USDA News Release


Release No.0369.99


Steve Thompson (202) 720-7961


WASHINGTON, September 17, 1999--The National Drought Policy Commission, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, today announced that it will hold its second meeting Wednesday, September 22, 1999, in Washington. The Commission will discuss the effects of the drought in the Eastern states as it applies to national policy.

The meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Williamsburg Room, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. A public hearing preceding the meeting will be held from 8:00 a.m. to noon, also in the Williamsburg Room, to solicit comments from the public. Both sessions are open to the public; however, seating will be limited and available on a first-come basis.

Anyone wishing to make an oral presentation to the commission must contact the Executive Director, Leona Dittus, in writing (by letter, fax or internet) no later than 12 noon EDT September 21, 1999, in order to be included on the public hearing agenda for the morning of September 22. The request should identify the name and affiliation of the individual who will make the presentation and an outline of the issues to be addressed. Those wishing to testify, but who are unable to notify the commission office by September 21, will be able to sign up as a presenter on September 22 between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Comments will be limited based on the time available and the number of presenters. Presenters should be prepared to come to the public hearing with handouts of their comments for at least 35 people. Written statements will be accepted at the meeting, or may be mailed or faxed to the commission office for input into the commission report.

Comments and statements should be sent to Leona Dittus, Executive Director, National Drought Policy Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 6701-S, STOP 0501, Washington, D.C. 20250-0501.

Special accommodations are available and can be provided upon request by contacting the National Drought Policy Commission at (202)720-3168, by fax (202) 720-9688, e-mail Leona_Dittus@WDC.FSA.USDA.GOV

The Commission was established to provide advice and recommendations on the creation of an integrated, coordinated Federal drought emergency policy. It was created to make recommendations to the President and Congress on how to better integrate federal drought laws and programs with ongoing state, local, and tribal programs without infringing on state control of water resources. Recommendations also will include means of improving public awareness of the need for drought mitigation, prevention, and response.




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