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Appendix 7: Use of Permanent Paper for Historical Documents

Final Report to Congress on the Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers


Congressional Record
(Senate - October 7, 1994) [Page: S14759]

Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I was recently contacted by the New York Public Library regarding the Federal Government's policy on the use of recycled paper and a possible conflict between the President's Executive order on recycling, Executive Order 12873, and the requirement of Public Law 101-423 that permanent paper be used for historical documents. Happily, this matter seems to have been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. Fran McPoland, Federal environmental executive at the Environmental Protection Agency, has written the New York Public Library that the requirement for the use of recycled paper does not conflict in any way with the requirement for the use of permanent paper for historical documents. The administration fully intends to use permanent paper for documents of enduring historic value.

The Federal environmental executive was appointed by the authority of Executive Order 12873. One of the roles of the Federal environmental executive will be to assist individual agencies in the development of specifications to fulfill the requirements of both the Executive order on recycling and the joint resolution on permanent paper. Executive Order 12873 also called for the appointment of agency environmental executives in each executive department and major procuring agency.

Mr. President, for the information of all Senators, I ask unanimous consent that a letter from Federal Environmental Executive Fran McPoland to Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

Office of the Federal
Environmental Executive,
Washington, DC, July 19, 1994.
Mr. Paul LeClerc,
President, The New York Public Library, New York, NY

Dear Mr. LeClerc:

As the Federal Environmental Executive appointed by the authority of the President's Executive Order on Recycling, I am in the receipt of your communication regarding the necessity to ensure that the federal government's use of recycled paper not be perceived to be in conflict with P.L. 101-423's requirement to use permanent paper for documents of enduring historical value. I am writing to assure you that there is no such conflict, and to tell you of the steps this Administration is taking to ensure that the recycled paper requirements are not implemented in such a way as to result in the inappropriate use of acidic paper.

The Administration is completely aware of and strongly supports the Joint Resolution on permanent paper and its goals. Paper which contains recycled material and is either permanent of alkaline is available for purchase, and it is our intention to continue to use these papers for documents of enduring value.

I will be working with the individual agencies to develop specifications to fulfill the goals of the Executive Order and the Joint Resolution. Executive Order 12873 called for the appointment of Agency Environmental Executives for each Executive department and major procuring agency, in addition to a Federal Environmental Executive within EPA, the position to which I have recently been appointed. I intend to transmit a copy of this letter to all Agency Environmental Executives in order to restate our position that the requirements for use of recycled paper are not to conflict in any way with the concurrent requirement for permanent paper use. Furthermore, I am meeting this week with the Agency Environmental Executives, and I intend to discuss and reaffirm our commitment to the use of permanent or alkaline paper during this meeting. I will be continuing to work closely with these executives to ensure on-going sensitivity to this issue as we implement Executive Order 12873.

I very much appreciate your interest and concern for the permanence of historical documents, and applaud your efforts to reduce the use of acid papers by the federal government. We fully share your concern, and I look forward to continuing to work with you on issues of recycling and paper permanence.

Fran McPoland,
Federal Environmental Executive.

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