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GLIN==> Great Lakes Commission urges support for critical programs



Great Lakes policymakers and stakeholders:

The U.S. Congress is working on an omnibus bill this week, which will 
likely include Agriculture, VA-HUD (which includes U.S. EPA) and 
Commerce-Justice-State appropriations. There are significant Great Lakes 
programs that could be underfunded, or not funded at all. The time to 
act is now!

Votes on these bills are anticipated by Nov. 12 with Congress expected 
to adjourn on Nov. 14. A contact list for U.S. senators representing the 
Great Lakes states is attached for your reference. We encourage your 
support and involvement as these deliberations continue.

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CONCERN: Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

The House Agriculture Subcommittee appropriations bill currently 
recommends funding at $2.5 million, which is the same as last year. The 
Senate Agriculture Subcommittee has not provided any funds for this 
program in FY2004. Contact the House and Senate – see below - and urge 
them to restore funds for this program.

Sen. Robert Bennett
Chairman
Senate Appropriations Committee
Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Sen. Herb Kohl
Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Committee
Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. Henry Bonilla
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Subcommittee

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CONCERN: Protect U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) budget

Appropriations for the Great Lakes National Program Office in FY 2004 
are likely to be reduced and the potential exists for additional funds 
to be redirected away from GLNPO. Funding is problematic because neither 
the House nor Senate specifically identified GLNPO appropriations in 
their subcommittee reports as in previous years. This omission can be 
seen in H. Rpt. 108-235 and S. Rpt. 108-143, which identifies funding 
levels for the Environmental Programs and Management Account of U.S. EPA 
(available at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app04.html). In 
addition, the Senate appropriations bill recommends a General Reduction 
of $42 million for the Environmental Programs and Management Account, 
which is a more dramatic reduction than the $3.16 million in FY 2003. In 
short, funding for grants and programs that benefit the Great Lakes will 
be reduced under the proposed appropriations bills in Congress. Contact 
the House and Senate – see below - and urge them to protect funding for 
GLNPO.

Sen. Christopher Bond
Chairman
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. James Walsh
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. Alan Mollohan
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

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CONCERN: Full Funding for the Great Lakes Legacy Act

There has been some recognition by both House and Senate appropriations 
subcommittees of a critical Great Lakes priority: they call for $10 
million to partially fund the Great Lakes Legacy Act, though it is 
authorized at $50 million per year. However, this funding level is 
significantly below the President’s FY 2004 request for $15 million. It 
also seems not to consider that the Act does not provide for all the 
support activities necessary to get the clean up job done; thus, it is 
critical that related GLNPO operations be fully funded to support these 
other activities which are needed for site clean up projects. Similarly, 
the recent GAO report (GAO-03-515, April 2003) noted that Great Lakes 
restoration efforts are impeded by limited funding for federal agencies, 
and associated state grant programs. This example illustrates that the 
piece-meal funding proposed for FY 2004 simply mirrors past efforts that 
have left GLNPO unable to fulfill its broader mandate under the Clean 
Water Act.

Contact the House and Senate – see below - and urge them to fully fund 
the President's budget for the Great Lakes Legacy Act.

Sen. Christopher Bond
Chairman
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. James Walsh
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. Alan Mollohan
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

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CONCERN: BEACH Act (Great Lakes beach monitoring) appropriations

The Great Lakes Commission is advocating for AT LEAST a $10 million 
appropriation for the BEACH Act. When originally passed in 2000, the 
BEACH Act authorized $30 million for grants within this EPA program for 
each fiscal year, 2001 - 2005. But, thus far, only $10 million/year has 
actually been appropriated.

We are most concerned at this point that the Senate VA-HUD 
Appropriations Subcommittee has not appropriated funds for FY2004, 
though it is identified as a line item in their appropriations bill. We 
are urging them to support the House appropriations level of $10 million 
recommended in H.Rpt. 108-235. Contact the House and Senate – see below 
- and urge them to fully fund this program.

Sen. Christopher Bond
Chairman
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. James Walsh
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee

Rep. Alan Mollohan
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee


For more details on the status of FY2004 Appropriations Bills, see 
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app04.html

View key Great Lakes appropriations at http://www.nemw.org/tracking2004.pdf

If you have questions regarding Great Lakes Commission appropriations 
priorities or would like to request copies of recent correspondence, 
please contact Dr. Jon MacDonagh-Dumler at 734-971-9135 or jonmacd@glc.org.

senate_contacts.pdf