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GLIN==> A Sign On, Freshwater Symposium, and Funding Opportunities

Great Lakes United: Coalition Update
A Sign on, Freshwater Symposium, and Funding Opportunities
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Extend public comment period for West Valley nuclear waste site: Sign-on

Preserving Ontario's freshwater: Symposium

Freshwater Future hosts Webcast on funding programs

Extend public comment period for West Valley nuclear waste site: Sign-on

We hope your group will sign on to letters to legislators (see below) to request that they contact DOE in support of our request for a public comment period extension (from June to October), and additional West Valley hearings in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester.  We need to show more public support for these requests. 

Please let us know if you can sign on by FRIDAY, MARCH 6th by emailing annerabe@msn.com  Send your name, group and town.  Thanks.

The letters will each be sent to: Congressmembers Eric Massa, Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins; U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand; Assemblymembers Crystal D. Peoples, Dennis H. Gabryszak, Jack Quinn, Stephen Hawley, Sam Hoyt,  Dan Burling, Jim Hayes, Bill Parment, Robin Schimminger, Mark Schroder, Paul Tokasz and Sandra Lee Wirth, and Senators Nozzolio, Michael F. , Alesi, James S.,Robach, Joseph E. ,Stachowski, William T., Volker, Dale M., Thompson, Antoine M.,Ranzenhofer, Michael H.and Maziarz, George D. 

Note, that Senator Young and the Governor's Deputy Secretary on the Environment are supportive of the requests and are contacting DOE.   We plan on sending a separate letter -- in the near future -- to ask all these legislators to consider testifying or submitting comments in support of digging up the waste.

Dear Legislator:

The Western New York Great Lakes region is threatened by the state's largest nuclear waste site, West Valley, located 30 miles south of Buffalo.  We are at a critical juncture in the decision making process to clean up this leaking site.  The public has an opportunity to comment on the government's final cleanup plans which are described in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) by the federal Department of Energy (DOE) and the NYS Energy & Research Authority (NYSERDA).  We are writing you to ask for your support of improved public participation measures during this critical process.

Our concern is that DOE and NYSERDA are not providing enough time for public comment and are not holding hearings in areas where the public is very concerned about the issue.  The last DEIS on West Valley was issued in 1996.  For over 12 years, community and environmental groups have been waiting for this opportunity.  West Valley is a large, complex site with vast amounts of radioactive and toxic pollution.  The final resolution of the West Valley cleanup plan is an extremely important issue which will have a major impact on the future of the Great Lakes and Western New York's environment, drinking water supplies, public health and economic vitality.

We would appreciate your support of our request to DOE and NYSERDA to improve their public comment plan to ensure there is adequate and comprehensive public participation on this critical issue. 

First, the clean up of the West Valley site has been a statewide issue and of interest to statewide, regional and local groups, citizens and policymakers for many years.  Therefore, we have requested that DOE have public hearings in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, New York, in addition to those already scheduled in Irving, West Valley and Blasdell, NY.

Second, the new DEIS is voluminous and highly technical and citizens and groups will need time to adequately review it and consult with experts and their membership, before formulating comments.  Therefore, we have requested that DOE provide an extension on the public comment period from June 8th to October 30, 2008.

Would you please consider contacting DOE and NYSERDA officials in support of our requests on the additional hearing locations and the extended comment deadline?

They can be contacted at:
1) Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, the.secretary@hq.doe.gov, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20585;
2) Bryan Bower, Director, Dept. of Energy West Valley Demonstration Project, 10282 Rock Springs Rd., West Valley, NY 14171, bryan.bower@wv.doe.gov ; and
3) Frank Murray, President, NYSERDA, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203 and NYSERDA Deputy Counsel Hal Brodie at hb1@nyserda.org.   

Thank you very much for considering our requests.  You can contact us through Anne Rabe, Center for Health, Environment & Justice, annerabe@msn.com,  518-732-4538, if you have any questions.

Preserving Ontario's freshwater: Symposium
A symposium and networking café to tap the wellspring of community knowledge

8:00 am – 4:30 pm Friday, March 27, 2009, in Toronto, Ontario

Much has been accomplished in the few years since the Walkerton tragedy, with more initiatives underway, yet Ontario’s ground  and surface water resources remain finite as:
  • our population increases;
  • demand for water expands;
  • the climate changes; and
  • we contemplate greater designs on the boreal and the taiga.
Please join us for:
  • An address by Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario;
  • Discussions featuring 15 leaders working on freshwater issues and,
  • A networking café to strengthen bonds and capture the expertise in the room.
Share your observations and recommendations as we discuss:
  • What is the health of Ontario’s freshwater?
  • What are we doing right to preserve our freshwater ecosystems? and,
  • What more needs to be done by individuals, organizations, industry, and government?
More details about the Symposium, including registration information, are available at www.ohwi.ca. E-mail inquiries are welcome via Andrew@ohwi.ca.

Freshwater Future hosts Webcast on funding programs

Planning to apply for our Spring 2009 Funding Cycle?  Let us help you with your proposal by identifying the strategic and necessary aspects of successful projects. Lessons learned will be easily transferrable to all your group’s projects or advocacy related efforts.

Freshwater Future’s Project Planning Webcast and Teleconference
Thursday, March 12th, 12:30 – 1:00 EST

Freshwater Future offers two grant programs:
  1. Project Grants Program provides grant awards ranging from $500 to $3,500 U.S. dollars (USD) to be used for specific project expenses such as mailings, printing, and meeting supplies for river, lake, and wetland protection.

  2. Technical Assistance Grants Program provides grant awards ranging from $500 to $3,500 USD to be used to hire an outside qualified consultant to provide strategy assistance such as organizational development or campaign development.
Organizations may apply for both Technical and the Project Grants Program in one application. Deadline for Spring cycle grant applications is March 31, 2009. For more information, go to www.freshwaterfuture.org/projectandtech.html

To register for the webcast and teleconference, email Cheryl Mendoza, Freshwater Future’s Policy and Network Advisor, at cheryl@freshwaterfuture.org by Tuesday, March 10th.  Instructions and call in information will be emailed on Wednesday, March 11th.


If your organization is a member of Great Lakes United we would be happy to distribute your announcement. Please contact Brent Gibson at bgibson@glu.org for more information.

Not a member? Take advantage of all the benefits of being a part of the region's longest running international coalition and join today!