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W E E K L Y     U P D A T E   July 20, 2015
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Briefing Recap: Water Data to Answer Urgent Water Policy Questions: Harmful Algal Blooms, Agriculture, and Lake Erie

Elin Betanzo presenting at the Capitol Hill Briefing. 

Following the release of the Institute's study on water quality monitoring in the Lake Erie drainage basin, NEMWI hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on July 14, 2015 in the Capitol Visitor Center. Elin Betanzo, Senior Policy Analyst at NEMWI and lead author of the study, provided an overview of the study's findings and recommendations for improving water quality monitoring in the Lake Erie drainage basin. Larry Antosch of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Lana Pollack of the International Joint Commission joined the briefing to share their perspectives on the study and water data needs for Lake Erie.


Efficient, effective, and coordinated monitoring is essential for evaluating agricultural management practices to improve the health of Lake Erie. Important recommendations from the study include:

  • Locate new small watershed monitoring sites and conservation incentive areas in unmonitored high priority watersheds.
  • Identify modifications to existing water monitoring and conservation incentive programs that allow for the most efficient use of small watershed monitoring resources. A coordinating entity should lead this collaborative planning process enlisting both water monitoring and agriculture organizations.
  • For both existing and new water quality monitoring sites, maintain sampling for a minimum of ten years after new agricultural management practices are installed to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing nutrient loading.
  • Substantially increase the use of agricultural management practices to generate statistically significant nutrient load reductions at both small and large watershed scales in the Lake Erie drainage basin.
  • Ensure access to management practice implementation and land use data in monitored watersheds to quantify the relationship between these practices and water quality trends.

Slides and materials are available on the NEMWI website here. 


For more information, contact Elin Betanzo, Sr. Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

   This Week on The Hill 

The Senate and House are back in session this week. After consideration of spending bills came to a halt in the House, focus has shifted to other policy measures within both Chambers, including the Iran Nuclear Deal. Additionally, the House is scheduled to consider the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act (H.R. 1734), which addresses reuse and storage of coal ash. Further, the House is scheduled to review the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), which will address labeling of genetically-engineered foods.


Wednesday, July 22

  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing to examine the nomination of Marie Therese Dominguez, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; 10:00AM, room 253 Russell Senate Office Building.
  • House Committee on Agriculture oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture; 10:00AM, room 1300 Longworth House Office Building.
  • House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, hearing on "Helping Revitalize American Communities through the Brownfields Program"; 10:00AM, room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

Thursday, July 23

  • House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans legislative hearing on, among other bills, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act (H.R. 1772), sponsored by Rep. John Carney (D-DE); 10:30 AM, room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.

For more information, contact Danielle Chesky, Director, Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 


   Webinar: New Investments with New Markets Tax Credit

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) will host a webinar on August 13 from 2-3:30pm (EDT) on the recent allocation of $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit awards by the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and the significant potential this tool has to support the financing of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. Through best practices and case studies, the webinar will examine the New Markets Tax Credit structure that has been shown to produce financing and attract developers to brownfield projects. The webinar is part of CDFA's Brownfields Financing Series, designed for professionals who work directly with brownfield sites as well as economic development professionals and communities interested in shaping programs to enhance redevelopment financing opportunities. Register for the webinar here. 


For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst at the at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 


NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation