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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 21 October 2002



H E A D L I N E S

 

* Briefing:  Distributed Generation and the Electricity Grid

* Reports:  State Profiles on Manufacturing

* Legislation:  Contaminated Sediments in the Great Lakes

* Letter:  Drought Disaster Relief

* Brownfield Grants Available

* Legislation:  Drinking Water Wells

 

 

BRIEFING:  DISTRIBUTED GENERATION AND THE ELECTRICITY GRID

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     The Northeast-Midwest Institute on Monday, October 21, will host a briefing on how innovative technologies can plug into, or interconnect with, the electric utility grid.  The session will describe how existing barriers block the introduction of systems that increase efficiency and reduce pollution, and it will highlight the just-approved technical interconnection standards from the national association of electrical engineers.  Speaking will be representatives of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Environmental Resources Trust, and U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association.

 

     The October 21 briefing will run from 10:00 am until 11:30 am in room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

 

     Contact:  Joe Abe at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4021).

 

 

REPORTS:  STATE PROFILES ON MANUFACTURING

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     The Northeast-Midwest Institute has posted reports on the state of manufacturing in each of the 18 northeastern and midwestern states.  Individual state reports can be accessed from the manufacturing page at http://www.nemw.org/mfg.htm.  The combined report is available at http://www.nemw.org/mfgstatefact.pdf.

 

     Contact:  Matt Kane at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (651/297-2406).

 

 

LEGISLATION:  CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS IN THE GREAT LAKES

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     The Senate recently passed the Great Lakes Legacy Act (H.R. 1070) that authorizes up to $50 million for the Great Lakes National Program Office to help clean up contaminated sediments at Areas of Concern (AOCs).  Sponsored by Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), the bill also authorizes public outreach grants and requires the Environmental Protection Agency to report to Congress on the status of cleanup at the AOCs.  Senate and House sponsors are working to ensure the legislation is conferenced and approved when Congress returns after the November elections.

 

     Contact:  Joy Mulinex at the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).

 

 

LETTER:  DROUGHT DISASTER ASSISTANCE

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     Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Reps. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), John McHugh (R-NY), and John Baldacci (D-ME) are requesting signatures on Senate and House letters to Agriculture Secretary Veneman. The letters express concern that the USDA’s disaster relief programs and policies have failed to address the circumstances of farmers in the Northeast.

 

     Contacts:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606), Olwen Huxley with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9497), or Allen Hance with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).

 

BROWNFIELD GRANTS AVAILABLE

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     The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released grant guidance for 2003 funding for brownfield redevelopment.  Eligible governmental entities may apply for up to $400,000 in assessment funding and up to $1 million for an initial revolving loan fund.  Proposals must be postmarked by December 16, 2002.  For more information, visit EPA’s brownfields website at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields.



LEGISLATION:  DRINKING WATER WELLS

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     Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) are seeking cosponsors for the Private Well Testing Assistance Act (S. 3127).  In order to help protect the health of rural families, the legislation provides federal assistance to help state health and environmental agencies sample drinking water wells near suspected areas of groundwater contamination.  More than 15.1 million households are served by private drinking water wells in the United States. At times, these wells are affected by serious groundwater contaminants, including industrial solvents, petroleum, nitrates, radon, arsenic, beryllium, chloroform, and gasoline additives such as MTBE.  The bill authorizes EPA to provide up to $20 million per year to assist state well testing programs -- subject to a 20 percent state match.

 

     Contact:  Steve Eichenauer with Senator Reed (202/224-4642).