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NFC: Fw: River Policy Update, Week of November 5, 2001

To read the River Policy Update online, visit American Rivers' Online 
Newsroom at http://www.americanrivers.org/policyupdates/update.htm

American Rivers' Policy Update
Week of November 5, 2001


* Appropriations
* CALFED reauthorization
* Klamath Basin bill
* Farm bill
* Bush administration environmental nominations
* Community right-to-know laws
* EPA rulemaking
* Congressional calendar
* Tribute to two legendary river advocates
* Take action
* Jobs


EPA funding

The VA-HUD-independent agencies appropriations bill, which includes 
funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, is scheduled to go 
to conference committee this Tuesday.  Both the House and Senate VA-
HUD bills would fund EPA at higher levels than the administration 
requested, but the Senate bill, unlike the House bill, rejects an 
administration request to cut the EPA's enforcement budget.  The 
Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill, which includes funding 
for the National Marine Fisheries Service, is also awaiting 
conference, but no time has been set yet.

VA-HUD-independent agencies conference: 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6 
in S-128 of the Capitol

Energy and Water appropriations

Last week, the House and Senate passed the $24.6 billion fiscal 
year '02 energy and water conference report.  The bill now awaits the 
president's signature.  Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV), chair 
of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, managed 
to strip language from the House bill that would have prevented the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from studying how to improve flow to 
recover endangered species in and along the Missouri River.  The 
conference report does include language that will allow the Corps to 
consider flow alternatives other than those recommended by the Fish 
and Wildlife Service as part of consultation under the Endangered 
Species Act, but river advocates were pleased that the Corps will 
still have the opportunity to protect the Missouri River's fish and 
wildlife by allowing flexible flows.

The importance of reoperating the Missouri for the benefit of fish 
and wildlife prompted American Rivers to list it the number one most 
endangered river in its 2001 America's Most Endangered Rivers report.

More generally, the energy and water conference report did not 
approve any new construction starts or environmental infrastructure 
projects for the Corps of Engineers.  It also provides $30 million 
for CALFED projects in California's Central Valley; $7.14 billion for 
clean-up at Department of Energy nuclear facilities, including $365 
million for clean-up at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near the 
Columbia River; $396 million for renewable energy research and 
development ($120 million over the president's request and $21 
million more than last year).  The bill also takes steps to prevent 
drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes and upper Midwest 

CALFED reauthorization

This Wednesday, the House Resources Committee will meet to markup 
Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) bill to reauthorize CALFED (HR 3208).  
CALFED is a federal-state effort to better manage water and protect 
wildlife in the Central Valley of California, but the conservation 
community argues that Calvert's bill would undermine the spirit of 
compromise embodied in the CALFED Record of Decision, which was 
signed last August by federal and state officials.  Critics charge 
that HR 3208 would (and an earlier version, HR 1985) allow 
potentially environmentally harmful water projects to proceed unless 
authorizing congressional committees take action to stop them within 
a 60-day period; that it would guarantee water rights to a water 
district with rights that are junior to those of other water users in 
the Central Valley; and that it would weaken protections for 
endangered species.  Rep. George Miller (D-CA) is offering a 
competing bill (HR 2404) that would be a more straight up 
reauthorization of the existing CALFED agreement.  Miller's bill is 
similar to a Senate bill (S. 976) offered by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-
CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA). 

Markup: 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7, in 2318 Rayburn

Klamath Basin bill

Also under discussion at Wednesday's House Resources markup will be 
one of four bills offered by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) that are 
designed to address the competing needs of fish and farmers in 
Oregon's Klamath Basin.  HR 2828 would help farmers whose irrigation 
water was restricted last summer by refunding irrigation fees.  The 
bill provides $5 million for this purpose.  Walden has also 
introduced bills to subject biological opinions on Endangered Species 
Act-listed Klamath Basin species to peer review (HR 2827) and to 
provide $200 million in economic relief to Klamath Basin farmers (HR 
2829).  Last week, the House passed another bill from Walden, HR 
2585, which would authorize the study of ways to improve the passage 
of endangered suckerfish around Chiloquin Dam on the Sprague River.


This week the Senate Agriculture Committee is meeting to continue 
marking up a new Senate farm bill.  Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) 
plans to push ahead with marking up a farm bill this year despite 
objections from the Bush administration that moving the bill during 
the current national security situation would be "unnecessary and 
unwise."  Harkin's bill would provide considerably more funding for 
agricultural conservation programs than would the House farm bill (HR 
2646), but some conservationists have noted that the percentage of 
funding that this farm bill devotes to conservation programs is less 
than that provided in the last farm bill.  Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 
may offer an amendment to bump up farm bill spending on conservation 
programs from $3.5 billion per year in Harkin's bill to $5 billion 
per year.

Markup: 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6 in 328 Russell.  


Two nominees for environmental positions in the Bush administration 
will receive hearings before two different Senate committees this 
week.  The first nominee, Conrad Lautenbacher, is nominated to 
replace James Baker as Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and 
Atmosphere.  Lautenbacher would oversee the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, which contains the National Marine 
Fisheries Service.  Lautenbacher's hearing will take place before the 
Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.  The second nomination, of 
Thomas Sansonetti to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department 
of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, is 
considered to be more controversial.  Sansonetti, a former coal 
industry lobbyist, has raised concern among some environmental 
groups.  Sansonetti's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee 
is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lautenbacher hearing: 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in 253 Russell 
Sansonetti hearing: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6 in 406 Dirksen


This Thursday the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's 
Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment will hold a 
hearing on federal right-to-know laws.  The focus of the hearing will 
be on whether having information available to the public on the 
location of hazardous chemical facilities poses a national security 
risk in light of the September 11 attacks.  Supporters of right-to-
know laws have suggested increasing security at such facilities 
rather than restricting information they view as important to the 
health of people and the environment.

Hearing: 10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in 2167 Rayburn

EPA Rulemaking

After several delays, the House Small Business Committee's Regulatory 
and Oversight Subcommittee will finally meet this Thursday to discuss 
industry concerns about EPA rulemaking procedures.  Featured will be 
panelists who question whether past EPA rules have been based on 
sound scientific and economic determinations.  No one from the EPA or 
the conservation community will be testifying at the hearing.

Hearing: 10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in 2360 Rayburn  



Markup of Farm Bill
Agriculture Committee
8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6 in 328 Russell

Hearing on nomination for DOJ environmental nominee
Judiciary Committee
2:00 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1 in 406 Dirksen

Hearing on nominee for Under Secretary of Oceans and Atmosphere
Commerce Committee
2:00 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1 in 253 Dirksen


Hearing on forest issues
Resources Committee
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 in 2325 Rayburn

Markup of CALFED, Klamath bills
Resources Committee
2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 in 2318 Rayburn

Hearing on community right-to-know laws
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in 2167 Rayburn

Hearing on college sea grants
Resources Committee
10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in a location to be announced

Hearing on EPA rulemaking
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in 2360 Rayburn


Last month we lost two legendary river advocates: Frank Craighead, an 
architect of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, and James Phillips, a 
clean water activist.  To read more, visit 


Follow the latest American Rivers' Action Alerts and Press Releases!  
Take action to help save America's Rivers.  Visit 


American Rivers currently has a two job openings.  See our employment 
webpage at http://www.amrivers.org/jobs/default.htm for the following 

* Director of Outreach
* Director of Development, Northwest Regional Office


Contact Michael Garrity, Conservation Associate, at 202-347-7550. 

Legislative information is obtained from sources including: 
Environment and Energy Daily, Greenwire, Congressional Green Sheets, 
and members of the American Rivers conservation staff. 

Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and 
restore America's rivers.

To contact American Rivers, send an email to Rebecca 
Sherman at outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550.

To update your information, please visit: 

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Rivers, visit www.americanrivers.org/joindonate 

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