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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 22, 1997


Americans long ago decided that our towns and cities should have the right to decide for themselves what kind of development complements the overall character of their community. Today I urge all members of Congress to join with our nation's mayors and local officials in opposing H.R. 1534, a measure that would seriously weaken the control a community has over its future.

This bill presents a threat of premature and inappropriate federal court interference with efforts to preserve the character of our communities. It would radically change our tradition of working out land use disputes at a local level before hauling local officials into federal court. If enacted, H.R. 1534 would seriously impair the ability of state and local agencies to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

I renew the challenge to Congress that I issued last week on the 25th anniversary of the Clean Water Act: abandon this proposal and instead work to strengthen the tools available to state and local governments to protect their communities.