^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
AWG E-MAIL NEWS 2004-14
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CONTENTS
1)  AGI GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MONTHLY REVIEW - JUNE 2004	
2)  FRACTURED ROCK: STATE OF SCIENCE, MEASURING SUCCESS IN
     REMEDIATION 2004 NGWA / U.S. EPA CONFERENCE
3)  CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR FALL 2004 AGU MEETING SESSION ED01
4)  CONTACT INFORMATION

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue of E-mail News
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

1)  AGI GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MONTHLY REVIEW - JUNE 2004

* Appropriations Bills Begin Their Legislative Journey
	Interior Appropriations
	Energy and Water Development Appropriations
	Department of Agriculture Appropriations
	Commerce-State-Justice and the Judiciary Appropriations
* 'Energy Week' in House Gets Mixed Results
* Yucca Mountain Funding Gets Possible Legislative Fix
* House Science Committee Keeps Tabs on Visa Delays
* New Fees for Exchange Visitors and Scholars
* Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Gets House Hearing
* NEHRP Reauthorization Makes Progress in Senate
* LNG Terminals Need Standards
* House Science Committee Votes to Reauthorize DOE Metals Program
* DOE Agrees to Clean Up 99% of Waste Sites
* Pipeline Safety Slowly Improving
* Senate Searches for the Cause of High Gasoline Prices
* NOAA Organic Act Moving Forward
* NASA Merges Earth Science and Space Science
* CNSF Exhibition a Success
* NSF Funding Supported by 157 House Representatives
* NSF Major Research Equipment Projects Ranked
* National Academies to Issue Report on Science and Technology 
Appointees
* G8 Leaders Focus their Energy on an Earth Observation System
* Climate Change Not the Biggest Global Problem
* Evolution in the Classroom Update - California
* Government Affairs Program Seeks Director
* Intern Comings and Goings
* Key Federal Register Notices
* New Updates to website

*** Appropriations Bills Begin Their Legislative Journey ***

*** Interior Appropriations ***
On June 17th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Interior 
Appropriations bill by a vote of 334 to 86.  Overall, the House decided to 
reduce funding for grant programs and new initiatives proposed by the 
administration request and instead provide funding for core, 
mission-essential programs. 

The FY05 Interior Appropriations bill restores the $18 million in 
program cuts from the US Geological Survey and partially restores cuts to 
key energy research programs.  Total funding for the Department of 
Interior is $9.8 billion, $213 million below the request and $108 million 
above FY04.  The Bureau of Land Management was funded $1.7 billion, $46 
million below FY04 and $12 million below the request. U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service is funded at $1.3 billion, $45 million below FY04 and $62 
million below the request.  The U.S. Forest Service received $4.2 
billion, $8 million above the request and $294 million below 2004. The 
Smithsonian was allocated $620 million, $24 million above FY04 and $8 million 
below the request. 

A detailed chart and explanation of the House action is available on 
AGI's website at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_interior.html#House

*** Energy and Water Appropriations ***
On June 25th the House approved the FY05 Energy and Water 
Appropriations Bill, allocating $28 billion for the Department of Energy.  This 
amount is $49 million above the President's request and $735 million above 
the FY04 enacted level, with the majority of this increase directed 
toward the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Information about funding levels within the Energy and Water is 
available at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_energy.html#house

*** Department of Agriculture Appropriations *** 
The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY05 Agriculture 
Appropriations bill June 23, cutting funding 12% for the bill as a whole.  
Funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was cut by 
3%.  Watershed Surveys and Planning was provided $11.1 million.  
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations was allocated $86.5 million.  
Funding for the Agricultural Research Service was cut to $1.057 billion, $25 
million less than FY04 and $132 million less than the President's 
request.

More detailed information is available by accessing
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_ag.html#House.  

*** Commerce-State-Justice and the Judiciary Appropriations *** 
Congress passed the Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary FY05 
Appropriations bill July 8th without offering any amendments that would 
boost funding for the severe cuts to NOAA.  The amount appropriated by 
the bill for NOAA is $2.3 billion, a decrease of $543 million from the 
FY04 enacted level and $215 million less than the President's requested 
amount.

With overall funding cut by 36%, many one-time, non-recurring projects 
will be terminated. Funding for ocean and fisheries programs received 
the most significant cuts, while many of the atmospheric programs remain 
funded at the president's requested levels.  In cutting NOAA's funding, 
the Committee went against the recommendation of two reports published 
earlier this year by the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission 
on Ocean Policy.  Both reported that significantly higher levels of 
funding were necessary for ocean and coastal protection and research.

Information about programmatic funding levels can be found on-line at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_commerce.html#House.  

*** 'Energy Week' in House Gets Mixed Results *** 
House Republicans introduced comprehensive energy legislation and other 
energy-related bills during "Energy Week" debates June 15th and 16th.  
Environment and Energy Daily predicted that high gasoline prices and 
Democratic opposition to many energy-related bills would serve as 
important contexts for the debates.  The Republican sponsored Energy Week; 
however, was delayed due to the death of former President Reagan, 
postponing the debates one week.  During this time, gas prices began to fall 
and the Bush Administration reported that prices were expected to fall 
throughout the summer.  The bills were debated on the House floor under 
rules that prohibited amendments. 

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced 
H.R. 4503, the energy bill conference report that the House has already 
approved.  It passed with a 244-178 vote.  This bill was reintroduced 
with hopes of spurring the Senate to action.  Provisions in the bill 
included energy conservation, research and development, and energy supply 
diversification. 

Other bills approved by the House include H.R. 4517, which will speed 
up the permitting process for the construction of new petroleum refinery 
facilities in areas of high unemployment.  This bill will allow the 
Department of Energy (DOE) to establish "refinery revitalization zones" in 
communities with an unemployment rate 20% above the national average 
and either a closed refinery or history of major industrial layoffs.  
House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) introduced and 
passed H.R. 4513, which will streamline the process of environmental 
impact assessments required under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) for new renewable energy projects.  It allows federal agencies to 
propose renewable energy projects without identifying more than one 
possible location for the project. H.R. 4515 also passed, providing energy 
companies with incentives to produce natural gas from methane hydrate 
resources, which have been found to contain significantly more gas 
than all other conventional natural gas resources combined.  Although 
the technology to exploit hydrate resources is not yet available, the 
bill provides incentives for companies to develop that technology and 
begin extraction by the year 2018. 

Two bills did not make it out of the House.  A bill calling for a 
portion of the revenues from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) oil 
and natural gas drilling to be used for the cleanup of abandoned coal 
mines and health benefits for coal miners, H.R. 4529, was hotly debated 
and eventually removed from floor consideration due to lack of support.  
These two issues were linked in an effort to gain support from those 
who oppose ANWR energy exploration.  However, the United Mine Workers of 
America, one of the groups expected to benefit from the bill, issued a 
letter to Congress June 15th opposing the bill.  Another bill, H.R. 
4545, would have lowered the price of gasoline blends, commonly known as 
"boutique fuels."  It would also have allowed the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) to waive Clean Air Act fuel requirements for up to five 
days if there is a significant disruption in the fuel supply.  

Additional information about Energy Week is available at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy.html.  

*** Yucca Mountain Funding Gets Possible Legislative Fix *** 
The funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository remains at 
$131 million after the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY05 
Energy and Water Development appropriations bill on June 16th.  The 
original budget request for the project was $880 million, with only $131 
million coming from Congress and the other $749 million from a 
reclassification of the nuclear industry's annual contributions to the Nuclear 
Waste Trust Fund.  The reclassification legislation, H.R. 3981, would 
guarantee funding for the licensing and construction of the project. 
Unless this legislation passes both Houses of Congress and is signed into 
law by the President, the currently appropriated funding would be 
insufficient to meet the scheduled 2010 opening date. 

On June 25th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3981 
that would allow money from an annual nuclear waste fund to be used for 
the Yucca Mountain project through 2009.  It is expected that the money 
from the trust fund will keep Yucca Mountain on schedule for its site 
license approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December and 
its expected 2010 opening.  However, the Committee was only authorized to 
allocate $576 million for Yucca Mountain in FY05 due to the budget 
passed by the House earlier this spring.  This means funding for Yucca 
Mountain is still $173 million short of the $880 million requested in the 
president's budget.  Because Congress only passed a one-year budget this 
year, Energy Committee staff estimate $750 million will be authorized 
from the trust fund for FY06 and beyond. 

H.R. 3981 is expected to be passed by the full House prior to the 
August recess despite the fierce opposition from the Nevada congressional 
delegation.  Even if the House does approve this bill, it faces an uphill 
battle in the Senate where Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV) is leading 
the opposition.  He is the number two democrat in the Senate and up for 
reelection this fall.  

More information about Yucca Mountain is available at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/yucca.html.  

*** House Science Committee Keeps Tabs on Visa Delays *** 
Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the House Science Committee 
Chairman, Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Bart Gordon (D-TN), Ranking Minority 
Member, issued a letter June 16th requesting the Government Accounting 
Office (GAO) investigate further the status of issuing visas to foreign 
science students and scholars.  They expressed their concern that the 
delays were discouraging the best scientists from coming to the United 
States.

Although national security is a high priority since September 11th, 
they argued it is no excuse for the inefficiency that has delayed the visa 
permitting process anywhere between a few to 300 days.  Of particular 
concern was the Visas Mantis, or the security check designed to protect 
against the transfer of sensitive technologies.  A report issued by the 
GAO in February (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04371.pdf) found that 
guidelines were unclear as to when a Visas Mantis check was applicable to 
a visa application, which is one of the main causes of the delays.  In 
this report, the GAO also recommended that the State Department, 
Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Department of Homeland Security work 
together to develop specific goals and guidelines that would speed up the 
process.  The letter requests an update investigation by the GAO on how 
well these organizations have implemented the recommendations.  The GAO 
was also asked to pay particular attention to the status of R
ussian visas, which is an interest of Congressman Weldon.  

The full text of the letter can be viewed at 
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/084.html.  More details about the 
Committee's request are available at 
http://www.house.gov/science/press/108/108-259.htm.


*** New Fees for Exchange Visitors and Scholars *** 
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on June 30th 
that, beginning September 1st, a new $100 fee will be incurred on visa 
applications of international students, exchange visitors, and scholars 
attending school or conducting research in the U.S.  This fee will be 
used to cover the costs of the electronic Student Exchange and Visitor 
Information System (SEVIS), which is designed to maintain up-to-date 
data on applicants and process visa request more quickly.  The fee applies 
to F, J and M nonimmigrant classifications, but some exchange visitor 
programs will have a reduced fee or will be fee-exempt.  There are 
currently 730,000 students and exchange visitors registered on SEVIS.  
According to Jill Drury, Director of the Student Exchange Visitor Program 
(SEVP): "The new fee payment procedure is a continuation of our 
commitment to manage a system that enhances the integrity of America's 
immigration system while facilitating the legal entry of legitimate interna
tional students and scholars into the United States."  

*** Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Gets House Hearing *** 
On June 24th, the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral 
Resources met to discuss H.R. 4010, a bill to reauthorize the National 
Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program at the United States Geological 
Survey (USGS) through 2010.  The bill was introduced by Subcommittee Chair 
Barbara Cubin (R-WY) and committee member and former geologist Jim 
Gibbons (R-NV).

The subcommittee heard testimony from Patrick Leahy, Associate Director 
for Geology at the USGS, and John Steinmentz, President of the 
Association of American State Geologists.  Both witnesses testified in support 
of the bill, and all members of the subcommittee who attended the 
hearing expressed their support as well.  Leahy outlined some of the 
successes of the NCGNP including the ways in which USGS has worked in 
cooperation with agencies and states.  He noted the high economic return of 
dollars invested in mapping programs as seen in the state of Kentucky, 
which is the only state that is completely mapped.  Leahy also said that 
mapping aids security efforts by providing information on energy, 
mineral, and water availability as well as geologic hazards.

More information on the hearing and H.R. 4010 can be found on AGI's 
website at
http://stage.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/geologicmapping.html.  

*** NEHRP Reauthorization Makes Progress in Senate *** 
The Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space met on June 
24th to discuss the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 
Reauthorization Act (NEHRP; H.R. 2608). Senator Brownback (R-KS) presided 
over the hearing and was joined by Senator Wyden (D-OR) of Oregon.  
Witnesses from the USGS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National 
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Science 
Foundation (NSF) each testified that their agencies were pleased with the 
House-passed bill.  The major difference in this reauthorization process has 
been the shift of NEHRP from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
which has since been absorbed into the DHS, to NIST.  NIST will continue 
to work with the USGS, DHS, and the NSF on the program.  The only 
change suggested in the Senate hearing was proposed by Dr. David Applegate, 
Senior Science Advisor for Earthquakes and Geologic Hazards at the 
USGS.  He advocated for a NEHRP Advisory Committee to be formed in ord
er to give the program stronger direction and more focused leadership.

The full committee is expected to mark up the bill before the August 
recess.

A full wrap-up of the hearing can be found online at
http://stage.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/nehrp_hearings.html#june25.  

*** LNG Terminals Need Standards ***
The House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources, and 
Regulatory Affairs met June 23rd to discuss the federal and state roles in 
siting liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at both onshore and deepwater 
ports.  Chairman Doug Ose (R-CA) stressed the importance of LNG, 
explaining that increasing energy demands require the U.S. to import more LNG 
and consequently build more ports with the ability to accept these 
imports.  The responsibility of licensing and securing these ports, 
however, has not been clear and the Committee called for federal standards 
that would specifically outline the LNG terminal permitting and siting 
process. As decided by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, 
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over the 
siting and construction of onshore terminals while the Department of 
Transportation, including the Coast Guard, is in charge of offshore terminal 
licensing and security.  Currently, five new terminals have been a
pproved by federal regulators, but all with different criteria, raising 
questions of how secure they are from terrorist attacks and what danger 
they pose to nearby residents.  To read more about the hearing, log on 
to http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/naturalgas.html.  

*** House Science Committee Votes to Reauthorize DOE Metals Program *** 
The House Science Committee unanimously approved H.R. 3890, a bill to 
reauthorize $20 million a year for the Metals Program at the Department 
of Energy through 2009.  The Metals Program provides funding and 
guidance for the development of energy efficiency technologies in the metals 
industry.  It aims to reduce energy consumption and environmental 
impact such as greenhouse gas emissions of metals companies, while improving 
international competitiveness. The version of the bill that was 
introduced in subcommittee authorized only $10 million a year to the program, 
but its sponsor Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) succeeded in passing an 
amendment to double the funds before the full committee.  The bill requires 
industry partners in the program to match 30 percent of the funding they 
receive and provide progress reports to Congress each year.  The $20 
million authorization may provide clout for increased FY 2006 funding, 
although an amendment has been added to the bill to flatline fundin
g for FY 2005.  The Bush administration requested $6.5 million for 
metals industry efficiency programs in next year's budget.

The House Science Committee Republicans blocked an amendment to the 
bill funding energy efficiency projects in other sectors.  They pointed 
out that such amendments could slow down the bill and that similar 
measures are included in other legislation.  To read a summary of the May 
2004 hearing on the Metals Program, go to
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#may20.  

*** DOE Agrees to Clean Up 99% of Waste Sites *** 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met June 17th to 
discuss the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear waste accelerated cleanup 
program.  One hundred fourteen sites are being cleaned up through the 
program, which costs $7.4 billion or one third of the DOE budget. There 
are some critics of the program, such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who 
said that accelerated cleanup is "just walking away faster."  The 
committee heard testimony from Jessie Roberson, the Assistant Secretary of 
Environmental Management at DOE, who has been in charge of the program 
since 2001.  Two federal investigators also testified regarding DOE 
compliance with worker safety at the Hanford site in Washington.  A hearing 
summary is available on AGI's website at 
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#jun17.  

*** Pipeline Safety Slowly Improving *** 
On June 15th, Senator McCain (R-AZ) presided over the full committee 
hearing on pipeline safety.  Testimony was given by eight witnesses on 
the implementation of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (H.R. 
3609).  This act was originally proposed by Senator Lautenberg in 1994 
in response to a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in New Jersey.  
The aging pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. has led to concern over 
the safety and environmental hazards they present.  Pipelines are a 
critical component of our economy; roughly 63% of U.S. energy is transported 
through them, providing a safer, more efficient mode of transportation 
compared to barge or truck transportation.  Additionally, the threat of 
terrorist attacks has heightened the need for Federal assistance in 
maintaining the safety of the pipelines.

In the past two years, the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) has 
attempted to implement the rules and regulations defined by this act concerning 
oil and natural gas pipelines.  The general consensus of the witnesses 
was that OPS has done a good job overseeing the repair and improvement 
of the pipelines and the act overall is working well.  They also point 
out that it is still too early to truly know its effectiveness and 
there is still much improvement needed, especially in regard to the 
permitting process.  A full recount of the hearing is available at 
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#jun15-2.  

*** Senate Searches for the Cause of High Gasoline Prices *** 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met June 15th to 
discuss the causes of recent high fuel prices.  Guy Caruso of the Energy 
Information Administration at the Department of Energy told the committee 
that oil prices have dropped in the last three weeks, and should 
continue to drop to $35 per barrel from the current cost of $37.50 by the end 
of the year absent any major disruptions.  Republican committee members 
urged passage of the Senate energy bill throughout the hearing, while 
Democrats continued to argue in favor of other solutions to current 
energy problems.  One solution offered by Democrats is the opening of the 
Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Democrats Charles Schumer (NY), Ron Wyden (OR), and Byron Dorgan (ND) 
pressed the issue of the reserve during the hearing, arguing that it can 
be used as a tool to pressure Organization of Petroleum Exporting 
Countries to lower crude oil prices.  Topics discussed at the hearing 
included corporate market manipulation, risk factors in determining oil 
prices, tight refinery capacity, "boutique fuels" and drilling in ANWR.  A 
thorough hearing summary is available at 
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#jun15.  

*** NOAA Organic Act Moving Forward ***
A report issued in April by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy 
recommended legislation be passed that would clearly outline the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) responsibilities and 
emphasize an ecosystem-based management approach.  In response, the Bush 
administration submitted a proposal in June to restructure the agency.  
Since 1970, the agency has been operating without a congressional mandate.  
Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Environment, Technology, 
and Standards Subcommittee, has also prepared an organic act for NOAA, 
which is expected to be introduced before the August recess.

More information about both of the proposals can be found at
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/ocean.html.  

*** NASA Merges Earth Science and Space Science *** 
NASA announced June 24th that it will restructure the agency to 
streamline its operations and more effectively implement its Vision for Space 
Exploration.  Effective August 1st, these changes will result in the 
consolidation of eight previously separate enterprises and a reduction in 
the number of support offices from 14 to six.  The enterprises will be 
reorganized into four main categories labeled Aeronautics Research, 
Science, Explorations Systems, and Space Operations.  The Earth Science 
and Space Science programs, which were formally separate under NASA's 
organizational structure, will now be combined under the Science category.  
The reasoning behind this was to achieve a more holistic understanding 
of the earth and solar system where information from studying the earth 
can be applied to research on the solar system and vice versa.  

A press release as well as charts illustrating the organizational 
changes can be found at 
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/jun/HQ_04205_Transformation.html.

*** CNSF Exhibition a Success ***
On June 22nd another successful Coalition for National Science Funding 
(CNSF) exhibition was held in the Rayburn House Office Building.  Six 
members of Congress attended the evening event, including Roscoe 
Bartlett (R-MD), Howard Coble (R-NC), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Bob Etheridge 
(D-NC), David Hobson (R-OH), and Ralph Regula (R-OH).  John Marburger, 
Science Advisor to the President and Director of OSTP, was also present, 
along with several others from OSTP and the NSF, including Dr. Arden 
Bement the interim Director of NSF.  

The Geological Society of America (GSA), American Geophysical Union 
(AGU) and American Geological Institute (AGI) jointly hosted a booth 
showcasing EarthScope, a program designed to explore the structure and 
evolution of the North American Continent.  As one of over 25 organizations 
presenting research, the Earthscope exhibit featured pictures, 
instrumentation from an actual GPS station as well as video and informational 
brochures.  More information on Earthscope can be found at their website 
http://www.earthscope.org/. 

*** NSF Funding Supported by 157 House Representatives *** 
A letter encouraging maximum funding for the National Science 
Foundation (NSF) in FY05 was signed by 157 members of the House on June 9th.  
The letter outlined the value of NSF research programs to the country's 
economy and security and emphasized the accomplishments of the 
organization while working with only a small portion of the total federal 
research and development budget.  The FY05 President's budget request for NSF 
was $5.7 billion, a 3% increase from last year but still short of the 
guidelines set in the NSF Authorization Act of 2002.  The letter was 
written by Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) and was addressed to 
James Walsh (R-NY) and Alan Mollohon (D-WV), who are the Chairman and 
Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Appropriations Subcommittee 
responsible for NSF appropriations.

The letter and signatures can be found at
http://www.ncseonline.org/Updates/page.cfm?fID=3733.  

*** NSF Major Research Equipment Projects Ranked *** 
The National Science Board (NSB), responding to Congressional requests, 
released a list ranking proposed NSF Major Research Equipment projects 
in order of funding priority.  The National Ecological Observatory 
Network is second on the list, after the Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel. 
The NSB white paper defining the priority-setting process for competing 
research facility projects is online at 
http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2004/priorstnglrgefcltyproj.doc. 

*** National Academies to Issue Report on Science and Tech Appointees 
*** 
The National Academies Committee on Ensuring the Best Science and 
Technology Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Appointments is 
interested in receiving comments from the science community on the issue of 
the appointment of scientists, engineers, and health professionals to 
presidentially appointed positions within the federal government and to 
federal advisory committees whose charge is science-based policy or to 
review research proposals.  The Committee is charged with addressing 
the barriers to appointing the most qualified candidates for science and 
technology presidential appointments and will examine the appointment 
process and the principles that should be observed in selecting 
scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve on federal advisory 
committees.

The topics upon which the Committee seeks comment are available online 
at www.nationalacademies.org/presidentialappointments/ along with 
instructions on how to comment and due dates.

*** G8 Leaders Focus their Energy on an Earth Observation System *** 
Representatives from the industrialized nations that comprise the Group 
of 8 (G8) - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United 
Kingdom, and the U.S. -- met June 9th and 10th to discuss environmental 
issues and evaluate their progress since last year's meeting in Evian, 
France.  Some of the subjects discussed included cleaner and more 
efficient energy use, agricultural sustainability and productivity, and 
improved communication of new ideas pertaining to these issues. 

The focus of this meeting was the creation of an Earth Observation 
System (EOS) that was proposed last year at the Evian meeting.  This 
project would link together thousands of satellites, ocean buoys, weather 
stations, and other instruments around the world, allowing data to be 
shared and communicated with all nations to track monsoons, droughts, and 
changes to the climate and atmosphere.  This data could be used to find 
new ways to help improve agriculture, energy use, and other 
environmental issues.

Last April, 47 industrialized nations met in Tokyo to begin making the 
framework for a 10-year implementation plan.  The goal of next year's 
G8 meeting will be to finalize this plan.  The momentum for this project 
continues to build.  Since the Evian meeting, two additional summits 
have continued the discussion of how to create an EOS, including the 2003 
Earth Observation Summit in Washington.

*** Climate Change Not the Biggest Global Problem *** 
The issue of climate change has been demoted in global importance by 
some of the world's top economists at international meeting called the 
"Copenhagen Consensus."  The meeting was moderated by the controversial 
writer Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote the 1999 book "The Skeptical 
Environmentalist" challenging conventional environmental wisdom.
 
Panelists at the meeting hailed HIV/AIDS, malaria, and malnutrition to 
be more pressing issues than global climate change, and ranked climate 
projects such as the Kyoto Protocol as cost ineffective.  The group did 
express support of funding for development of low carbon technologies.  
The meeting was sponsored the by The Economist and the Danish 
Environmental Assessment Institute.

*** Evolution in the Classroom Updates - California *** 
For much of the past year, the Roseville Joint Union School District 
board of trustees has been occupied by a proposal to mandate that 
alternatives to evolution be included in science courses.  On June 1, 2004, 
the school district near Sacramento voted down a resolution that would 
have established "The Quality Science Education Policy."  Ultimately, the 
proposal was only supported by the school board president, Dean Forman, 
and board member Kelly Lafferty.  Three board members opposed the 
resolution.  According to the Roseville Press-Tribune, in public debate in 
opposition to the proposal, board member Jan Pinney stated: "We need 
[teachers] with us, not against us.  They have spoken with one voice." 

To learn more about evolution battles across the country, see
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/evolution.html.  

*** Government Affairs Program Seeks Director *** 
On June 9th, the Selection Committee seeking to fill the AGI Director 
of Government Affairs position revised its criteria.  The new position 
description and directions on how to apply can be found on the 
Government Affairs website at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/index.html#job. 

*** Intern Comings and Goings ***
Ashlee Dere, the newest AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern, arrived on June 
9th.  She is a senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo on the central coast 
of California where she is majoring in earth science with a sustainable 
environments minor.  Originally from San Diego, CA, she has worked as 
an intern with the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department 
and has participated in soil judging and other student activities 
sponsored by the Soil Science Society of America.  Ashlee's internship will 
extend through the first of September.  

*** Key Federal Register Notices ***
EPA, Direct final rule regarding national primary drinking water 
regulations analytical method for uranium compliance determinations.  This 
rule is effective on August 31, 2004, without further notice, unless EPA 
receives adverse comment by July 2, 2004. Comments, identified by 
Docket ID No. OW-2003-0067, to Federal eRulemaking Portal: 
http://www.regulations.gov or by mail to OW Docket, Environmental 
Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, 
DC 20460.  Volume 69, Number 106 (2 June, 2004):  pp. 31008-31013.

DOT Office of Pipeline Safety, Notice of meeting of the Technical 
Pipeline Safety Standards Committee and the Technical Hazardous Liquid 
Pipeline Safety Standards Committee.  Conference call June 30, 2004, from 1 
p.m. to 4 p.m., EST. Members of the public may attend the meeting at 
the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC Room 6332-6336. To offer a short oral statement notify Jean 
Milam, (202) 493-0967, not later than June 25, 2004.  Volume 69, Number 119 
(22 June, 2004):  pp. 34720-34721.

USGS, Federal Geographic Data Committee public review of framework data 
standards developed through the Geospatial One-Stop initiative.  
Comments to Ms. Julie Binder Maitra, FGDC Standards Coordinator c/o U.S. 
Geological Survey, 590 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, 
Virginia 20192 or by phone 703-648-4627 or by facsimile 703-648-5755 or 
Internet at jmaitra@usgs.gov. Volume 69, Number 120 (23 June, 2004):  
pp. 35057-35058.

*** New Updates to website ***
The following updates and reports were added to the Government Affairs 
portion of AGI's web site http://www.agiweb.org/gap since the last 
monthly update:

* National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Act (6-29-04)
* High-Level Nuclear Waste Legislation (6-29-04)
* Mercury Policy (6-29-04)
* National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program hearings (6-25-04)
* Natural Gas Policy (6-25-04)
* Clean Air Issues (6-25-04)
* Climate Change Policy Overview (6-24-04)
* Energy Policy Overview (6-18-04)
* Ocean Policy (6-18-04)
* Energy Hearings (6-18-04)

Monthly review prepared by Emily Lehr Wallace, AGI Government Affairs 
Program and Ashlee Dere, AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern.

Sources:  American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Institute 
of Physicists, Environment and Energy Daily, Greenwire, House of 
Representatives hearing testimony, House of Representatives Science Committee 
press releases, NASULGC Washington Update, National Academy of 
Sciences, National Council for Science and the Environment, National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration, THOMAS legislative database, United 
States Senate hearing testimony, Washington Post. 
				
111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

2)  FRACTURED ROCK: STATE OF SCIENCE, MEASURING SUCCESS IN REMEDIATION 
2004 NGWA / U.S. EPA CONFERENCE

The U.S. EPA and the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) will 
jointly host a conference on the current state of cleaning up contaminated 
ground water in fractured rock settings Sept. 13-15 in Portland, Maine.

Fractured rock arguably is the most challenging geologic environment to 
characterize and remediate. Historically, these sites are considered so 
complex that great uncertainty remains even after significant 
expenditure of time and money.

The conference features more than 100 scientific and engineering 
presentations and includes:

.  Keynote lectures, which will serve not only as a review of existing 
science and remediation but also future directions.
.  Perspectives on technical impracticability and other regulatory 
issues.
.  Performance AssessmentAn open microphone discussion with the panel 
of invited speakers on how to measure success of remediation.

Accepted papers will be published in a full proceedings and distributed 
internationally, and a $500 scholarship will be awarded for the top 
student poster.

For registration information or to learn more about the conference, 
visit this web address: http://www.ngwa.org/e/conf/0409135017.shtml#menu.  
You also can contact NGWA Customer Service at customerservice@ngwa.org 
or call 800-551-7379.

Special guest speakers
.  Walter Kovalick Jr. Ph.D., Director, US EPA Technology Innovation 
Office: Past, Present, and Future of Remediation
.  Roberto Aguilera, Ph.D., Servipetrol Ltd.: Oil Field Techniques for 
Characterizing Fractured Reservoirs
.  Dana Carlisle, GeoEngineers: Successful Use of a Horizontal/Vertical 
Well Couplet in Fractured Bedrock Remediation
.  Vince Dick, Haley and Aldrich Inc.: Blast Fracturing and Application 
for Permeable Reactive Barriers in Bedrock
.  Jack Guswa, Ph.D., GeoTrans: Innovative Approach for Hydraulic 
Containment of PCB Contamination in Fractured Bedrock"
.  Bernard Kueper, Ph.D., Queens University: DNAPL Behavior in 
Fractured Rock
.  Fred Paillet, Ph.D., University of Maine: Geophysical 
Characterization of Fractured Rock Aquifers: Accounting for Scale Effects and Putting 
Hydrology into the Geophysics
.  Beth Parker, Ph.D. University of Waterloo: Matrix Diffusion: 
Implications for Remediation of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds in 
Fractured Shales
.  Allen Shapiro, Ph.D.  U.S. Geological Survey, NGWA Distinguished 
Darcy Lecturer: Recent Advances in Characterizing Ground Water Flow and 
Chemical Transport in Fractured Rock: From Cores to Kilometers

One hundred forty (140) scientists and engineers from 10 nations will 
be presenting papers at the conference. In addition to the United 
States, these nations are Canada, Czech Republic, Columbia, Denmark, France, 
Greece, Mexico, Portugal and Sweden.

The National Ground Water Association is a membership organization 
representing more than 15,000 U.S. and international ground water 
professionals including ground water scientists and engineers. NGWA provides 
members, government, and the general public with the scientific knowledge 
and economic guidance necessary to responsibly develop, protect, and 
manage the world.s ground water resources.

Media Contact:
Cliff Treyens, NGWA Public Awareness Director
800-551-779 or ctreyens@ngwa.org

222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222

3)  CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR FALL 2004 AGU MEETING SESSION ED01: 
"Space Observations for Earth System Science: Education Opportunities 
in the International Polar Year (IPY) and International Heliophysical 
Year (IHY), 2007"

Call for Abstracts:
At the AGU Fall 2004 Meeting there will be a special session on "Space 
Observations for Earth System Science: Education Opportunities in the 
International Polar Year (IPY) and International Heliophysical Year 
(IHY), 2007."  This session will provide members of the geophysical and 
space science education communities with a rare opportunity to discuss 
different initiatives, address how these efforts overlap, and facilitate 
our plans for the future.  Presentations on all aspects of Education and 
Public Outreach relevant to IPY and IHY are welcome; this session is 
not restricted to participants in IHY and IPY efforts.  We strongly 
encourage contributions from programs and initiatives which have not been 
incorporated into the IPY/IHY 2007 plans, but may contribute to IPY and 
IHY Education and Public Outreach in the future.

We hope to have a panel discussion at the end and a town meeting later 
on to maximize community discussion and input.  More information on the 
IPY and IHY programs can be found at www.ipy.org <http://www.ipy.org/>  
and www.ihy.gsfc.nasa.gov <http://www.ihy.gsfc.nasa.gov/>  

Session Abstract:
The International Polar Year (IPY), which will be concurrent with the 
International Heliophysical Year (IHY) will involve integrated 
circumpolar research using present and advanced technologies. IPY and IHY will 
offer exceptional educational opportunities.  An objective of 
educational outreach will be to recognize the earth as a dynamic system which 
will require a multidisciplinary and cross border approach.

This session will be on the education outreach opportunities and 
strategies afforded in the IPY and IHY.  Focus will be on the importance of 
disseminating data from space missions, such as the 'A Train', to all 
levels of users.  New data and research findings will promote research 
and education further.  Effective ways to integrate field and local 
knowledge with satellite based observations will be discussed.  A primary 
goal will be to set up a mechanism for seamless information sharing on a 
global level for all sectors of society.

Conveners: 
John J. Kelley, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK USA Email: 
ffjjk@uaf.edu 
Barbara J. Thompson, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt MD, USA Email: 
barbara.j.thompson@nasa.gov
Anupma Prakash, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK USA Email: 
prakash@gi.alaska.edu
Leonard Johnson, University of Alaska, Fairbanks AK USA email: 
len.johnsoniii@verizon.net 

Abstract Submission Deadlines:
On-Line Abstracts must be submitted to AGU by 9 September 2004, 
2359UT*.  

At 2359 UT the local times will be: 
Boston 19.59h
New Orleans 18.59h
Seattle 16.59h
Santiago 19:59h
Paris 1:59h Friday 10 Sept. 
Moscow 3:59h Friday 10 Sept. 
Tokyo 8:59h Friday 10 Sept. 
Sydney 9:59h Friday 10 Sept.

Membership Requirement:
Abstracts can be submitted only when the first author is an AGU member 
in good standing; if the first author is not an AGU member, the 
submission must be sponsored by an AGU member in good standing who has agreed 
to do so.

Membership application or renewal must be received no later than 27 
August 2004 in order to submit an abstract, and the AGU membership number 
must be provided with the abstract submission.  Membership numbers of 
first authors will be validated against the AGU membership database, and 
submission will not be allowed unless membership is current.

First Author Policy:  
A person, as first author, may submit one (1) contributed paper and one 
(1) invited paper, if the invitation is approved by a Program Committee 
member for inclusion in the program.  If a person accepts the 
invitation to be the first author on a second invited paper, this person must 
forgo the first author, contributed paper.  In order to submit an invited 
abstract, the first authors name must appear in the invited author's 
list provided by session conveners.  The only exception to this policy is 
the submission of abstract to Education (ED) or Public Affairs (PA) 
sessions.  For details on these exceptions please visit In summary, a 
first author can have the following combination of submissions.
a.   1 contributed abstract
b.   1 contributed and 1 invited
c.   2 invited abstracts, but no contributed abstracts d. 2 contributed 
abstracts only if one is submitted to a planned Education OR Public 
Affairs sessions.

Abstract Submission Guidelines:  
Full submission guidelines can be found on the AGU Web site on the 2004 
Fall Meeting page, www.agu.org/meetings/fm04/

AGU website: Further information is available at the AGU website at 
http://www.agu.org/ 

333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

4)  CONTACT INFORMATION

To submit an item to E-MAIL NEWS contact: editor@awg.org
To submit advertising contact: ads@awg.org
To change your address or be removed from the list contact: office@awg.org