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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 July 2006







Weekly Update 24 July 2006




·         Brownfield Redevelopment -- Briefing

·         Mid-Atlantic River Basin Flooding -- Briefing

·         Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative – Letter

·         Environmental Finance – Job Opening

*     Senate Approves Water Resources Development Act

Brownfield Redevelopment – Briefing


The National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) and the Northeast-Midwest Institute on Tuesday, July 25, will host a briefing on brownfield and community revitalization.  The event is hosted by the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition and Senators James Jeffords (I-VT), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), and Carl Levin (D-MI).


During this briefing, national leaders in local brownfields redevelopment will highlight how federal resources have helped revive their communities through job creation, neighborhood and commercial-center enhancements, and increased local tax revenues. They also will discuss obstacles that communities continue to face, and how Congress can enhance brownfields redevelopment. 


The July 25 briefing will run from 10:00 am until 11:30 am in room 138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Contact:  Ari Strauss with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606). 


Mid-Atlantic River Basin Flooding – Briefing


The Delaware River Basin and Susquehanna River Basin Congressional Task Forces on Thursday, July 27, will host a briefing on recent flooding events in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The event will address the weather event and the extent of flood damages; the role of flood forecasting and flow monitoring; and recommendations for flood mitigation, including the role of non-structural flood controls.  Speakers will be from the National Weather Service, Delaware River Basin Commission, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Delaware River Keeper, National Association of State Flood Plain Managers, and Northeast-Midwest Institute.


The July 27 briefing will run from noon until 1:00 pm in 2203 Rayburn House Office Building.  Contact:  Peter Marx with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4008).


Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative – Letter


Reps. Louise Slaughter (R-NY) and John McHugh (R-NY) are seeking signatures on a letter that encourages House appropriators to support a Senate provision extending the deadline and setting parameters for alternative travel documents associated with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).   The lawmakers worry that the WHTI, as currently planned by the Departments of Homeland Security and State, would dry-up cross-border commerce and significantly damage border communities, trade, and the travel industry.  The letter’s signature deadline is Wednesday, 26 July.  Contacts:  Alan Snyder with Rep. Slaughter (202/225-3615) or Chris Mathey with Rep. McHugh (202/225-4611).


Environmental Finance – Job Opening


The Northeast-Midwest Institute is seeking a research assistant to help develop financing vehicles for ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes.  Tasks will include researching case studies, preparing reports, and organizing workshops.  Click here to read the job announcement.

Senate Approves Water Resources Development Act


The Senate last week approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes several provisions that will benefit the Great Lakes.  Of particular note, the legislation authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to complete construction of Barrier II, to improve Barrier I, and to operate and maintain both electric barriers in order to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes. Other Great Lakes-related provisions include authorizing the implementation of the St. Clair River-Lake St. Clair Comprehensive Management Plan, clarifying that all reconnaissance studies under the Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration program shall be carried out at full federal expense, expanding the Corps’ current authority to ensure that dredge spoils are used in beneficial projects; and reauthorizing until 2011 both the Great Lakes Sediment Management and Modeling program and the Great Lakes Tributary Models.  The House and Senate soon will begin conference negotiations.  Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Forces (202/224-1211).



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