Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update – 26 April 2004
· Manufacturing Extension Partnership
· Invasive Species
· Output-Based Emission Standards
· Clean Water
· Energy Efficiency Funding
MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP
Senators are seeking signatures on a letter that asks the Commerce Secretary to transfer and reprogram fiscal 2004 funds to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). At the current $39.6-million level, as many as 40 MEP centers could lose all federal funding, leaving small manufacturers across the country without invaluable technical and business assistance. Signing the letter are Senators Jack Reed (R-RI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Mike DeWine (R-OH). The signature deadline is May 5. Contact: Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).
Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are inviting senators to cosponsor the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act (S.525) that is critical to the health of the nation's economy and coastal resources.
Senators Levin and Collins also are requesting signatures on a letter that seeks funding for critical programs authorized in the National Invasive Species Act of 1996. The requests are for $7 million in Interior Appropriations; $4 million in Home Security Appropriations; $15 million in Energy and Water Appropriations; and $8 million for Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary Appropriations. The funding will support a coordinated federal, state, and local effort to combat aquatic invasive species. Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).
OUTPUT-BASED EMISSION STANDARDS
The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions on Friday, April 30, will co-host a luncheon briefing on output-based emission standards as a better alternative for reducing pollution and encouraging efficient technologies. Speakers will be Don Elliot, former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush, and Jeanne Connelly of Calpine. The session begins at noon in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.
Senators Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), James Jeffords (I-VT), and George Voinovich (R-OH) are circulating a letter that asks appropriators to provide $3.2 billion for Clean Water and $2.0 billion for Drinking Water accounts in fiscal 2005. The deadline for signature is Thursday, April 29th. Contact: Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING
Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), James Jeffords (I-VT), and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports $250 million in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfield redevelopment initiative, $25 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s brownfields economic development initiative, and $7.3 million for HUD’s economic development loan guarantees. The letter’s signature deadline is April 30. Contact: Debbie Singer with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force (202/224-2683).
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Region III of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are approving an agreement that will facilitate redevelopment of brownfields and create a “one stop shop” at the Pennsylvania DEP for meeting the requirements of many state and federal environmental laws and regulations. This agreement is the first of its kind between a state and EPA. Under this agreement, businesses seeking to redevelop brownfields will only have to apply through the PA DEP to certify that a site has been cleaned up.