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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 27 May 2002



H I G H L I G H T S

* Briefing: Recycling Works
* Legislation: Great Lakes Legacy Act
* Study: Cleaning Contaminated Sediments
* Study: Vacant Federal Property


BRIEFING: RECYCLING WORKS
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The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition on Monday, June 3, will host a briefing on the importance of recycling and reuse to the regionís economy. The session will review the U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study, as well as discuss the economic impacts of recycling on northeastern and midwestern states, which have the nationís most successful programs.

Presenters will include representatives of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Recycling Coalition, Mid America Council of Recycling Officials, and Northeast Recycling Council. The June 3 briefing will run from 10:30 am until 12:00 noon in room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Contact: Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202-224-0606).


LEGISLATION: GREAT LAKES LEGACY ACT
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Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Mike DeWine (R-OH), co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, last week introduced the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002 (S. 2544). The bill is a companion to legislation introduced by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and authorizes $50 million per year in grants to states for remediation at Areas of Concern. The legislation also creates a grant program for public information and education; requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to submit to Congress a report on such actions, time periods, and resources as are necessary to fulfill EPAís duties overseeing Remedial Action Plans at Areas of Concern; requires EPA to conduct research and development of innovative approaches for the remediation of sediment; and reauthorizes the Great Lakes National Program Office.

Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202-224-1211).

STUDY: CLEANING CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS
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The Great Lakes Task Force last week released a General Accounting Office report on the progress of cleanup at Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes. Overall, the GAO found that progress has been slow and funding has dropped over time. The report -- which includes the GAO's findings, recommendations, and agency responses -- can be found at www.gao.gov.

Contact: Joy Mulinex at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202-224-1211).


STUDY: VACANT FEDERAL PROPERTY
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Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), 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.

Contact: Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202-224-0606).