[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 States. 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. Sincerely, 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.