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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 4 August 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* National Clean and Safe Drinking Water Fund

* Homeowners to Benefit from Waukegan Harbor Clean-Up

* Easing Border Traffic and Improving Trade Corridors

 

 

NATIONAL CLEAN AND SAFE DRINKING WATER FUND

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Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), George Voinovich (R-OH), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) are seeking cosponsors for the National Clean and Safe Drinking Water Fund Act.  The bill establishes a new fund from the fines, penalties, and other amounts collected as a result of enforcement actions brought under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  Rather than go to general revenues, monies within the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Fund would be distributed by the Environmental Protection Agency for water conservation, wetland protection, contaminated sediments, drinking water source protection, stream buffers, combined sewer overflow/sanitary sewer overflows, agricultural best management practices, and decentralized stormwater and waste water treatment projects.  In selecting projects to receive funding, the EPA administrator will give priority to projects located in states with violations of the CWA or SDWA, as well as to those that maximize water quality improvements in watersheds and aquifers.

 

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

 

 

HOMEOWNERS TO BENEFIT FROM WAUKEGAN HARBOR CLEAN-UP

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Residential property values throughout Lake County, Illinois, could increase by as much as $333 million if sediment pollution in Waukegan Harbor is eliminated, according to a study conducted by the University of Illinois and Northeast-Midwest Institute.  The study also suggests that redevelopment of the Harbor area, improved shipping, and attraction of new residents and businesses could add further benefits.

 

Pollution that was dumped or leaked during the 1950s and 1960s earned Waukegan Harbor designation as one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern.  A major clean-up effort undertaken in the early 1990s removed over 90 percent of the poundage of PCBs, but more contamination has since leaked into the harbor from surrounding industrial sites.  For the past two years, the Northeast-Midwest Institute, in collaboration with economists from the University of Illinois and San Francisco State University, have been studying the economic benefits from further clean-up of Waukegan Harbor.

 

Contacts:  Nicole Mays at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200) and John Braden at the University of Illinois (217/333-5501).

 

 

EASING BORDER TRAFFIC AND IMPROVING TRADE CORRIDORS

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Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the National Highway Borders and Trade Act in order to improve the transportation system for international and interstate commerce.  The bill would address the growth in international trade and highway traffic by authorizing $400 million annually over six years for initiatives that ease congestion at border crossings and improve highway corridors that connect to border regions.  Although there are only 15 land-border states, the goods shipped through those jurisdictions eventually travel across the entire country.

 

Contact:  Alison Pascale with Senator Levin (202/224-6221).