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Great Lakes Article:

Great Lakes Legislation News Updates

Posted 09/111/2002
From: Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition


* Legislation: Contaminated Sediments
* Legislation: Mercury Reduction
* Briefing: Great Lakes Water Quality
* Briefings: Manufacturing
* Hearing: Gasoline Contamination
* Letter: LIHEAP Funding
* Appropriation Updates
* Upcoming Briefings



The House last week approved legislation (H.R. 1070) authorizing $250 million over five years for the cleanup of contaminated sites in the Great Lakes region. Introduced by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), the legislation focuses on sediment in the regionís rivers, harbors, and bays that suffer from heavy industrial pollution. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced companion legislation (S. 2544) in the Senate.

Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (224-1211).


The Senate last week approved legislation (S. 351) that would reduce the harmful impacts of mercury in the environment. The bill, introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, would limit the use of mercury-based thermometers and improve the collection and disposal of mercury products.


The International Joint Commission on Thursday, September 12, will brief congressional staff on the details of its Eleventh Biennial Great Lakes Water Quality Report. The briefing begins at 8:30 am in room 188 of the Russell Senate Office Building.

Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (224-1211).


The Manufacturing Task Forces, along with the Northeast-Midwest Coalitions, will sponsor a series of briefings throughout the fall on manufacturing. The first session, "Manufacturing Matters!" will feature presentations by representatives of the National Association of Manufacturers, AFL-CIO, and U.S. Business and Industrial Council. It will begin at 9:00 am on Tuesday, September 17, in room 2253 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Contact: Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (224-0606).


The House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, September 12, will hold a hearing on the petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. Charles Bartsch, senior policy analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute and co-author of Recycling Americaís Gas Stations, will testify.

The September 12 hearing will begin at 10:00 am in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.


Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are circulating a letter asking President Bush to release the remaining $200 million in fiscal 2002 LIHEAP contingency funds. The Northeast-Midwest House Coalition is circulating a similar letter. Senate offices interested in signing should contact Kris Sarri (224-0606) by September 20, while House office should contact Olwen Huxley (226-9497).


Funding levels from the House and Senate for key regional programs can be found at


* Renewable Energy and Emissions Market -- September 19. Begins at 1:00 pm in 311 Cannon.

* Winter Fuels Outlook -- September 18. Begins in the Senate at 8:30 am in 412 Russell; in the House at 2:00 pm in 2456 Rayburn.


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