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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 23 July 2001


*  LIHEAP Allocations
*  Transportation Conformity
*  Aquatic Nuisance Species and Fisheries
*  Agriculture and Smart Growth
*  Mercury and Utilities

     The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, led by Reps. Jack
Quinn (R-NY) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), with help from the state offices
of New York, Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, the Coalition of
Northeastern Governors, and other organizations, spearheaded a
successful campaign last week against attempts to change the way in
which Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds are
allocated among the states.  Two amendments, which would have been
offered by Reps. Christopher Cox (R-CA) and Charles Pickering (R-MS)
during deliberations on the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act of
2001 before the Energy and Commerce Committee, were withdrawn after a
letter with 71 signers from the Northeast-Midwest region was sent to
Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Ranking Member John Dingell (D-MI).

     The amendments would have resulted in the transfer of almost $400
million out of the Northeast-Midwest region, with devastating
consequences for the millions of families who count on LIHEAP to help
them with their energy bills.  Amendments on the House floor are not
anticipated.  The legislation did increase LIHEAP's authorization to
$3.4 billion.

     CONTACT:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-9497).

     The Senate Smart Growth Task Force and House Livable Communities
Task Force on Wednesday, July 25, will host a briefing on how clean
air and transportation create more livable communities.  Air quality,
specifically non-attainment, has become a major planning and quality-
of-life issue in many communities.  Transit and environmental-justice
advocates have raised concerns about some government agencies not
using poor urban air quality as an opportunity to make investments in
urban and suburban communities.  Speaking will be representatives from
the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Natural Resources Defense
Council, and Environmental Defense Fund.

     The July 25 briefing will begin at 3:30 pm in room 430 of the
Dirksen Senate Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Heather Smith with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute and American Fisheries Society on
Thursday, July 26, are hosting a forum on aquatic nuisance species and
fisheries.  It is estimated that the total annual costs of invasive
species in the U.S. is more than $100 billion.  These nuisance species
adversely impact nearly half of the species currently listed as
threatened or endangered, thereby threatening the biological diversity
of the nation's ecosystems.

     Speakers include representatives of the American Fisheries
Society, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Northeast-Midwest Institute,
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey,
U.S. Minerals Management Service, Salisbury University, Virginia
Institute of Marine Science, and U.S. Coast Guard.  The July 26 forum
will run from 8:30 am until 12:00 noon in room 2105 of the Rayburn
House Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Laura Cimo with the Upper Mississippi River Task Force

     The House Livable Communities Task Force and Senate Smart Growth
Task Force on Monday, July 30, are hosting a briefing on agricultural
sustainability and smart growth, focusing on how to save urban-
influenced farmland.  Reauthorization of the Farm Bill could provide
greater support for agriculture and environmental conservation
programs, urban agriculture and forestry, and farmland protection.
Speakers will include representatives from American Farmland Trust,
USDA, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Maryland Rural
Legacy Program.

     The July 30 briefing will begin at 3:30 pm in room 406 Dirksen
Senate Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Heather Smith with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force

     The Northeast Midwest Institute and Environmental Council of the
States on Tuesday, July 31, will host a briefing on mercury and
utilities, focusing on current control technologies and multi-
pollutant strategies.

     President Bush's National Energy Plan calls for mandatory
reductions in SO2, NOx, and mercury.  The Environmental Protection
Agency plans to finalize mercury regulations for utility boilers by
2004.  How will these reductions be achieved?  Bush's plan highlights
two midwestern utilities that are demonstrating promising control
technologies.  The briefing will feature these utilities and the
vendors of the technologies, along with other experts, discussing
multi-pollutant control technology options for the utility industry.

     The July 31 briefing will run from 2:00 pm until 3:30 pm in room
406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Represented will be
FirstEnergy (serving Ohio and Pennsylvania) and Cinergy (serving Ohio,
Kentucky, and Indiana); the technologies of Powerspan,
Babcock&Wilcox/McDermott, and ADA Environmental Solutions (all
achieving ~90 percent mercury reductions); EPA, the Institute of Clean
Air Companies, and Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use

     CONTACT:  Matt Little at the Northeast Midwest Institute (464-