USDA News Release

Release No. 0400.99

Wayne Baggett (202) 720-2032
Dann Stuart (202) 690-0474


WASHINGTON, October 7, 1999--The National Drought Policy Commission (NDPC) will hold its third public hearing Wednesday, October 13, 1999, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Camino Real Hotel, 101 S. El Paso Street, El Paso, Texas. The session is open to the public; however, seating will be limited and available on a first-come basis. Previous hearings were held July 23 and September 22, 1999.

The Commission will 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 ways to improve public awareness of the need for drought mitigation, prevention, and response.

Anyone wishing to make an oral presentation to the commission may do so. Contact the Executive Director, Leona Dittus, in writing (by letter, fax or internet) in order to be included on the public hearing agenda. 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, will be able to sign up as a presenter at the hearing. 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 copies 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


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