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Letter to the Governors Concerning Assumption by the States of Regulatory Functions Relating to Atomic Energy.

April 12, 1960

[ Released April 12, 1960. Dated April 11, 1960 ]

Dear Governor :

I have often stressed the need to increase the functions and responsibilities of the States as a safeguard against excessive centralization of governmental power in this country. Public Law 86-373 was enacted in response to a recommendation by the Joint Federal-State Action Committee.

The law authorizes the Atomic Energy Commission to enter into agreements with the Governors of the States under which the States will assume responsibility for specified regulatory functions now performed by the Commission for the promotion and regulation of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Following consultations with representative State groups, the Commission has prepared proposed criteria to guide both parties in reaching agreement on the transfer of these functions.

I have asked the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission to send copies of the proposed criteria to you. Your views, and those of the other Governors, will be important in determining the actual criteria to be applied. I request that you give this matter your personal attention and ask that you send your views as soon as possible to Mr. John A. McCone, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. McCone and his staff will welcome an opportunity to meet with you or your representatives to discuss the proposed criteria and other aspects of the program authorized under Public Law 86-373.

This legislation is a constructive step toward a better distribution of functions between the Federal Government and the States. I know that you share with me the hope that more such steps to expand State responsibility will be taken in the future.

With best wishes,



Note: This is the text of identical letters sent to the Governors of all the States. It was released at Augusta, Ca.

The amendment of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 with respect to cooperation with the States (Public Law 86-373; 73 Stat. 688) was approved September 23, 1959.

Copies of the criteria referred to by the President were released by the Office of Health and Safety, Atomic Energy Commission, Germantown, Md.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to the Governors Concerning Assumption by the States of Regulatory Functions Relating to Atomic Energy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234158

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