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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 June 2002



H E A D L I N E S
 
*  Briefing:  Sustainable Forest Management
*  Legislation:  Forestry and Open Space
*  Legislation:  Brownfield Financing
*  Letter:  Community Development Financing
*  Letter:  Pipelines in the Great Lakes
 

BRIEFING:  SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
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     The Northeast-Midwest Institute and Coalitions on Wednesday,
June 26, will sponsor two briefings on efforts to promote and
implement sustainable forest management practices.  The panelists
-- representing nonindustrial private landowners, community-based
groups, state foresters, and Indian tribes -- will describe their
specific management practices; their successes and challenges in
fostering forest sustainability; the ways in which federal
programs, policies, and regulations support or hinder their
efforts; and the types of federal initiatives that could help
advance sustainable forest management.
 
     The House briefing will run from 1:00 pm until 2:15 pm in
2456 Rayburn House Office Building.  The Senate-side session will
begin at 3:00 pm in 220 Russell Senate Office Building.
 
     Contact:  Barbara Wells at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(202/464-4019).
 

LEGISLATION:  FORESTRY AND OPEN SPACE
-------------------------------------
     Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-
chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are seeking co-
sponsors for the Suburban and Community Forestry and Open Space
Initiative Act of 2002.  The bill would provide grant funds to
local governments and non-profits to purchase interests in forest
lands in order to conserve private forest land and maintain
working forests in areas threatened by sprawl.  The bill is
supported by the Trust for Public Land, Northern Forest Alliance,
Appalachian Mountain Club, Land Trust Alliance, Highlands
Coalition, Nature Conservancy, New England Forestry Foundation,
and the National Association of State Foresters.  Most forests in
the Northeast-Midwest region are private forest lands.
 
     Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).
 

LEGISLATION:  BROWNFIELD FINANCING
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     Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) are
seeking cosponsors for the Brownfields Site Redevelopment
Assistance Act (S. 1079).  The bill was favorably ordered to be
reported out of Environment and Public Works Committee, with an
amendment in the nature of a substitute sponsored by Senators
Jeffords and Bob Smith (R-NH).
 
     Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), co-chairs
of the Northeast Midwest House Coalition, together with Reps.
John McHugh (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Dale Kildee (D-MI), and
Rob Simmons (R-CT), have introduced a companion bill (H.R. 4894).
The bill, already with 25 cosponsors, would authorize $60 million
for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the
Department of Commerce to establish a grants program for
brownfields-related economic development activities.  EDA
currently funds brownfields out of its general authorization, but
brownfields must compete with other EDA activities for this
funding.
 
     Contact:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-9497).
 

STUDY:  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCING
---------------------------------------
     Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are
seeking signatures on a letter asking the General Accounting
Office to study public-sector barriers that community development
lenders face in improving access to capital through
securitization.  GAO also is to make recommendations for how the
federal government can assist community development lenders
address these barriers.
 
     Creating a secondary market for economic development loans
offers the opportunity to bring Wall Street to Main Street.
Approximately $10 to $12 billion is invested in business
development loans, yet revolving loan funds (RLFs) sold only $200
million on the secondary market, and none of these funds were
securitized and credit-rated for institutional investors.  Most
investors that bought RLFs were socially motivated.
Securitization of economic development loans could potentially be
a new asset class for investors.  Securitization also offers RLFs
the opportunity to better leverage their grant dollars and make
more loans without additional federal dollars.  Deadline for
signatures on the letter is June 28.
 
     Contact:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).
 

LETTER:  PIPELINES IN THE GREAT LAKES
-------------------------------------
     The Great Lakes Task Forces are circulating a letter in
support of the Great Lakes Infrastructure Study that was included
in the Senate Energy Bill.  In response to numerous proposals to
construct pipelines in the Great Lakes, this study would
authorize the Department of Energy, in cooperation with the
National Academy of Sciences, to examine the cumulative
environmental impacts of pipeline construction and to make
recommendations on how to mitigate those impacts.  The deadline
for this letter is July 3.
 
     Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (224-
1211).