  Legislation:  Brownfield Reuse
*  Letter:  Energy Efficiency Funding
*  Legislation:  Upper Mississippi River Conservation
*  Letter:  Contaminated Sediments
*  Letter:  Forestry Program Funding
*  Letter:  Conservation Agriculture Funding
*  Legislation:  Farmland Conservation


BRIEFING: ARMY CORPS REFORM PROPOSALS
-------------------------------------
     The economic and environmental costs and benefits of U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers' projects have been the subject of considerable
controversy.  The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions on Monday, May 14, are
hosting a briefing featuring three prominent water resources experts
who will discuss transportation trends, project planning procedures,
mitigation measures, and the impacts of waterway projects on hydrology
and habitat.

     Speakers will be Dr. Robert Stearns, Visiting Professor,
University of Maryland School of Public Affairs, and Former Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Army, Civil Works; Dr. Richard Sparks,
Director, Center for Aquatic Ecology, Illinois Natural History Survey,
and Professor of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences,
University of Illinois; and Dr. Leonard Shabman, Director, Virginia
Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech University.

     The briefing will take place on Monday, May 14, from 2:00 pm to
3:00 pm in room HC-6 of the U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACTS:  Allen Hance at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (464-
4015) or Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Coalition (226-9497).


LEGISLATION:  BROWNFIELD REUSE
------------------------------
     Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), co-chairs of the
Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, soon will introduce the
Brownfields Redevelopment Incentives Act.  The bill establishes three
grant programs at the Environmental Protection Agency, enhances the
applicability of program efforts within the Department of Housing and
Urban Development and the Small Business Administration, and
establishes new federal tax incentives to stimulate brownfield
redevelopment.

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


LETTER:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING
----------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition with leadership
by Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY), Joe Moakley (D-MA), and Bernard Sanders
(I-VT) are circulating a letter seeking significant funding
increases for the Weatherization, State Energy, and Energy Information
Administration programs.  The letter notes the particular importance
of these initiatives in the current era of high energy costs; the
increasing interest in energy efficiency; and the need for accurate,
uniform, data collection and dissemination.  The letter's deadline is
May 14.

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


LEGISLATION:  UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER CONSERVATION
--------------------------------------------------
     Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) last week reintroduced the Upper Mississippi
River Basin Conservation Act with bipartisan support from 20
lawmakers.  The legislation develops a coordinated, interagency
approach to reducing nutrient and sediment losses into the Upper
Mississippi River basin.  Relying on existing federal, state, and
local programs, the bill establishes a water quality monitoring
network and an integrated computer-modeling program to provide the
baseline data needed to make scientifically-sound and cost-effective
conservation decisions.  Following a watershed-based, adaptive-
management approach, the bill also calls for an assessment by the
National Academy of Sciences of water resource and water quality
management within the Upper Mississippi River.

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


LETTER:  CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS
-------------------------------
     The Great Lakes Task Force is circulating a joint House-Senate
letter seeking information on contaminated sediments from the
Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish &
Wildlife Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The letter asks the agencies to identify their authority over the
cleanup process, available resources, assessments of the time and
money needed to finish known contaminated sites, and recommended
improvements to the cleanup process.  The deadline for signature is
May 18.

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


LETTER:  FORESTRY PROGRAM FUNDING
---------------------------------
     Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Christopher
Bond (R-MO), and Patty Murray (D-WA) are circulating a letter asking
appropriators to support state and private forestry programs.  A
similar letter was signed last year by more than 40 senators.

     CONTACTS:  Jeff Burnam with Sen. Lugar (224-7443) or Melody
Burkins with Sen. Leahy (224-2409).


LETTER:  CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE FUNDING
-----------------------------------------
     Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Michael Crapo (R-ID), Tom Harkin
(D-IA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Olympia Snowe
(R-ME) are circulating a letter seeking appropriations for voluntary,
incentive-based conservation agriculture programs such as EQIP, FPP,
WRP, and WHIP.

     CONTACTS:  Melody Burkins with Sen. Leahy (224-2409) or Arlen
Lancaster with Sen. Crapo (224-w3048).


LEGISLATION:  FARMLAND CONSERVATION
-----------------------------------
     Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Patrick Leahy
(D-VT), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday, May 15, will introduce
the Conservation Security Act (CSA), a comprehensive, flexible,
farmer-friendly approach to voluntary conservation on lands in
production.  Under the CSA, farmers and ranchers (including producers
of fruits, vegetables, specialty crops, row crops, and livestock)
would receive incentive payments for maintaining or adopting
conservation practices that enhance the environment, natural
resources, and wildlife habitat.  A press conference announcing the
legislation will take place on May 15 at 10:00 am in the Senate Swamp.

     CONTACT:  Alison Fox with the Agriculture Committee (224-3254).