B-135011, MARCH 3, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 557

B-135011: Mar 3, 1958

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ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION - SALE OF UTILITIES AFTER DISPOSAL OF COMMISSION -OWNED COMMUNITIES THE AUTHORITY TO SELL UTILITY SERVICES TO PURCHASERS IN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION-OWNED COMMUNITIES THAT WAS GRANTED AT THE TIME THE COMMISSION WAS ENGAGED IN DISPOSING OF TWO OF THE THREE COMMUNITIES WAS NOT INTENDED TO TERMINATE WHEN THE COMMUNITIES WERE NO LONGER COMMISSION-OWNED. 1958: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE COMMISSION'S LETTER OF JANUARY 21. WHICH WAS ADDED TO THE ACT BY PUBLIC LAW 85-162. IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE FROM ANOTHER LOCAL SOURCE AND THAT THE SALE IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE OR IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: (1) ELECTRIC POWER. (2) STEAM. (3) COMPRESSED AIR. (4) WATER. (5) SEWAGE AND GARBAGE DISPOSAL. (6) NATURAL.

B-135011, MARCH 3, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 557

ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION - SALE OF UTILITIES AFTER DISPOSAL OF COMMISSION -OWNED COMMUNITIES THE AUTHORITY TO SELL UTILITY SERVICES TO PURCHASERS IN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION-OWNED COMMUNITIES THAT WAS GRANTED AT THE TIME THE COMMISSION WAS ENGAGED IN DISPOSING OF TWO OF THE THREE COMMUNITIES WAS NOT INTENDED TO TERMINATE WHEN THE COMMUNITIES WERE NO LONGER COMMISSION-OWNED.

TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION, MARCH 3, 1958:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE COMMISSION'S LETTER OF JANUARY 21, 1958, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER WE AGREE WITH YOUR INTERPRETATION OF SUBSECTION 161 (S) OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY ACT OF 1954, 42 U.S.C. 2201 (S), AS AMENDED.

SUBSECTION 161 (S), WHICH WAS ADDED TO THE ACT BY PUBLIC LAW 85-162, APPROVED AUGUST 21, 1957, READS AS FOLLOWS:

S. UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AND FOR SUCH PERIODS AND AT SUCH PRICES THE COMMISSION MAY PRESCRIBE, THE COMMISSION MAY SELL OR CONTRACT TO SELL TO PURCHASERS WITHIN COMMISSION-OWNED COMMUNITIES OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE COMMISSION COMMUNITY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, ANY OF THE FOLLOWING UTILITIES AND RELATED SERVICES, IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE FROM ANOTHER LOCAL SOURCE AND THAT THE SALE IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE OR IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST:

(1) ELECTRIC POWER.

(2) STEAM.

(3) COMPRESSED AIR.

(4) WATER.

(5) SEWAGE AND GARBAGE DISPOSAL.

(6) NATURAL, MANUFACTURED, OR MIXED GAS.

(7) ICE.

(8) MECHANICAL REFRIGERATION.

(9) TELEPHONE SERVICE.

PROCEEDS OF SALES UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR THE SUPPLY OF THAT UTILITY OR SERVICE. TO MEET LOCAL NEEDS THE COMMISSION MAY MAKE MINOR EXPANSIONS AND EXTENSIONS OF ANY DISTRIBUTING SYSTEM OR FACILITY WITHIN OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF A COMMISSION-OWNED COMMUNITY THROUGH WHICH A UTILITY OR SERVICE IS FURNISHED UNDER THIS SUBSECTION. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE QUESTION WHICH HAS ARISEN IS WHETHER THE PHRASE "COMMISSION OWNED IN SUBSECTION 161 (S) IS INTENDED MERELY TO IDENTIFY THE COMMUNITIES INVOLVED, WHICH IS THE VIEW OF THE COMMISSION, OR WHETHER IT MUST BE CONSTRUED AS A LIMITATION ON THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO SUCH TIME AS THE COMMUNITIES REMAIN UNDER COMMISSION OWNERSHIP. WE AGREE WITH THE COMMISSION'S VIEW.

IT MAY BE NOTED THAT THE COMMISSION IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTIONS 74 AND 85 OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY ACT OF 1955, 42 U.S.C. 2374 AND 2385, TO RETAIN UTILITIES AND MUNICIPAL INSTALLATIONS NEEDED FOR ITS OWN USE. IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 21, 1958, YOU STATE THE COMMISSION HAS DETERMINED THAT THE CENTRAL STEAM PLANT AT RICHLAND IS NEEDED FOR ITS OWN USE IN FURNISHING STEAM TO COMMISSION OFFICE BUILDINGS AND OTHER COMMISSION FACILITIES.

AS IS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER, THERE WERE THREE COMMISSION-OWNED" COMMUNITIES IN EXISTENCE WHEN SUBSECTION 161 (S) WAS ENACTED: OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE; RICHLAND, WASHINGTON; AND LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO. BY THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY ACT OF 1955, APPROVED AUGUST 4, 1955, 69 STAT. 471, 42 U.S.C. 2301 NOTE, THE COMMISSION WAS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO DISPOSE OF THE COMMUNITIES OF OAK RIDGE AND RICHLAND. THUS, AT THE TIME THE COMMISSION WAS AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION 161 (S) TO MAKE CONTRACTS FOR THE SALE OF THE UTILITY SERVICES IT WAS CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN DISPOSING OF TWO OF THE COMMUNITIES COVERED BY THE SUBSECTION. IT WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE SUCH CONTRACTS FOR SUCH PERIODS OF TIME AS IT DEEMED APPROPRIATE, AND IT IS APPARENT THAT THE TERM OF SUCH CONTRACTS MIGHT AND PROBABLY WOULD EXTEND BEYOND THE TIME WHEN THE COMMUNITIES WOULD BE " COMMISSION-OWNED.' IT DOES NOT SEEM REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THE AUTHORITY GIVEN BY SUBSECTION 161 (S) TO TERMINATE BECAUSE OF THE SUCCESS OF THE DISPOSAL PROGRAM THEN UNDER WAY.

FOR THESE REASONS, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE SALE OF STEAM AT RICHLAND TO RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 400, KADLEC METHODIST HOSPITAL, AND PURCHASERS OF COMMERCIAL FACILITIES, AS PROPOSED IN YOUR LETTER.

HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE WE SHOULD CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE APPRAISED CURRENT FAIR MARKET VALUE OF MANY COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES IN RICHLAND APPARENTLY WOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER IF IT HAD BEEN KNOWN THAT STEAM COULD BE PURCHASED FROM THE COMMISSION. SEE PAGES 77-78 OF THE RICHLAND APPRAISAL BASIC DATA REPORT.