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Public Papers - 1992

Statement on Signing the Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act


I am signing into law H.R. 4016, the ``Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act,'' which requires Federal agencies that intend to terminate operations on real property to identify those portions of the property that are not contaminated by hazardous waste or petroleum products.

The Act would, among other things, require agencies to obtain the concurrence of the appropriate State official in order to complete identification of certain property as uncontaminated. If this requirement were understood to allow the State official to prevent a Federal agency from disposing of property, then the Act would, in effect, be granting Federal Executive power to a person who has not been appointed in conformity with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, Article II, section 2, clause 2.

In order to avoid this constitutional difficulty, I instruct all agencies affected by this Act to construe a State official's failure to concur as a statement of that official's views, but not as a bar to transfer of the property. Because the Act nowhere states the consequences of a failure to concur, a Federal agency may terminate operations on a property and dispose of it, in accordance with applicable Federal laws, regardless of whether a State official fails to concur in the identification of it as uncontaminated.

George Bush

The White House,

October 19, 1992.

Note: H.R. 4016, approved October 19, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 426.

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