[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[January 31, 1998]
[Pages 151-152]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Congressional Leaders on the United States Air Force Operating 
Location Near Groom Lake, Nevada
January 31, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)
    Consistent with section 6001(a) of the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act (RCRA) (the ``Act''), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6961(a), 
notification is hereby given that on September 26, 1997, I issued 
Presidential Determination No. 97-35 (copy attached) and thereby 
exercised the authority to grant certain exemptions under section 
6001(a) of the Act.
    Presidential Determination No. 97-35 exempted the United States Air 
Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada, from any Federal, 
State, interstate, or local hazardous or solid waste laws that might 
require the disclosure of classified information concerning that 
operating location to unauthorized persons. Information concerning 
activities at the operating location near Groom Lake has been properly 
determined to be classified, and its disclosure

[[Page 152]]

would be harmful to national security. Continued protection of this 
information is, therefore, in the paramount interest of the United 
    The Determination was not intended to imply that in the absence of a 
Presidential exemption RCRA or any other provision of law permits or 
requires the disclosure of classified information to unauthorized 
persons, but rather to eliminate any potential uncertainty arising from 
a district court decision in pending litigation, Kasza v. Browner (D. 
Nev. CV-S-94-795-PMP), the relevant appeal which, was subsequently 
dismissed as moot (9th Cir. Nos. 96-15535 and 96-15537; decided January 
8, 1998). The Determination also was not intended to limit the 
applicability or enforcement of any requirement of law applicable to the 
Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake except those provisions, 
if any, that would require the disclosure of classified information.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate. This 
letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 2.