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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of September 6, 1999
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--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Suzy McDowell" <smcdowell at amrivers_org>
To: <robertrice at juno_com>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 09:37:55 -0400
Subject: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of September 6, 1999
Message-ID: <MDAEMON-F199909090938.AA383296MD30911 at amrivers_org>
VIEW THIS ON THE AMERICAN RIVERS WEBPAGE WITH DIRECT LINKS TO THE ACTUAL
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of September 6, 1999
Seeking Sign-Ons for Increased Funding for Rivers;
Although FY’00 has not yet begun, it is already time to begin looking
to funding priorities for river conservation for FY’01. To support
federal funding for important river-related programs, please sign on to
American Rivers’ River Budget for FY’01. The document is available online
http://www.amrivers.org/rbudget-action.html. To sign on, email Suzy
at smcdowell at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550 x3040. To sign on, you
represent an organization, group, or other affiliation.
Senate To Resume Interior Funding Debate:
The Senate will return to the issues yet to be resolved on funding for
01 for the Department of Interior and related agencies this week. The
Interior funding measure, S. 1292, includes $13.924 billion in
spending and includes a number of environmental riders. Because of the
riders and the low level of funding for some of the programs included in
Administration’s FY’00 funding request, President Clinton has threatened
veto the bill. Of special concern to the White House is the $263 million
appropriated by the Senate for the Lands Legacy program, developed by the
Administration to bring $1 billion in additional funds for land
state conservation programs, endangered species protection, and other
Among the objectionable riders were amendments to reverse the Interior
Solicitor’s opinion to restrict mill site limits to five acres per mining
claim, extend the life of grazing permits while the Bureau of Land
Management reviews them, deny funding of national forest management plan
revisions until permanent planning regulations are completed, and impose
120-day comment period for a report on the Interior Columbia Basin
For more information on the bill and appropriations for specific
and programs, see http://www.amrivers.org/policy8-9.html
Senate debate of S. 1292 was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday,
Energy and Water Conference on Hold:
Conferees for the Energy and Water Appropriations bill have put their
meeting on hold until Appropriations Committee leaders from both houses
agree on the total funding level for the bill. The House passed its $20.2
billion FY’00 funding bill (H.R. 2605) by a vote of 420-8 on July 27. The
Senate passed its $21.7 billion version of the bill on June 16. The bills
provide funding for the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of
and the Bureau of Reclamation.
H.R. 2605 would provide the US Army Corps of Engineers with $4.19 billion
for its civil works program, which includes flood control, shoreline
protection, and navigation. This is $91.2 million more than FY’99 funding
and $282.6 million more than the Clinton Administration’s FY’00 request.
Senate bill includes $3.76 billion for the Corps’ civil works projects.
Although overall funding for the Corps would increase in the House and
Senate bills, they would both cut funding for habitat restoration
by the Corps. For example, the House bill would provide $18.945 million
Corps’ Environmental Management Program, and the Senate would fund the
program at just $16.2 million. Through EMP, the Corps restores and
fish and wildlife habitat and conducts long-term monitoring of the
ecological health of the Upper Mississippi River.
House contacts are Jim Ogsbury (majority), 202-225-3421 or Sally
(minority), 202-225-3481. Senate contacts are Alex Flint (majority),
202-224-7260 or Greg Daines (minority), 202-224-0335.
House to Take Up VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Funding Bill:
The House scheduled floor debate on its FY’00 funding bill for
VA-HUD-Independent Agencies for Wednesday. The House Appropriations
Committee approved the $91.27 billion bill on Friday, including $68.63
billion in discretionary funding. The bill would provide the
Protection Agency with about $73 billion, $278 below the FY’99 level and
$106 million more than the Clinton Administration’s request. The House
would appropriate $775 million for safe drinking water state revolving
($25 million below the Clinton Administration’s request), $1.175 billion
clean water state revolving funds, a $3 million reduction in Tennessee
Valley Authority borrowing authority, and $300 million for disaster
to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on VA-HUD-Independent Agencies hopes to mark up its version
the FY’00 funding bill before the August recess.
The Clinton Administration has threatened to veto the funding measure
because it would eliminate Americorps and cut funding for a number of key
programs. Carol Browner pointed out that the House bill would cut EPA’s
operating budget by $195 million, money that would have to come out of
water, clean air, and toxic waste programs and environmental law
enforcement. Browner also criticized the more than 100 earmarks for
projects in members’ districts totaling almost $352 million.
House to Discuss Mining Statutes:
In a field hearing on Saturday, the House Resources Subcommittee on
and Natural Resources will focus on the mining issue of the day – the
ruling by the Interior Solicitor affecting the modern, heap-leach mines
gold and other hardrock minerals under the 1987 General Mining Law. The
hearing is part of a series being held by the subcommittee on how the
Clinton Administration’s interpretation and implementation of federal
laws will impact the mining industry and mining revenues for states and
The Department of Interior’s decision focuses on the ratio of mill sites
lode claims and resulted in the DOI’s rejection of an operating plan for
Battle Mountain Gold’s proposal for the Crown Jewel Mine on mostly
lands in Washington near the Canadian border.
Under the DOI’s new interpretation of the General Mining Law, according
Interior Solicitor John Leshy, each mining claim cannot use more than
acres for mill sites on which to dump waste rock. The company’s proposal,
which they would use cyanide to extract gold from crushed rocks, would
exceed the ratio by almost 500 acres. If the DOI decision holds, mining
companies would be required to obtain a permit under the Federal Land
and Management Act for a site to dispose of waste rock. Such a request
be refused under the law if the site were located in an environmentally
sensitive area and miners would be required to avoid undue degradation.
On August 27, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it plans to
write the Interior Solicitor’s decision into the agency’s mining
regulations. The public comment period on the proposal is open until
The field hearing will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 11 at
Riverpoint Higher Education Park, 668 North Riverpoint Blvd, Spokane, WA.
Contacts are John Rishell at 202-225-2761 (majority) and Deborah Lanzone
The following lands and trails bills could come up for floor debate in
Senate at any time:
S. 244 to authorize the construction of the Lewis and Clark Rural Water
s. 109 to improve protection and management of the Chattahoochee River
National Recreation Area in Georgia.
S. 441 to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the route of
War of 1812 British invasion of Maryland and Washington DC, and the route
American defense, for study of potential inclusion in the system.
S. 711 to allow for the investment of joint federal and state funds from
civil settlement of damages from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
H.R. 15 to designate a portion of the Otay Mountain region of California
S. 762 to direct the Secretary of Interior to conduct a feasibility study
the inclusion of the Miami Circle in Biscayne National Park.
S. 953 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey 41 acres of
Service land in the Black Hills National Forest to a local ski operation.
S. 1088 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to convey approximately
300 acres to the city of Sedona, Arizona, for a sewage disposal system.
S. 938 to eliminate restrictions on the acquisition of certain land
contiguous to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
To view the bills, visit the Thomas website at
Sept. 14, 10 a.m.: House Resources National Parks and Public Lands
Subcommittee hearing on legislation to authorize a land conveyance to
Illinois for a historic and interpretive site along the Lewis and Clark
National Historic Trail (H.R. 2737). Location: 1324 Longworth House
Sept. 16, 10 a.m.: House Resources Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and
Oceans Subcommittee hearing on legislation to catalyze restoration of
estuary habitat through more efficient funding of projects and enhanced
coordination of federal and non-federal restoration programs (H.R. 1775).
Location: 1334 Longworth House Office Building.
Sept. 23, 10 a.m.: House Resources Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and
Oceans Subcommittee hearing on draft legislation to amend the North
Wetlands Conservation Act. Location: 1334 Longworth House Office
LINKS TO PAST UPDATES:
August 9: http://www.amrivers.org/policy8-9.html
August 2: http://www.amrivers.org/policy8-2.html
July 26: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-26.html
July 19: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-19.html
July 12: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-12.html
July 5: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-5.html
June 28: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-28.html
June 21: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-21.html
June 14: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-14.html
May 31: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-31.html
May 24: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-24.html
May 10: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-10.html
May 3: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-3.html
American Rivers, 1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 720
Washington, DC 20005, (202) 347-7550
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QUESTIONS? Contact Suzy McDowell, Conservation Outreach Coordinator, at
smcdowell at amrivers_org or 202-347-7550x3040.
Legislative information taken from many sources including Thomas,
Congressional Greensheets, Greenwire, and Roll Call.
1025 Vermont Ave, NW, #720
Washington, DC 20005
smcdowell at amrivers_org