Executive Order 12699

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Signed by President  George Herbert Walker Bush  Friday, January 5, 1990 Federal Register  page & date: 55 FR 835, Tuesday, January 9, 1990
See the Notes section for a list of Executive Orders affected by or related to the issuance of this Executive Order.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in furtherance of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), which requires that Federal preparedness and mitigation activities are to include ‘‘development and promulgation of specifications, building standards, design criteria, and construction practices to achieve appropriate earthquake resistance for new . . . structures,’’ and ‘‘an examination of alternative provisions and requirements for reducing earthquake hazards through Federal and federally financed construction, loans, loan guarantees, and licenses. . . .’’ (42 U.S.C. 7704(f)(3,4)), it is hereby ordered as follows:


Section 1. Requirements for Earthquake Safety of New Federal Buildings.

The purposes of these requirements are to reduce risks to the lives of occupants of buildings owned by the Federal Government and to persons who would be affected by the failures of Federal buildings in earthquakes, to improve the capability of essential Federal buildings to function during or after an earthquake, and to reduce earthquake losses of public buildings, all in a cost-effective manner. A building means any structure, fully or partially enclosed, used or Intended for sheltering persons or property.

Each Federal agency responsible for the design and construction of each new Federal building shall ensure that the building is designed and constructed in accord with appropriate seismic design and construction standards. This requirement pertains to all building projects for which development of detailed plans and specifications is initiated subsequent to the issuance of the order. Seismic design and construction standards shall be adopted for agency use in accord with sections 3(a) and 4(a) of this order.


Sec. 2. Federally Leased, Assisted, or Regulated Buildings.

The purposes of these requirements are to reduce risks to the lives of occupants of buildings leased for Federal uses or purchased or constructed with Federal assistance, to reduce risks to the lives of persons who would be affected by earthquake failures of federally assisted or regulated buildings, and to protect public investments, all in a cost-effective manner. The provisions of this order shall apply to all the new construction activities specified in the subsections below.

(a) Space Leased for Federal Occupancy. Each Federal agency responsible for the construction and lease of a new building for Federal use shall ensure that the building is designed and constructed in accord with appropriate seismic design and construction standards. This requirement pertains to all leased building projects for which the agreement covering development of detailed plans and specifications is effected subsequent to the issuance of this order. Local building codes shall be used in design and construction by those concerned with such activities in accord with section 3(a) and 3(c) of this order and augmented when necessary to achieve appropriate seismic design and construction standards.
(b) Federal Domestic Assistance Programs. Each Federal agency assisting in the financing, through Federal grants or loans, or guaranteeing the financing, through loan or mortgage insurance programs, of newly constructed buildings shall plan, and shall initiate no later than 3 years subsequent to the issuance of this order, measures consistent with section 3(a) of this order, to assure appropriate consideration of seismic safety.
(c) Federally Regulated Buildings. Each Federal agency with generic responsibility for regulating the structural safety of buildings shall plan to require use of appropriate seismic design and construction standards for new buildings within the agency's purview. Implementation of the plan shall be initiated no later than 3 years subsequent to the issuance of this order.


Sec. 3. Concurrent Requirements.

(a) In accord with Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119 of January 17,1980, entitled ‘‘Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Standards,’’ nationally recognized private sector standards and practices shall be used for the purposes identified in sections 1 and 2 above unless the responsible agency finds that none is available that meets its requirements. The actions ordered herein shall consider the seismic hazards in various areas of the country to be as shown in the most recent edition of the American National Standards Institute Standards A58, Minimum Design Loans for Buildings and Other Structures, or subsequent maps adopted for Federat use in accord with this order. Local building codes determined by the responsible agency or by the Interagency Committee for Seismic Safety in Construction to provide adequately for seismic safety, or special seismic standards and practices required by unique agency mission needs, may be used.
(b) All orders, regulations, circulars, or other directives issued, and all other actions taken prior to the date of this order that meet the requirements of this order, are hereby confirmed and ratified and shall be deemed to have been issued under this order.
(c) Federal agencies that are as of this date requiring seismic safety levels that are higher than those imposed by this order in their assigned new building construction programs shall continue to maintain in force such levels.
(d) Nothing in this order shall apply to assistance provided for emergency work essential to save lives and protect property and public health and safety, performed pursuant to Sections 402,409,502, and 503 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) (42 U.S.C. 5170a, 5170b, 5192, and 5193), or for temporary housing assistance programs and individual and family grants performed pursuant to Sections 408 and 411 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5174 and 5178). However, this order shall apply to other provisions of the Stafford Act after a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency when assistance actions involve new construction or total replacement of a building. Grantees and subgrantees shall be encouraged to adopt the standards established in section 3(a) of this order for use when the construction does not involve Federal funding as well as when Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding applies.


Sec. 4. Agency Responsibilities.

(a) The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall be responsible for reporting to the President on the execution of this order and providing support for the secretariat of the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC). The ICSSC, using consensus procedures, shall be responsible to FEMA for the recommendation for adoption of cost-effective seismic design and construction standards and practices required by sections 1 and 2 of this order. Participation in ICSSC shall be open to all agencies with programs affected by this order.
(b) To the extent permitted by law, each agency shall issue or amend existing regulations or procedures to comply with this order within 3 years of its issuance and plan for their implementation through the usual budget process. Thereafter, each agency shall review, within a period not to exceed 3 years, its regulations or procedures to assess the need to incorporate new or revised standards and practiced


Sec. 5. Reporting.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency shall request, from each agency affected by this order, information on the status of its procedures, progress in its implementation plan, and the impact of this order on its operations. The FEMA shall include an assessment of the execution of this order in its annual report to the Congress on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.


Sec. 6. Judicial Review.

Nothing in this order is intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.


Signature of George H.W. Bush
George Bush 
The White House,
January 5, 1990.

Notes[edit]

Amended by


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).