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Release No. 1652.99

Steve Thompson (202) 720-7961


WASHINGTON, November 19, 1999--The National Drought Policy Commission today announced that it will hold its fourth public hearing Wednesday, December 1, 1999, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. The hearing will be located in the first floor Board Room of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California office building, 700 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, California.

The Commission will hold a business meeting December 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, at the same location, to review and discuss the initial draft of the Commission’s findings. Both the public hearing and meeting are 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, in Washington, D.C., and October 13, 1999, in El Paso, Texas.

The Commission was established to provide advice and recommendations on the creation of an integrated, coordinated Federal drought emergency policy. Its assignment is 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.

Persons 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 EST November 24, 1999, 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 office by November 24, may 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 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 at 202-720-9688 for input into the commission report.

 Persons with disabilities who require accommodation to attend or participate in this meeting should contact Leona Dittus on 202-720-3168, or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, and, by November 24, 1999.

Further information is available from the Commission’s web site, located at Comments and statements should be sent to Leona Dittus, Executive Director, National Drought Policy Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6701-S, STOP 0501, Washington, D.C. 20250-0501.


NOTE: Farm Service Agency (FSA) news releases and media advisories are available on the World Wide Web at FSA’s Home Page:

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