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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 20 May 2002



H I G H L I G H T S

* Briefing: Sustainable Communities
* Briefing: Great Lakes Water Levels
* Study: Vacant Federal Property
* Letter: Mercury Emissions

BRIEFING: SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
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The Northeast Midwest House and Senate Coalitions, together with the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Senate Smart Growth Task Force, are sponsoring a briefing on Wednesday, May 22, on recommendations to achieve sustainable communities. Participating congressmen will be Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY), co-chair of the Northeast Midwest House Coalition; Reps. William Pascrell (D-NJ) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chairs of the Livable Communities Task Force; and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), chair of the House Science Committee.

The May 22 briefing will begin at 3:00 pm in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

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


BRIEFING: GREAT LAKES WATER LEVELS
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The Great Lakes Task Force on Thursday, May 23, will host its annual meeting on water levels in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab will present its forecast and discuss climate change impacts on water levels; the International Joint Commission will discuss water level regulations; and the Army Corps of Engineers will review the impacts of water levels.

The May 23 briefing will begin at 10:00 am in room SC-6 of the U.S. Capitol.

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


STUDY: VACANT FEDERAL PROPERTY
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Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY), Marty Meehan (D-MA), and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) are asking the General Accounting Office to study the impact of vacant or underutilized federal property on community development. Abandoned property and vacant land can cause significant public nuisances and lead to disinvestment in urban centers, older suburbs, and commercial areas of small cities and towns.

The Northeast-Midwest has 40 percent of the nation's population but only 16 percent of its land resources. The reuse of underutilized federal property, therefore, is critical to states in the region.

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


LETTER: MERCURY EMISSIONS
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Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are circulating a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to continue developing strict MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) regulations for mercury. The letter also urges the administration to strengthen the mercury provisions contained in its Clear Skies Initiative. Signatures are due by close of business on Wednesday, May 22.

Contacts: Rob Esworthy with Sen. Leahy (224-5544) or Ginny Worrest with Sen. Snowe 224-8672).