[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 15 October 2001



H I G H L I G H T S

*  Central City Revitalization Workshop
*  LIHEAP Funding and Briefing
*  Combined Heat and Power Conferences
*  Energy Efficiency Funding
*  Northeast-Midwest Redesigns and Augments Web Site
*  Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in the Great Lakes


CENTRAL CITY REVITALIZATION WORKSHOP
------------------------------------
        Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) on Monday, October 15, will host a Northeast-Midwest workshop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on proven strategies for revitalizing central city neighborhoods.  Such strategies foster the collaborative, well-designed reuse of vacant or underused land in order to achieve quality housing, vibrant commercial centers, public amenities, and walkable communities.  Representatives of city government, the Grand Rapids Master Plan committee, local businesses, community foundations, and nonprofit organizations will examine how Grand Rapids can apply models of mixed-use development.

        CONTACT:  Barbara Wells at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-5200).


LIHEAP FUNDING AND BRIEFING
---------------------------
        Senate appropriators late last week increased LIHEAP support to $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002 regular funding and $300 million in emergency funding, the same figures as provided recently by the House.  Northeast-Midwest leaders thank Senate and House appropriators, particularly Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Reps. Ralph Regula (R-OH) and David Obey (D-WI), for their support.

        The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition on Thursday, October 18, will host a briefing on prospects for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Panelists will discuss how many people will be asking for assistance this year; how prepared are states to handle the winter’s caseload; the effects of the downturn in the economy; the status of the $300 million in emergency funding; the legislative outlook for LIHEAP; and what can Northeast-Midwest do to help.

        The October 18 briefing will run from 3:00 pm until 4:00 pm in room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

        CONTACT:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (224-0606).


COMBINED HEAT AND POWER CONFERENCES
-----------------------------------
        The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, October 15, will discuss its new combined heat and power (CHP) partnership.  On October 16-17, CHP advocates will gather in Baltimore to review efforts for promoting the use of efficient CHP technologies.

        Meanwhile, Senate and House panels are reviewing legislation advanced by Northeast-Midwest leaders to ensure that innovative electricity technologies, such as CHP, can interconnect with the grid and obtain equitable depreciation treatment.

        CONTACTS:  Susan Freedman and Suzanne Watson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-5200).


ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING
-------------------------
        The Interior Appropriations Conference Report last week provided substantial funding increases for energy efficiency and conservation programs, responding to a letter signed by 28 senators and spearheaded by the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition.

        Interior Appropriations for fiscal 2002 will make available $230 million for Weatherization, $45 million for State Energy, $78.5 million for the Energy Information Administration, and $23.3 million for the Federal Energy Management Program.

        CONTACT:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (224-0606).


NORTHEAST-MIDWEST REDESIGNS AND AUGMENTS WEB SITE
-------------------------------------------------
        The Northeast-Midwest Institute recently renovated its web site.  Drop-down menus have been added to nearly 100 pages in order to facilitate navigation of the site.  A site search tool also has been added to assist users in their research efforts.

        A new Agriculture page provides frequently updated farm bill information, with a focus on conservation, as well as links to summaries of related Northeast-Midwest briefings, recent reports, and sustainable agriculture resources.  A new Rural Development page provides links to reports and contacts for rural issues, including education, health, housing, and infrastructure.

        The Brownfields and Forests pages have been extensively revised to include additional policy and background information.  A new Transportation page has sprouted from the Transportation & Trade page.  It includes a “primer” on transportation legislation, as well as coverage of transportation issues by mode.

        All the above sections can be accessed from the “Policy Studies” drop-down menu on the Northeast-Midwest home page:  http://www.nemw.org.


SOIL EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL IN THE GREAT LAKES
----------------------------------------------------
        The Senate Great Lakes Task Force is circulating a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee in support of authorizing the Great Lakes Basin Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program in the 2001 Farm bill.  The Basin Program, a federal/state partnership run by the Great Lakes Commission, is designed to improve water quality by controlling the millions of tons of topsoil that erodes into the Great Lakes and its tributaries every year.  Nearly 60,000 acres in the Great Lakes basin are under some form of conservation treatment as a result of this program.  Deadline for signature on the letter is October 18.

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