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Third Coalition Email

October 21, 2009 This is the 3rd email sent to those in the U.S. thought to have interest in freshwater harmful algal blooms (FHABs) by Drs. Ken Hudnell and Wayne Carmichael. As of today, over 550 people have joined our informal coalition to support the introduction and enactment of the proposed Freshwater Harmful Algal Bloom Research & Control Act of 2009 (FHAB Act). Your letters to Congress have gained attention and made a difference. There is progress to report! • The House Science & Technology Committee held another hearing on HABS September 17, 2009. At our request, they decided to invite a speaker to address freshwater HABs. We thank Dr. Greg Boyer for accepting that role and doing an excellent job. We also thank Dr. Don Anderson, who was invited to speak on coastal HABs, for spending much of his time speaking about the need for a program on FHABs that is led by the EPA and similar to the existing NOAA Coastal HAB Program. • The House S & T Committee, which does have jurisdiction over EPA, is trying to fast-track the goals of the FAHB Act by inserting the EPA FHAB mandate and fund authorizations into the current HABHRCA Reauthorization Bill. This Bill, HR3650, is attached. It likely will be amended again before coming to a vote on the House floor. HR3650 contains a mandate for the EPA to establish a FHAB Research & Control Program and a funding authorization of $6m/yr. The Agency is directed to put up to half of those funds into the existing ECOHAB, MACHAB and PCM HAB grant programs. We are communication with several House staffers trying to have the Bill amended to increase the authorization and direct that 85% of the funds be used in the grant programs. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, which does not have jurisdiction over EPA, has a companion HABHRCA Reauthorization Bill, S952. It cannot contain an EPA mandate or funding authorizations. The House S&T Committee expects both bills to pass. Then the House and Senate committees then will meet in conference to reconcile the bills. We expect the final Bill to contain the EPA mandate and funding authorizations. We are not asking you to take any actions at this time. However, soon we may ask you to call and/or write to legislators in your state requesting support for enactment of the Bill. You can learn of progress by visiting our website - http://www.FreshwaterHABlegislation.com or our Twitter page. This email list will be used only infrequently. The addresses are in the blind copy address field to ensure that they will not be used for other purposes. The effort to enact the FHAB Act and the views expressed here are personal and not those of any organization. If you do not want to receive future emails, please respond with "decline" in the subject line, and I will remove your name and address from the list. Thank you for supporting the FHAB Act. Sincerely,