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NFC: Fw: River Policy Update, Week of November 12, 2001

American Rivers' Policy Update
Week of November 12, 2001


* Appropriations
* Energy bill update
* Farm bill
* Bush administration environmental nominations
* Hazardous chemicals
* Water policy
* Public lands
* Congressional calendar
* Tribute to two legendary river advocates
* Take action
* Jobs


EPA, Commerce-Justice-State conference reports completed

Two environmentally-related appropriations bills, the VA-HUD-
independent agencies bill and the Commerce-Justice-State bill, made 
it out of conference committee last week and are headed for floor 
votes this week.  The VA-HUD-independent agencies appropriations 
conference report, which includes funding for the Environmental 
Protection Agency, funds the EPA at higher levels than the 
administration requested.  It also 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, cuts NMFS funding by well over $200 million, from 
$815 million in FY '01 to $579.2 million for FY '02.  The Pacific 
Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), which provides matching funds 
for state and local salmon recovery programs in Alaska, Washington, 
Oregon, and California, was funded at $110 million.  While that is 
$20 million more than the Bush administration requested, 
conservationists had hoped that the PCSRF would be funded at between 
$165 and $200 million and expanded to include Idaho.  
Conservationists also expressed disappointment that the NMFS budget 
provides only about one-fourth of the $98.1 million of non-PCSRF 
funding needed to fully implement the federal recovery plan for 
Columbia and Snake river salmon.


An already controversial debate over an economic stimulus package is 
likely to become still more contentious this week, as drilling in the 
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge enters the debate.  Sen. Ted Stevens 
(R-AK) plans to attach the House-passed energy bill (HR 4), which 
includes a provision opening up ANWR to drilling, as a rider to the 
Senate stimulus package.  Democrats have promised to filibuster any 
energy legislation that would open up ANWR, and it is not clear if 
Republicans have the 60 votes needed to override a filibuster. 

The environmental threats posed by the development of ANWR prompted 
American Rivers to list the wildlife refuge's Canning River as the 
nation's second most endangered river in its America's Most 
Endangered Rivers of 2001 report.   


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 his version of a farm bill (S 
1628) 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 continues: 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13 in 328A Russell.  


This Wednesday, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on 
the nomination of Kathleen Clarke to be Director of the Bureau of 
Land Management.  If confirmed, Clarke would oversee 264 million 
acres of federal land, primarily in 12 Western states.  Clarke's 
nomination has received criticism from the environmental community 
for her land management policies when she was directing the Utah 
Department of Natural Resources, but property rights groups have also 
criticized Clarke for her support of the Conservation and 
Reinvestment Act.

Hearing: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 14 in 366 Dirksen


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Subcommittee's on 
Superfund, Toxics, Risk and Waste Management will hold a hearing this 
Wednesday to discuss S 1602, which aims to reduce the threat of an 
intentional attack against a chemical facility and to prevent 
accidental releases of hazardous chemicals.  The bill was introduced 
by Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ).

Hearing: 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 406 Dirksen


Water supply

This Wednesday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's 
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water will meet to discuss 
the role of the federal government in water supply issues.  The 
hearing is expected to address water supply issues throughout the 
United States, with a focus on how to meet water supplies given 
increasing demand in the rapidly-growing West and how to manage a 
drought currently affecting some portions of the East.

Hearing: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 406 Dirksen

Water pollution

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee 
on Water Resources and the Environment will meet Thursday to discuss 
the federal government's progress, or lack thereof, in controlling 
non-point source pollution through the total maximum daily load 
(TMDL) program.  At issue is a July 2000 rule to strengthen the 
program, which Congress effectively blocked through a rider on a 
fiscal 2001 appropriations bill.  In response, EPA published a rule 
on Oct. 18 that set April 2003 as the final deadline for revisions to 
the TMDL rule.  A proposed rule is expected by late spring or early 
summer of 2002.  Conservation groups have expressed concern about the 
delay and have questioned the administration's commitment to 
strengthening protections against non-point source pollution.  EPA's 
top water official, G. Tracy Mehan, will testify.

Hearing: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 in 2167 Rayburn


Parks hearings

The House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Parks will hold a 
rescheduled hearing this week on several parks-related bills, 
including the Fern Lake Conservation and Recreation Act (HR 2238) 
which would authorize the Secretary of Interior to add Fern Lake in 
Kentucky to Cumberland Gap National Park; HR 1963, which would add a 
Revolutionary War trail in Indiana and Illinois to the National 
Trails System; and a bill to expand Arizona's Tumacacori National 
Historical Park (HR 2234).

Hearing: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13 in 1334 Longworth 



Markup of Farm Bill
Agriculture Committee
8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13 in 328A Russell

Hearing on national water supplies
Environment and Public Works Committee
9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 406 Dirksen

Hearing on BLM nominee
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
9:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 366 Dirksen

Hearing on chemical security bill
Environment and Public Works Committee
2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 406 Dirksen

Hearing on forest fire investigation
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 366 Dirksen

Hearing on four-pollutant bill
Environment and Public Works Committee
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 in 406 Dirksen


Hearing on parks bills
Resources Committee
2:00 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13 in 2325 Rayburn

Hearing on water security bill
Science Committee
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 2318 Rayburn

Hearing on watershed bill
Agriculture Committee
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 in 1300 Longworth

Hearing on TMDL program
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 in 2167 Rayburn

Markup of watershed bill
Agriculture Committee
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 in 1300 Longworth

Markup of water security bill
Science Committee
10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 in 2318 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: 

Encourge friends to become an online river activist, by visiting 
www.americanrivers.org/takeaction.  To become a member of American 
Rivers, visit www.americanrivers.org/joindonate 

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for free online resources, toolkits, and ways to unite with other 
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