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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 25 February 2002



H E A D L I N E S

 

Briefing:  Smart Growth and Land Use

Briefing:  New Brownfields Legislation

Briefing:  Cormorants in the Great Lakes

Senate Farm Bill

Upcoming Events

 

 

BRIEFING:  SMART GROWTH AND LAND USE

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     The Senate Smart Growth Task Force on Monday, February 25, is hosting a briefing on promoting land use that protects air and water quality.  The General Accounting Office will discuss its report, requested by the Task Force, on how state and local transformation, and air and water quality officials, consider the impacts of land use on the environment and how federal agencies can help these officials assess the impact of land use.

 

     The February 25 briefing will begin at 10:00 am in room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

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

 

 

BRIEFING:  NEW BROWNFIELDS LEGISLATION

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     The Northeast Midwest House Coalition on Thursday, February 28, is organizing a seminar on the recently-signed Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act.  Speakers -- including representatives of the Northeast-Midwest Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, and authorizing and appropriation committees -- will review how the law affects present and future brownfield projects and communities.  The president’s fiscal 2003 budget requests $100 million above last year's appropriation for brownfields.

     The February 28 briefing will begin at 10:00 am in 2456 Rayburn House Office Building.

 

     CONTACTS:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (226-9497) or Charles Bartsch at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-5200).

 

 

BRIEFING:  CORMORANTS IN THE GREAT LAKES

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     The Great Lakes Task Forces on Monday, March 4, will host a briefing by the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) on the management of double-crested cormorants in the Great Lakes region.  The FWS has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement that considers allowing state management of the growing number of these birds which are consuming Great Lakes fish.

 

     The March 4 briefing will begin at 1:00 pm in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.

 

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

 

 

SENATE FARM BILL

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     On February 13, the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill.  The legislation contains the highest conservation, specialty crop, rural development, and nutrition funding levels ever included in federal farm legislation.  The bill takes major new strides toward achieving more regional equity.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) worked closely with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and other Northeast-Midwest senators to craft a strong conservation title, which more than doubles current conservation spending.  The bill includes a historic funding level for the Farmland Protection Program, providing $1.75 billion to help protect working farmland.

 

     Other innovative and regionally-significant provisions include the renewable energy title; specialty crop provisions; conservation measures for the Great Lakes basin, Chesapeake Bay watershed, and New England cranberry and blueberry producers; reforms to the EQIP program; and expanded forestry efforts.  The Senate bill also includes the Suburban and Community Forestry and Open Space Initiative Act -- introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition -- establishing a competitive grant program to help states, communities, and nonprofit organizations protect open space and working forest land from sprawl.

 

     CONTACTS:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (224-0606) and Allen Hance or Dan Wrinn at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-5200).

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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     March 13 – Mid-Atlantic Rivers and Estuaries Summit, including a breakfast with regional lawmakers.  Continental breakfast begins at 8:00 am in the Mansfield Room within the U.S. Capitol.

 

     March 14 – Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast.  Begins at 8:00 am in B-339 Rayburn House Office Building.