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Earlier this year a group of states developed a proposal for Enhanced
Environmental Partnerships (EEP).  The development of the proposal was
announced nationally early in the process and a draft proposal was released
nationally and disseminated widely for comment.  The proposal was revised
and improved based upon comments received and provided to the federal
Agencies which participated in EPA’s Dallas December Partnership meeting for
funding consideration.

The SBDCs that participated in the proposal development spent considerable
time and effort to develop a proposal based on partnerships with other
existing environmental assistance providers in their states.  Most of the
state partner organizations have taken the formal step of providing letters
supporting the proposal and indicating their intent to participate in the
partnerships.  The proposal was developed because the participants
recognized the benefits of collaboration to enhance the effectiveness of
outreach and assistance delivery.  The proposal was intended to serve as a
preferred partnership alternative to what we viewed as divisive and
counterproductive HR96 type approaches.

The recently introduced HR4946 is not associated with the Enhanced
Partnerships Proposal.  It does not propose the framework for partnership
development, funding for partners (or funding at all), and many of the EEP
states were not included in the original bill.  The bill also goes well
beyond the environmental compliance assistance proposed by EEP.

It is unfortunate that the EEP proposal has not moved forward and that
HR4946 has been introduced instead.  I hope that we do not allow it to
Balkanize assistance providers and prevent progress in our partnership

Kevin Dick
6100 Neil Rd., Ste. 400
Reno, NV  89511
(775) 689-6677