[Senate Hearing 107-3]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 107-3
NOMINATION OF CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN
ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
THE NOMINATION OF HON. CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN TO BE ADMINISTRATOR, U.S.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
JANUARY 17, 2001
Printed for the use of the Committee on Environment and Public Works
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
69-822 CC WASHINGTON : 2001
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
one hundred seventh congress, first session
HARRY REID, Nevada, Chairman
BOB SMITH, New Hampshire, Ranking Republican Member
MAX BAUCUS, Montana JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia
BOB GRAHAM, Florida JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma
JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri
BARBARA BOXER, California GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
RON WYDEN, Oregon MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, New York ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah
JON S. CORZINE, New Jersey BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado
Eric Washburn, Democratic Staff Director
Dave Conover, Republican Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
JANUARY 17, 2001
Baucus, Hon. Max, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana......... 73
Bond, Hon. Christopher S., U.S. Senator from the State of
Boxer, Hon. Barbara, U.S. Senator from the State of California... 11
Carper, Hon. Thomas R., U.S. Senator from the State of Delaware.. 15
Chafee, Hon. Lincoln, U.S. Senator from the State of Rhode Island 17
Clinton, Hon. Hillary Rodham, U.S. Senator from the State of New
Graham, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of Florida......... 28
Inhofe, Hon. James M., U.S. Senator from the State of Oklahoma... 14
Lieberman, Hon. Joseph I., U.S. Senator from the State of
Reid, Hon. Harry, U.S. Senator from the State of Nevada.......... 1
Smith, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of New Hampshire.... 3
Vonovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio.... 19
Warner, Hon. John W., U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of
Corzine, Hon. Jon S., U.S. Senator from the State of New Jersey.. 8
Prepared statement........................................... 73
Frelinghuysen, Hon. Rodney P., U.S. Representative from the State
of New Jersey.................................................. 9
Prepared statement........................................... 75
Torricelli, Hon. Robert G., U.S. Senator from the State of New
Prepared statement........................................... 74
Whitman, Hon. Christine Todd, Governor of of the State of New
Jersey and nominee to be Administrator, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.............................................. 29
Biographical sketch.......................................... 88
Committee questionnaire...................................... 78
List, Accomplishments of Governor Whitman for the Environment 155
Prepared statement........................................... 75
Responses to additional questions from:
Senator Baucus........................................... 101
Senator Bennett.......................................... 116
Senator Bond............................................. 107
Senator Boxer............................................ 102
Senator Carper........................................... 104
Senator Chafee........................................... 115
Senator Clinton.......................................... 115
Senator Corzine.......................................... 104
Senator Crapo............................................ 113
Senator Inhofe........................................... 105
Senator Lieberman........................................ 101
Senator Reid............................................. 90
Senator Smith............................................ 99
Senator Voinovich........................................ 108
R132-139, 141-152tions from Sierra Club......................
Bush-Whitman Agenda Will Hurt Environment.................... 124
Whitman Appointment Is Cause for Concern..................... 125
American Civil Rights Coalition.............................. 158
City of Hoboken, NJ, Mayor Anthony J. Russo.................. 163
City of Newark, NJ, Mayor Sharpe James....................... 158
Clean Ocean Action........................................... 154
National Association of Realtors............................. 157
New Jersey Institute of Technology........................... 154
N120, 128y Sierra Club and Audubon Society...................
Ogden, Maureen............................................... 156
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility............ 152
Several New Jersey State Senators............................ 123
Memor126, 127w Jersey environmental regulations..................
Atlantic City Branch of the NAACP............................ 159
Communications Workers of America Local 1033, Trenton, NJ.... 161
Gale Warnings, New Jersey Sierra Club........................ 117
Whitman Sampler, New Jersey Sierra Club...................... 139
NOMINATION OF HON. CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2001
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m. in room
406, Dirksen Senate Building, Hon. Bob Smith (chairman of the
Present: Senators Smith, Warner, Inhofe, Bond, Voinovich,
Chafee, Graham, Lieberman, Boxer, Carper, Clinton and Corzine.
Senator Smith. Good morning, everyone.
I have the distinction and the pleasure of presenting this
gavel to the chairman of the Environment and Public Works
Committee. I would just say I have a tracking device on this
and it looks like it's going to bounce back here in 3 or 4 days
but I'm pleased and honored to present you this gavel and look
forward to working with you in both capacities over the next
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HARRY REID,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA
Senator Reid. (assuming the chair). Senator Smith, thank
you very much.
Bob Smith and I have worked very closely together for many
years in capacities we would rather not have worked. We were
the lead Democrat and lead Republican on the Ethics Committee
for a number of years where we worked to try to bring peace and
quiet to the Senate. We also worked together on the MIA/POW
I want to welcome President-elect Bush's nominee for
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
I want to do this with kind of an outline of what we are
going to do here. I'm going to give a brief statement; Senator
Smith will give a statement. We are going to then have Governor
Whitman introduced by Senators Torricelli and Corzine and
Representative Frelinghuysen. After that, we will have
statements from members of the committee. After that, the
reason we are all here is to see how well Governor Whitman
responds to all these questions.
We look forward to this hearing. As you can see, there is
tremendous interest--this is a very important position for our
I want to welcome your family. I had the pleasure this
morning, Governor Whitman, of meeting your husband. It's
obvious that everything that has been indicated about how
supportive he has been of you and you of him is certainly valid
from our conversation.
I can't begin this hearing without saying how great it is
sitting here as chairman of this committee for a couple more
days. This is a committee that I've served on since I came to
Washington as a member of the U.S. Senate. It is with fond
memory that I reflect back on the days of Chairmen Stafford,
Burdick, Moynihan, Chafee, Reid and the great work of Senator
The record should reflect that my short tenure has nothing
to do with my ability. I'm really happy to have my first
hearing as chairman of this committee to be the consideration
of the nominee for the head of the Environmental Protection
Agency. This agency has great responsibility. My reason for
being on this committee are multitudinal but I was born and
raised in a little community in southern Nevada and one of the
things we did once in a while was go to a place about 30 miles
from Searchlight called Paiute Springs. It was truly an oasis
in the desert.
It was in this very dark desert that out of the side of a
mountain gushed a spring, a place that was so interesting that
there was an Army fort there to protect the mail in the 1860's.
It had things I'd never seen before--water lilies, cattails,
things that didn't grow in Searchlight.
During my childhood I went there probably eight or nine
times. It was hard to get there--it was a dirt road--but after
I married and got my education, I always told my wife about
what a great place this was. She, recognizing what was in
Searchlight, I don't think believed me.
After I got out of school and settled down a bit, I took my
wife to Paiute Springs. What a disappointment. Over the years,
it had been ruined. The fort was torn down, it was just an
absolute mess. The places where you could throw a rock down
this canyon and the birds would take off and it sounded like an
airplane taking off, they were gone and it was really a mess
from people that had trashed this natural treasure.
So, Governor Whitman, always think if Paiute Springs in
your job because we need the environment protected and there is
no better example of that than near the place of my birth,
The EPA has had a great record over the years of improving
the quality of our air and our water.
I want to also welcome Senator Carper. We have two other
new members--Senator Corzine who we will hear from in a minute
and of course, Senator Clinton, new members on the democratic
side. We welcome you.
Senator Carper, you and I came to Washington together in
1982 with Senator Boxer, who is quiet and whom we rarely hear
from, but she was in our class. I always say about our service
on the Foreign Affairs Committee, it was like going to school
and not having to take the test.
During the last 8 years under the Clinton Administration, I
think we have made some significant progress. The recent diesel
sulfur rule, for example, will greatly improve air quality.
Governor Whitman, if confirmed, I am confident you will be
committed to taking us forward in environmental protection and
not roll back the important gains we have made. I hope the
hearing does nothing to discourage my vision of the EPA that's
directed and guided by Governor Whitman.
As leader of the State of New Jersey for 7 years, you have
many advocates for you based on how well you have done your job
as Governor. We have letters and they will be placed in the
record at a subsequent time, but conversely, there are some who
have expressed concern. This information has been supplied to
us--the good and not so good--and we will have you answer
either orally or in writing.
This committee, on confirmation, doesn't allow separate
panels as in some other committees unless something
extraordinary is developed by this hearing or the work of our
You have had a distinguished career as Governor of the
State of New Jersey and I am pleased you are willing to take on
the challenge of protecting both the health of our citizens and
our environment, two things that are interchangeable.
It is also my hope that we can work closely together, not
only on national environmental issues, but from a very
parochial perspective in problems unique to the State of Nevada
as well as unique to the West. There are a number of members of
the committee from my part of the country. We have big States,
not many people but still have many, many environmental
problems that are not all rural in nature. Many are urban in
nature as we discussed when you came to my office.
I know you've visited the West, I know you know how
beautiful it is and how important it is to protect the
resources we have. I do hope as soon as you get your feet on
the ground and do some traveling around the country, that
you'll come to Nevada, and accept my invitation to not only see
the beauty but some of the challenges we face.
I look forward to hearing from you.
We will now hear from my colleague, Senator Bob Smith of
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB SMITH,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning, Governor.
Chairman Reid, I want to thank you and your staff for the
courtesies you have extended in the last several weeks. We have
worked well together, as you indicated, on other committees,
specifically Ethics and POW/MIA.
I also would like to welcome back into the fold Senator
Lieberman. I can't tell you how good it is to see you back
Senator Lieberman. I am warmed by your welcome.
Senator Smith. I also would like to welcome Senator
Campbell, who is not here yet. There still is one possible
addition to the committee on our side. Certainly, Senator
Carper, Senator Corzine and Senator Clinton, welcome and we're
glad to have you on the committee.
We've had a lot of bipartisan results in the last few
months since I've been the chairman and I think we will
continue to do that in the future because with a 50-50 Senate,
unless it's bipartisan, obviously we are not going to pass very
Again, Governor, a warm welcome to you. Perhaps there is
some irony in the fact that a guy born in Trenton, New Jersey
gets a chance to be both the Ranking Member and the chairman
during your confirmation hearings. I think that's kind of nice.
My grandfather's family was Elderidges and they were the
Elderidge Park and all that area around Trenton which I'm sure
the two Senators are also familiar with.
I look forward to hearing from you not only today but often
after you take the reins at EPA. Since you've served your State
well, we will focus specifically on your environmental record.
It has been a top priority for you. During 7 years as Governor,
more open spaces and farmland has been preserved than in the
previous 32 years. So that's a tribute to you.
With the establishment of the Garden State Preservation
Fund and providing tax incentives for land and conservation
donations, your conservation legacy will continue long after
you leave. Of particular interest to me is shoreline
protection. As one who for many years as a young guy at Seaside
Heights and Long Beach Island, I remember not too man years ago
when we heard the stories of the hypodermic needles and
syringes and in a bipartisan way, many of you have been
involved in that cleanup which is certainly appreciated by many
of my family who still live in New Jersey.
You've also made great strides in the redevelopment of
brownfields which will be a top priority of this committee this
year. We look forward to working with you on that.
I also appreciate the ideas that you put forth in terms of
looking at these environmental problems in a holistic manner,
an entire ecosystem, an entire river, looking at all the
sources of pollution as opposed to end-of-pipe regulation
without really any end to it. We will work together on that.
The air, water and land are cleaner in New Jersey because
of your efforts and I congratulate you. I know you'll bring
that same type of enthusiasm and results to the EPA.
I would ask unanimous consent that my statement with more
detail regarding Governor Whitman be inserted in the record.
Senator Reid. Without objection.
Senator Smith. I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman, and look
forward to moving forward with the witnesses.
Senator Reid. If I could have everyone's indulgence,
Senator Warner is going to have to conduct a hearing regarding
General Powell in just a few minutes and he has asked to be
able to say a few words at this time. Senator Warner?
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN W. WARNER,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Senator Warner. Thank you very much and thank you, Senator
I join in welcoming our distinguished nominee. I commend
the President and most of all, I commend you for your
willingness, together with that of your family, to continue in
Mr. Chairman, we welcome your chairmanship here today. I
remember when you were chairman of a subcommittee and you and I
dealt together. I was ranking on the subcommittee and I know
your record for fairness and thoroughness.
If I may say just one word and that is balance. I've served
on this committee for many years now and it is the balance
between the 50 States and the Federal Government. Our
environmental laws, in large part, are in place because
pollution knows no bounds, for example. Air transits many
States. Water originates in one and flows through many States.
Therefore, it is essential we have a framework of the Federal
laws that cross the State boundaries and affect all States.
We have got to remember that the States are very proud of
their own environmental programs. You bring to this office the
experience of a chief executive of a very important State, one
that has complex environmental problems and you have worked
through many of those with great expertise.
Now the other 49 States will be looking to you to have that
same leadership as they struggle to do their very best with
regard to the environment.
In conclusion, one of the main problems you are going to
have is the Department of Defense which I'm not sure but has a
reputation of being a very significant polluter. I have a small
hand in that responsibility here in the Senate as chairman of
the Senate Armed Services Committee.
I want to work with you, I want to make greater strides
with the Department. I know the Secretary of Defense-designee
very well. We've been together in public life together for
many, many years. I know in his heart is the desire to have
that department's image and that department's record improved.
I'm going to hold up here an agreement between the
Department of Defense, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the
Environmental Protection Agency, the first in history. It was
just executed. It reads as follows: ``The pollution prevention
partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S.
Department of Defense shall be a State/Federal partnership that
exists to identify opportunities, develop solutions and promote
success in pollution prevention. The partnership will help
enhance the pollution prevention missions of participants,
conserve resources and improve the quality of Virginia's
I comment that to you. I hope you can have many more like
I thank the Chair, the Ranking Member and my colleagues. I
have the privilege of introducing Colin Powell in a few minutes
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Reid. We are now going to hear an introduction of
Governor Whitman from Senators Torricelli and Corzine and
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Senator Torricelli. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Before Senator Warner leaves, I also want to extend thanks
on behalf of all my colleagues. Last year, Senator Warner
provided leadership on an issue that was very important to the
people of southern New Jersey. That was a generation-long fight
to have the battleship New Jersey returned to our shores.
Senator Warner singularly is responsible for that judgment. For
that, we are very grateful.
I also want to say in keeping with your comments about
military facilities, indeed, Senator Warner, we have several
that have environmental problems and more than that, the ocean
terminal in the harbor of New York and New Jersey with enormous
economic potential which also has environmental difficulties
and your leadership in that is equally appreciated.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to congratulate your on your rein as
chairman of the committee and predict that in the long
environmental history of this Nation, in these 48 hours, you
will be the only chairman probably to serve without any serious
environmental controversy or degradation. For that, you are to
I would congratulate the members of the committee on their
return and our two neighbors from New Jersey, the Governor of
Delaware, who now serves on this committee and so ably will
represent the southern shores of New Jersey; and Senator
Clinton who will serve with distinction representing those
areas to the east of Jersey City and Newark.
Senator Torricelli. Mr. Chairman and Senator Smith, I can
only imagine pride that Christine Todd Whitman, her husband,
John, and children, Kate and Taylor must feel at this new stage
of what has been a brilliant career of public service. It is a
great honor for me to introduce to you the Governor of the
State of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, the President-
elect's designate for the Environmental Protection Agency.
During her years as Governor, we have waged many fights
together on important issues from her leadership in preserving
open space to the ending of ocean dumping, so vital to preserve
both our economy and the environment, critical not only to our
State, but as Senator Warner has pointed out, to the beaches
that range all the way from Virginia to Delaware and New York.
President Bush has made a very wise selection. The EPA and
the country will be getting an Administrator who is qualified,
tested and ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead for
this agency. With this nominee, there will be absolutely no
learning curve. There are few training grounds that could
better prepare someone for this position that the Governorship
of New Jersey.
As chief executive of our State, Governor Whitman has had
the managerial and administrative experience of running an
agency as large as the EPA but more importantly, no State has
had a better sampling of the issues facing the incoming
Administrator of the EPA than New Jersey. With 127 miles of
shoreline, Governor Whitman has dealt extensively with issues
of clean water and nonpoint source pollution. She knows
firsthand the threats to the economy and the environment from
Indeed, Governor Whitman has increased funding for beach
cleanups and under her administration, beach closings have
dropped from 800 in 1989 when many families in our State were
denied the simple pleasure of an afternoon at the shore with
their children, to just 11 in 1999.
New Jersey has been praised by the Natural Resources
Defense Council for having the Nation's most comprehensive
beach monitoring system. With more Superfund sites than any
other State in the Union, with 111, she knows what works and
what doesn't work in the Superfund Program. We have indeed
experienced all the triumphs of when that program works and
lived with its frustration when ample resources and community
need have not been met with sites being cleaned.
She has seen the value of a concerted effort to turn urban
brownfields into productive industrial and commercial sites.
Indeed, the Mayor of New Jersey's largest city, Sharpe James,
has written to this committee to praise her efforts to take
brownfield areas of Newark and turn them into working,
productive, industrial and residential areas.
During her tenure as Governor, Christie Whitman brought
innovative technologies to the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection to improve efficiency within the
Department's permitting processes. This investment has paid
off. For example, it has allowed for the expedited remediation
of brownfield sites in New Jersey's urban centers.
In the many dense urban centers in New Jersey, she has
dealt with the complex funding and regulatory issues of
upgrading dilapidated sewer systems and controlling combined
sewer overflow. As the Governor of our Nation's most developed
State, she initiated and passed a landmark $1 billion bond
measure to preserve open space. By the time this program is
finished, New Jersey will have preserved 1 million acres of
farmland, forests, watershed and urban parkland. Few elected
officials in the Nation, yet alone this Cabinet, have a better
understanding of what is needed to curb urban sprawl and to
protect our open spaces.
More than a record of environmental progress, what makes
Governor Whitman uniquely qualified for this position is her
understanding that economic and environmental progress are not
mutually exclusive. For example, our beaches alone provide the
best understanding of this in the Nation. Travel and tourism
generate $28 billion in revenue in New Jersey and employ
800,000 people in central and southern New Jersey. No issue is
more important to preserving this industry than a clean ocean.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is also a vital
component of economic growth and employment in the northern
part of New Jersey, contributing $20 billion annually to the
economy and supporting 200,000 jobs.
Both of these issues, our beaches and tourism and the Port
of New York and dredging are examples of where economic growth
and a clean environment must be made compatible.
The job for which Governor Whitman has been nominated is by
no means an easy one. The challenges facing the next
Administrator are both numerous and difficult. Some have proven
in recent years intractable. The Superfund, Clean Water and
Clean Air Acts have not been reauthorized in a decade and there
are new challenges for each.
Our urban centers have sewer systems that were built at the
turn of the 19th Century but continue to operate now stretching
their engineering limits into the 21st Century. They frequently
back up and endanger public health and water quality because
they are incapable of handling overflow which is the largest
source of pollution in the Delaware Bay and the Port of New
York and New Jersey. Having solved most other point solution
problems, these remain the single difficulties in our combined
The next Administrator must make a priority of closing the
gap between available funds and infrastructure needs and
ensuring that environmental justice is more than a thinktank
slogan. The poorest citizens among us, those who live in
neighborhoods with economic deprivation, must not have to be
forced to bear the burden of housing industries that are
otherwise not safe or compatible with urban and suburban
I am confident that Governor Whitman will bring this
balance and be fair and recognize that with a single exception
of Paiute Springs, these are the most important environmental
issues in the Nation.
Mr. Chairman, the challenges are many--protecting our
water, purifying our air, preserving our open space and
reforming Superfund. I'm here simply to tell you as one who has
known Governor Whitman for many years, watched her
administration closely, been an ally and a critic, on balance,
I'm here to tell you the President-elect of the United States
has chosen well. This is a good nomination and she will be an
excellent Administrator of the EPA. This committee should have
confidence in this nomination and I believe in listening to her
answers, confidence in approving it and sending it to the
Senator Reid. We will now hear from Senator Jon Corzine,
Senator from the State of New Jersey.
STATEMENT OF HON. JON S. CORZINE, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM
THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Senator Corzine. Thank you, Chairman Reid. It's an honor
for me to be here today. It's a distinct pleasure which I am
extremely enthusiastic about, and serving on this committee and
with all the members. I look forward to the prospect of working
with you, with soon to be Chairman Smith and with all the
members of the committee.
Today, I am pleased to join my distinguished colleague, the
senior Senator from New Jersey, Senator Torricelli, in
introducing our Governor to the committee. Let me begin by
publicly congratulating Governor Whitman on her nomination to
head the Environmental Protection Agency. It is a great honor
for our State and a truly vital role for the Nation. The Garden
State is proud.
As Senator Torricelli has explained, Governor Whitman has a
long and distinguished record of public service and has made
many, many important contributions to our State. As you will
see, Governor Whitman is highly articulate and extremely
persuasive. She genuinely cares about the issues and the issues
of the environment. She knows how to make an impact.
She has been a leader in protecting New Jersey's 127 mile
shoreline and fighting for cleaner air, fighting against the
kind of pollution that knows no State boundaries. As an
individual and as a Governor, she has demonstrated a strong
commitment to preserving open space. Given the Governor's
record on matters of conservation, I'm not sure I would not
have preferred to see her nominated for Secretary of the
As you know, the Administrator of the EPA has the primary
responsibility for ensuring that our air and water is clean,
our natural resources are preserved and our public health
protected. It is a difficult job that often requires a careful
evaluation of highly complex scientific data and an ability to
translate that data into detailed policies. It needs someone
who will fight internal battles to make environmental
protection a budget priority. It need someone who will work
with local communities and business to find mutually acceptable
solutions to environmental problems. It needs someone who, when
necessary, will be tough on polluters and require them to do
the right thing.
Mr. Chairman, I believe Governor Whitman has the
background, the experience and the skills necessary to do the
job. Of course these are not the only requirements for an EPA
Administrator. These qualities must be matched by a
determination to stand firm for the environment, to fully
enforce our environmental laws and to fight for justice and
equity for all.
I know that you and other members will want to ask the
Governor for details about her views on specific environmental
policies. Once I get on the other side of the table, I'll have
a few questions of my own.
Having spoken privately with the Governor, I believe that
she will be able to effectively articulate her positions on
specific issues and demonstrate a real commitment to
Without rushing to conclusion before the hearing starts, I
fully expect that she will convince the committee not only that
she deserves to be confirmed but that she had the tools to be a
n outstanding Administrator.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I would simply congratulate the
Governor on her nomination and I thank you for the opportunity
to introduce her.
Senator Reid. Senator Corzine, I appreciate your statement.
Welcome to the committee.
STATEMENT OF HON. RODNEY P. FRELINGHUYSEN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Mr. Frelinghusen. As someone who has worked very closely
with Governor Whitman, both as a member of the House
Appropriations Committee and as a former New Jersey State
legislator, I'm honored to be here to support her nomination
and to further introduce her to you and your colleagues.
President-elect Bush has made a wise choice in selecting
her to lead our Nation in the development of America's
environmental policies for the 21st Century. Governor Whitman
is an extremely capable executive. Throughout her tenure as New
Jersey's Governor and as a former county-elected official, she
has championed clean air and clean water and has been without
question the strongest proponent of open space in our State's
As New Jersey's chief executive, her leadership has left
New Jersey residents feeling proud of their State and of their
natural resources which I may add are cleaner and more
protected than ever.
Governor Whitman's effective stewardship, as has been
mentioned, of our coastline on the Atlantic has left our
beaches pristine and our waters among the cleanest in the
Nation. As one might expect in the Nation's most densely
populated State, the preservation of undeveloped land has been
a top priority of hers. Again, Governor Whitman rose to the
challenge of combating urban sprawl and has implemented a State
initiative to protect over 1 million acres of open space.
She has also strengthened New Jersey's record in cleaning
up hazardous waste under the Superfund and outside of Superfund
and has partnered with the EPA to actually clean up sites. She
has made polluters pay whenever they can be identified and she
has worked to implement an excellent brownfield strategy.
Drawing on that experience, I am certain that she will be
an advocate for streamlining our Nation's Superfund Program,
ensuring more effective expenditures, more accountability and
most importantly, getting the cleanup done.
These are just a few examples of her strong leadership. For
your close examination of her record, I am confident that she
will be dedicated to the health and safety of all our Nation's
citizens, a true advocate for our environment.
Finally, I've known Governor Whitman all her life. I have
proudly watched her as Governor handle every conceivable type
of challenge. At every turn, she's balanced competing interests
in order to make decisions that have served New Jersey's best
environmental and economic interests. She will do likewise for
Mr. Chairman, I urge your support and that of your
colleagues of her nomination.
Senator Reid. I appreciate very much the bipartisan
introduction of the Governor and I hope it bodes well for a
bipartisan relationship for the EPA during the years that you
are the Administrator.
I would excuse the Senators and the Representative at this
time unless they want to stay. They are welcome to do so.
Senator Corzine, we expect you back after you go to the Banking
Committee and work on the nomination there for head of Housing.
Governor Whitman, as I explained, we are going to have
statements from members of the committee. I would say to the
members of the committee, we are not going to have any time
limit on your statements but we would appreciate it if you
would try to keep them to around 5 minutes. We will have the
time clock on for the series of questions that will be asked.
After the Governor has given her statement, we will have a
series of questions from members based on when they got here,
the early bird rule going from side to side, Democrat,
Republican, back and forth.
We are not going to take a lunch break; we're going to work
through as I explained to the Governor. Always keep in mind, I
say to my committee members if you feel you don't have time to
ask all your questions, certainly you can submit them in
writing. The Governor understands she would have the responses
to us by Monday of next week. So we would appreciate everyone's
The first statement will be from Senator Boxer.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA BOXER,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Senator Boxer. Thank you very much.
Welcome, Governor. I really enjoyed our meeting we had
I wanted to note that I do have General Powell also
appearing before Foreign Relations so I will be running back
and forth as is usually the case.
First of all, congratulations on the introductions that you
received. I thought they were quite eloquent. It's almost like
if you quit now, I think you'd be in good shape considering the
very strong support of your nomination.
I also want to add my warm welcome to our new colleagues on
the committee. Senators, we really welcome you and we need your
help and we are delighted.
I understand that Senator Campbell has been added to the
committee and I think he is going to add a great perspective to
our work. I'm looking forward to this year.
New Jersey had made tremendous contributions to this
committee. I think about Senator Lautenberg and the hard work
he did on behalf of your State and the whole Nation in terms of
Superfund and brownfields, issues I know you care about. I am
also excited that Senator Chafee and I will be working together
on that Superfund Brownfields Subcommittee and will work very
closely with you on that. With you and Senator Corzine, we
continue the New Jersey tradition of contributions to this
I want you to know I think your position is so important.
I'm going to be introducing a bill to make it a full Cabinet
level agency. I spoke to you about it, it's something I've
wanted for a long time, whether a Democratic or Republican
Administration. I think you ought to have that full level
Cabinet position. I'd like to be calling you Madam Secretary
instead of Administrator, so perhaps we can get that done.
Why do I feel that way? Because the Administrator of EPA
can literally save thousands of lives by strengthening a single
clean air rule. He or she can protect all the Nation's drinking
water by taking a single action to ban a few additives, i.e.,
MTBE that Senator Smith and I have worked so hard on.
You can protect all of our children by restricting the use
of a single pesticide. This is an incredible job that you have.
You can ensure that low income and minority populations, those
who are disproportionately affected by pollution, are brought a
cleaner and healthier environment by making civil rights a top
priority in every program at the EPA.
The Administrator must have a strong sense of purpose and
engage in the nearly singleminded pursuit of these goals if you
ever hope to achieve them for the American people because in
any Administration, be it Republican or Democratic, the EPA
Administrator often runs into tough opposition within the
Administration when dispatching her charge of protecting the
The Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Transportation,
Agriculture, the Director of OMB, none of these officials have
as their primary charge the protection of this Nation's public
health. So if the issue is MTBE, for example, which Senator
Smith and I feel so strongly about, and others on this
committee, the Secretary of Energy may argue that you can't ban
it because it will disrupt the fuel supply.
If the issue is clean air, the Secretary of Transportation
and OMB may argue you can't tighten standards and protect
thousands of lives because it cost too much. The debate on the
air standard will probably be about how much a human life is
worth. The OMB Director has a different view usually than the
Administrator of EPA.
If the issue is pesticides, the Secretary of Agriculture
may tell you not to restrict a pesticide that's harming kids
because perhaps they don't feel there is a cost effective
It is the job, in my view, of the EPA Administrator to
argue forcefully with her colleagues in the Cabinet and to
firmly pursue protection of the environment and public health
in those debates. I think it's a sacred trust. I feel you're
going to do that and I know the rest of the Cabinet will fight
just as strongly for their mission. In the end, it's going to
be a compromise but if you don't have that strong voice in
those meetings, we won't make any progress.
I told you yesterday when we met that I have a particular
role in the Senate which is to really push hard for the
toughest environmental standards for our kids, for Superfund,
et cetera. I know that sometimes you and I will not agree and
it will never be personal, it will just be on substance.
I worry about some of the issues that are out there. I
worry about the issue of letting companies self police. I worry
about the fact that we'll say comply if you can and I think
it's important for this committee to note that comply if you
can sounds great but that isn't what the Clean Water Act says,
the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act. They provide
for civil and criminal penalties if those requirements aren't
I will ask that the rest of my statement be placed in the
record and close with this. I have a series of questions I'll
be asking. I talked to you about them yesterday. My particular
interest will be Superfund and brownfields, MTBE, environmental
justice, and I'm going to talk to you about affirmative action
at the EPA.
Administrator Browner was called before the House Committee
to answer questions about problems that minorities and women
are having in the agency, so I think it very appropriate we
talk about that.
I want to talk to you about methamphetamine labs that are
polluting some farms and the poor farmers had no idea this
would happen. We need to help them.
Finally, on the issue of children, the Children's
Environmental Protection Act that I authored, how important it
is to protect our vulnerable populations.
Again, welcome and I am very proud as a woman to see you in
this position. I think you will do us proud.
[The prepared statement of Senator Boxer follows:]
Statement of Hon. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator from the State of
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am pleased to be here today to welcome Governor Christine Todd
Whitman to the committee. I am also pleased to welcome the new members
to the committee.
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is, in my
view, this nation's guardian of the environment and public health. The
agency he or she oversees is so important that I will soon introduce a
bill to make it a cabinet level department.
The Administrator of EPA can literally save thousands of lives by
strengthening a single clean air rule. The Administrator can protect
all of the nation's drinking water by taking a single action to ban one
fuel additive. The Administrator can protect all of our children by
restricting the use of a single pesticide.
The Administrator can ensure that low-income and minority
populations--those who are disproportionately affected by pollution--
are brought a cleaner and healthier environment by making civil rights
a top priority in every program at EPA.
But the Administrator must have a very strong sense of purpose and
engage in a nearly single-minded pursuit of these goals if he or she
ever hopes to achieve them for the American people.
Because in any administration--whether Republican or Democratic--
the EPA Administrator often runs into tough opposition within that
administration when dispatching his or her charge of protecting the
public health and the environment.
The Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Transportation, the
Secretary of Agriculture, the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget--none of these officials have as their primary charge the
protection of this nation's environment and public health.
If the issue is MTBE, the Secretary of Energy may argue that you
can't ban it because it will disrupt the fuel supply.
If the issue is clean air, the Secretary of Transportation and OMB
may argue that you can't tighten standards and protect thousands of
lives because it costs too much. The debate on that air standard will
probably be about how much a human life is worth.
The OMB Director typically has a different view from the
If the issue is pesticides, the Secretary of Agriculture may tell
you not to restrict a pesticide that's harming our children because
farmers may have to use a less effective alternative.
It is the job of the EPA Administrator to argue with her colleagues
in the cabinet. It is her job to firmly pursue the protection of the
environment and public health in those debates. To be sure, the rest of
the cabinet will do the same with respect to their agency's mission.
I also want to note that I have serious concerns about some of the
environmental approaches President-elect Bush advocated on the campaign
trail and in Texas.
In particular, President-elect Bush and his Interior Secretary
nominee Ms. Norton have said that voluntary approaches to environmental
protection are preferable to strongly enforcing the mandatory
requirements of our environmental laws.
For example, for years while Ms. Norton was the Attorney General of
Colorado, she was locked in a dispute with EPA over Colorado's ``self-
The law basically said, if a polluter came forward and reported a
pollution violation, the State wouldn't enforce against it. The law
also kept all information about the violation secret, so that the
public couldn't find out the extent of the violation or the remedy.
EPA rightly thought this was a spectacularly bad idea. The agency
said this State law was contrary to the Federal environmental statutes
Colorado was charged with implementing, and threatened to revoke
Colorado's ability to implement those laws. EPA was only able to
resolve the dispute after Ms. Norton left her post.
The point of this story is this: our Federal environmental laws
don't say--``comply if you can.''
You won't find that in the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water
Act or the Clean Air Act.
Those laws set requirements and they provide for civil and criminal
penalties if those requirements aren't met.
That's the philosophy enshrined in our laws. It is the role of the
EPA Administrator to give effect to that philosophy. It is the role of
this Committee to consider whether it is a good idea to radically
change that philosophy.
In the 1970's, we wrote our environmental laws with these firm
requirements and penalties for a reason. It was because our air was
increasingly too dirty to breathe and our rivers were catching fire--
such was the legacy of voluntary approaches to environmental
I am, for one, very skeptical that voluntary approaches will bring
this nation's people a cleaner and healthier environment.
In closing, I look forward to your testimony today. I will have a
series of questions I would like to ask and submit for the record.
Senator Reid. Thank you very much, Senator Boxer.
Congratulations on your new committee assignment, the Commerce
Committee. I am very happy that you stayed on this committee.
Senator Boxer. I wouldn't leave this committee.
Senator Reid. We will now hear from Senator Inhofe.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES M. INHOFE,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want you to know, as I told you, I was very excited when
President-elect Bush came up with your name. I think we all
came up with some informal suggestions as to profiles that we'd
want. Mine was to have someone who had experienced the other
side of it which clearly you have.
You're going to have to draw on all of your skills because
you're going to inherit quite a few problems that I think are
going to make your job one of the most important jobs in this
Senator Smith talked about ballots a few minutes ago and I
have said quite often that I really only want two things--one
to have regulations and rules based on sound science and to
have some type of cost benefit analysis so we can see the price
we're paying for the various rules and regulations we are
In the case of sound science, when we went through some of
the air regulations, we have in our statutes, CASAC, the Clean
Air Scientific Advisory Commission, that is there, 21 well
informed professional scientists and yet they have been ignored
in the last few years. I think we need to base that on sound
I think the States have become second class citizens and
the Enforcement Office has been more concerned about penalties
and fines instead of compliance with the laws. The EPA has even
been in the practice of funding lawsuits against itself and
then turning around and entering into consent decrees. This
isn't something that needs to be done.
Midnight regulations, I had a news conference last April
when I said I know what's going to come up, we're going to have
these regulations coming out and sure enough, this has
happened. The sulfur diesel regulation, for example, is one we
needed to have more hearings on, we needed to have more time
and deliberation to see just what the results were going to be.
It may come as a shock to you but I don't always agree with
Senator Torricelli on everything. However, when he said there
is no better training ground for this job than to have been a
Governor of a State, I do agree with that, so you know the
problems that come with various enforcements.
In complying with our time, I just want to mention a couple
of things. Back 30 years ago when this all started, the States
didn't have any experience in environmental issues but now they
do. I hope we are going to be accepting the States not just as
partners but with recognition that they are closer to the
I can remember when this committee was concerned about a
Superfund problem in Louisiana in Bolger City, Oxy USA. They
put together a program and went to the State of Louisiana, went
to all the parishes, went to Bolger City, went to the
environmental groups and they all agreed this was going to be a
cleanup they'd be responsible for and we would have it become a
reality in 2 years. The EPA came along and said, no, we want to
do it. Their experience was it would take from 7 to 9 years. I
would like to see a greater reliance upon the experience that
has been gained by the States.
I would like to have be concerned with how the EPA is
working not in a vacuum but the regulations and how they affect
the military, energy. I think you are going to be working
closely with Secretary Rumsfeld as well as Senator Abraham in
terms of the military and I think Senator Warner alluded to
The cost of compliance with some of the environmental
regulations on our training bases has become very, very
expensive. In fact, I chair the Readiness Subcommittee of the
Senate Armed Serves Committee and we had a hearing where
testimony came in and we drew the conclusion that they are
spending more money complying with the various environmental
regulations than they are in training.
In the area of energy, as we impose more regulations on the
refining industry, which is already 100 percent in the United
States, any additional regulations--supply and demand--goes
directly into the cost of energy to heat our homes and to drive
our vehicles. These things have to be taken into consideration.
I have no doubt that you will do that. I'm looking forward
to working with you. While we need to ensure the utilities
continue to clean up their emissions, I'm committed to work
with Senator Voinovich and Senator Smith on that issue, some of
the out of control enforcement actions are not the answer. Too
many times the EPA has acted without regard to the consequences
for their actions.
I know as Governor, as a former Governor, you bring that
experience with you. You're fully aware of this and I'm looking
forward to your confirmation and to working with you for a
cleaner and healthier America.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS R. CARPER,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF DELAWARE
Senator Carper. Thank you for the warm welcome to those of
who are new, and thank you, Senator Reid, for what is sure to
be known as the Reid Era, the period of time when you led this
It's a special privilege to be here with the First Lady and
our new colleague, Senator Boxer and Senator Reid and
Torricelli. We all started in this business 18 years ago and
served with Senator Smith and Senator Inhofe. I see Senator
Voinovich who has been my chairman in the National Governors
Association, and chairman of one of the committees I serve on
Senate Chafee, I greatly admired and had a warm affection
for your dad. It's great to be here with you and Senator
Lieberman who led us through the Democratic Leadership Council.
It's a pleasure to be here today to welcome my former
seatmate at the National Governor's Association whom I sat
alongside for 7 years. It's a pleasure to welcome you. Others
have said wonderful things and I'll to that list.
Over her shoulder, is her husband and John, having applied
and got through Senate confirmation a time or two myself, I
have some idea what you've had to go through in terms of
disclosure for the privilege of this day. That's a true test of
one's affection for your wife. The fact that you're both here
speaks volumes for each of you.
As Governor I think the question most asked of me during my
8 years when I led your neighboring State was, what's it going
to be, Governor, the economy or the environment? I responded,
it ought to be both. I always felt you could have a cleaner
environment and a strong economy. I think we've proven that in
our State. I think we've proven that in our country. I believe
you've proven that to be the case in New Jersey.
You have a fellow who works for you there, Bob Shin--he's
here somewhere--one sharp cookie and very creative, a very
innovative thinker. I want to say I have no question that
you'll be a superb Administrator.
The only question I have is the extent that you will have
freedom to select the top people around you. That is the key.
They are wonderful people in the ranks of EPA. I think there
are wonderful people at the top of EPA. Some of them will leave
at the end of this Administration.
One of the questions I want you to be thinking about is the
kind of people you'll surround yourself with at the very top
Whether it's working to develop creative automobile
emissions in New Jersey, testing standards so our region would
enjoy cleaner air, fighting to protect horseshoe crabs in the
Delaware Bay from overharvesting, I believe Governor Whitman
has the ability to find workable solutions without a diminished
resolve for a cleaner environment.
I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman and
Senator Smith, our colleagues on this committee and our new
Administrator to modernize but never to weaken our Nation's
commitment to clean air, to clean water, to open space and a
rich environmental legacy for our children.
While we have made important strides in the past three
decades, we have an obligation to try to do better and I know
we will. Whatever the challenge, whether it's global warming,
nuclear waste, polluted coastal waters, urban sprawl, we've got
to put our heads together and work hard across party lines to
As we begin this new century, it's time to examine our
Nation's environmental successes and challenges, the laws and
regulations we've put into place in three decades since the
Environmental Protection Agency was created. While it's crucial
that the EPA Administrator enforce existing environmental laws,
you must also support and encourage innovation and cooperation
as industries achieve and move beyond current requirements.
It's also important we work to fully exploit the
partnerships between EPA and the States with regard to
environmental management. In short, there is still plenty of
work to do.
I could be accused of a certain bias in believing that a
Governor might be the right kind of person to administer the
EPA, but viewing Governor Whitman's nomination as objectively
as I can, here is what I see. I see someone who has had to
learn the fine art of working within all branches, all levels
and all parties of government; someone who understands the
power of properly inspired corporate resources; and who has
seen firsthand the intimate relations between environmental
quality and the wisdom of our energy, transportation, growth
management and agricultural policies.
I know her as a fellow Governor and as a friend and as a
good neighbor. She's an independent thinker, surrounds herself
with excellent people, possesses a strong intellect and has
demonstrated a propensity to think outside the box in
preserving the natural resources of her State.
I believe she will bring the power of her State experience
to EPA into our environmental well being. I am pleased the
President-elect has nominated Governor Whitman for this post. I
consider it a privilege to support her nomination and welcome
her here today.
Senator Reid. Thank you.
We will now hear from Senator Chafee.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. LINCOLN CHAFEE,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
Senator Chafee. Thank you. Welcome, Governor Whitman. I
again commend President-elect Bush for this appointment.
Governor Whitman will bring to the EPA the ability to find
solutions to complex problems and to solicit and consider all
points of view. I am very enthusiastic about her nomination.
The position of the Administrator of the EPA requires
special skills because of the frequently competing interests,
the controversy that has surrounded environmental issues in
recent times, and the importance of getting it right. Governor
Whitman has had a long record of success in New Jersey and I
look forward to her speedy confirmation as Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency.
Although there will be many challenges ahead, I am
confident that she will steer a steady course and serve the
environment and the Nation well.
I'll join Senator Boxer in shuttling back and forth for the
Foreign Relations Committee and the General Powell hearing.
Senator Reid. I think the example you set for the length of
your speech is exemplary.
Senator Chafee. I believe hearings are made to be heard.
Senator Reid. Senator Lieberman?
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Senator Lieberman. A tough act to follow.
Thanks for your warm welcome back to the committee.
I was thinking of the witness--a great Governor of a great
State whose people are noted for their goodness and wisdom. I
wanted to express my gratitude for the wisdom their voters
showed last November. If there had been just a little more of
that, I might not have the thrill of being here with my
colleagues this morning.
It is good to be back. It's been a great committee and I
look forward to a very productive year.
I welcome the new members very warmly and envy them for the
experience they are going to have here.
I did want to briefly say that I think Governor Whitman you
enter the leadership of the environmental protection area at a
time when your particular leadership is going to be very
necessary. In recent years, I've found both in the State of
Connecticut and as I've had the opportunity to travel around
the country and read public opinion surveys that there is a
growing bipartisan consensus in favor of both protecting our
natural resources and protecting us from environmental
pollution that may affect our health.
Unfortunately, here on Capitol Hill the recent years have
not been, notwithstanding the good efforts of members of this
committee, very productive years. We haven't produced a lot of
new environmental legislation. For some that may be good news
but I think it's not good news for the public. There are major
pieces of environmental law that await reauthorization. So your
arrival here presents an opportunity and challenge to try to
mediate the gaps that have existed to overcome the
environmental gridlock that has existed on Capital Hill and to
take us forward in a balanced and progressive way.
During this same period of time, the Clinton Administration
has, in my opinion, taken some very significant steps forward
in both protecting our natural resources and protecting us from
the adverse effects of environmental pollution to our health. I
think here you have a special opportunity to protect those
gains and advances.
I must say many of us are concerned about the suggestion
that the new Administration will undo a number of environmental
initiatives of the Clinton Administration, particularly several
of those that have been finalized in the last several months.
From my perspective, obviously it's personal, these are by and
large critical needed protections that were not just rushed
through at the end but have been carefully debated and
considered for years.
For example, the new regulations limiting sulfur content in
diesel fuel and emissions from diesel engines were initiated
years ago before they were promulgated in December. These
regulations will reduce smog-causing emissions from trucks and
buses by 95 percent and soot emissions by 90 percent below
I'd note with appreciation for the record that the State of
New Jersey supported that rulemaking, so I know you're aware of
the great need to control these emissions. I hope that your
testimony today and your service in office will reassure us
that you will not abandon but rather will vigorously enforce
this new standard which again is not to be enforced just
because it was done but because it will protect the health of
millions of Americans.
Second, I want to pick up on Senator Boxer's excellent
statement that you have an opportunity to be an advocate within
the new Administration for environmental protection. I
specifically want to focus on what is a cloud on our horizon
which is the threat of climate change. Although I know the
debate continues, global warming is real and distressing.
I was interested that two of our colleagues, Senator Hagel
and Senator Craig both attended the meeting last November in
the Netherlands where they didn't agree with the specifics that
were being proposed amid statements they'd reached a conclusion
based on the science that there was a real problem here. I hope
you will use your position in this Administration to also bring
about a consensus that will enable us to take at least some
steps forward to stop this problem.
At the international negotiations in the Netherlands last
November, there were a number of positive signs that an
acceptable agreement is possible in the context of the Kyoto
protocol. I hope you will play an active role in helping
Congress and the new Administration take some sensible steps
forward in that direction.
Finally, although I recognize you're now moving to a
national office, I hope you will not lose sight of the
particular environmental problems of the northeast. Since the
passage of the Clean Air Act amendments in 1970, transported
pollution in our States in the northeast--yours, mind, New York
and others--has continued to be a problem. In Connecticut, for
instance, transported pollution has measured at levels that
exceed the public health standard by 80 percent. Under the
stewardship of the Clinton Administration, the EPA began to
take steps to address this problem through regulations such as
the NOx SIP which will help reduce smog in the northeast.
I remember some good political advice I got when I took a
first step forward in politics in Connecticut from a salty old
New Haven politician who said to me, ``Kid, never forget where
you came from.'' So I hope environmentally speaking, as you
assume the leadership of EPA, that you will not forget where
you came from.
I look forward to your testimony today. Thank you for your
willingness to serve in this position.
Senator Reid. Thank you, Senator Lieberman.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE V. VOINOVICH,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO
Senator Voinovich. Thank you.
I too would like to welcome back Senator Lieberman and look
forward to working with him in this committee and also in
I'm pleased that my longtime and good friend, Senator
Carper, is going to be on this committee and looking forward to
working with you, Tom.
Senator Clinton, we've worked together on children's issues
and I look forward to working with you, and all my other
I'd like to make a short statement and then ask unanimous
consent that a longer statement be put in the record.
Senator Reid. That will be the order.
Senator Voinovich. First, Governor, after the statements of
all us here today, you're going to realize what a tough job you
have. Governor Whitman and I have been friends for a number of
years. I can still remember how pleased I was to support her
candidacy for Governor of New Jersey when I was chairman of the
Republican Governors Association.
We worked together in the National Governors Association
where she was a very, very active member. I know of her
interest and commitment to the environment because I appointed
her to serve as chairman of the NGA's Committee on Natural
Resources, a longstanding interest in the environment.
Though we have had some regional differences, we have
collaborated on many issues, giving our States greater control
of overflow control and out-of-state waste. We didn't make it
but we sure worked at it. I know your record of outstanding
accomplishments in protecting public health and the
environment. We have heard about that and we will hear more
I think you further understand being a good environmental
steward can be done responsibly, that there's a balance that
can and must be maintained between economic progress and
environmental protection. It's that balance, Governor, that I
will work to achieve with you when you're confirmed as I think
you will be, as the Administrator.
An issue of concern to me and millions of Americans, and
I'm surprised I haven't heard it yet this morning, is today's
high energy prices and what we are now seeing in the West and
the need for reliable energy supply. With electricity, natural
gas and home heating oil prices skyrocketing and gasoline
prices remaining high, we've got to address our country's lack
of a comprehensive energy policy.
Not only that, we need to be concerned about the growing
solidarity among the oil-producing nations and the unrest in
the Middle East. I just came back from visiting with President
Mubarak and meeting with leaders in Israel. That situation is
very, very critical and could explode.
Since at least the mid-1970's, Congress and the
Presidential administration of both parties have been
unwilling, unable, unmotivated to implement a long term energy
policy. As an aside, it seems like deja vu to back in the
1970's as we sit here today awaiting the outcome of another
OPEC meeting being held to determine what production levels are
going to be provided by the oil cartel. Three dollars a barrel
today, God knows what it is going to be tomorrow.
We import more oil now than at any other time in history
but we can't increase production here in the U.S. even if we
wanted to. We haven't built a refinery in 25 years; we shutdown
36 during the Clinton years. As a result, gasoline prices are
high and could go higher.
Home heating oil, I talked to somebody yesterday and it's
going to have a devastating impact not only on the people in
that part of the country but on the businesses there. Fifty-six
million American homes use natural gas. Unfortunately, supply
and demand of this clean fuel is driving prices through the
roof. Just ask my wife, Janet. Look at this bill and I said,
you know, we can afford it but what about the poor in this
country, what about the elderly who are going to give up eating
or other things they need to have because they have to pay
their energy costs.
We shouldn't forget we have other energy resources like
coal. I know it's a dirty word today at the EPA, fossil fuel,
let's get rid of it. We have new technologies that are making
coal an increasingly cleaner source of electricity and it's
abundant. It's an abundant resource, 250 years of supply of
coal we have in this country.
I think it's time the Government, industry and
environmentalists and consumer groups together start talking to
one another on the best approach to meet our long-term energy
needs. I'd be interested in your thoughts, Governor, on the
need for a comprehensive energy policy and the role of the EPA.
It's not only in the Energy Committee, it's in the EPA. Energy
and EPA have to work together.
I'm also interested in brownfields. I'm pleased to know
you've done so much in your State about it. I had legislation
in last year that would allow States to go forward with their
brownfield program but many States cannot get the signoff from
the EPA. For some reason, they think they care more about the
environment than Governors and state legislators, mayors and
city council members and commissioners in our respective
States. We need to get on with that brownfield legislation. I
can tell you in Ohio we have cleaned up a lot more sites with
our law than the Federal Government has under their program.
The other thing--and you and I have talked about it and I
think it's a subject all of us in this committee ought to be
concerned about--is the upcoming human capital crisis in this
country. A lot of people are unaware of the fact that one-third
of the people working in our Federal agencies are going to
retire before 2004 and another 22 percent of them are eligible
for retirement. We could lose almost half the Federal work
force by 2004. That's going to impact your agency. You've got a
tremendous problem there. You need the best and brightest
people to do research, do the enforcement, you need scientists
I'm going to be interested in knowing some of your
recommendations on how you can deal with that. I would hope
you'd bring that problem back to this committee and others in
Congress so that we can be responsive.
Last month I released a report to help the new
Administration respond to this crisis before it reaches crisis.
I gave you a copy when you were in the office.
Mr. Chairman, all of us agree we need to protect the
environment and the health of our citizens. Congress and the
Administration need to do a better job of ensuring the cost of
laws and regulations bear a reasonable relationship with their
benefits to public health and the environment. We need to do a
better job of setting priorities and spending our resources
wisely. How we do that will affect our ability to create a
national energy policy, secure our national defense and
economic competitiveness in the world marketplace and respond
to the need to maintain a reliable source of energy as well as
address the soaring cost of energy in this Nation and its
reliability, as I said before, costs that are impacting on
those least able to pay.
The unrest that is occurring in the Middle East and the
soaring cost of energy in the United States means that this
Nation's lack of a cohesive and comprehensive energy policy
will be on the front burner and generate a lot of heat for
sometime. I think it's going to be the issue for sure this
Governor Whitman, you and President-elect Bush are in the
kitchen and we're in there with you. We look forward to working
[The prepared statement of Senator Voinovich follows:]
Statement of Hon. George V. Voinovich, U.S. Senator from the State of
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing
on the nomination of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to be the next
Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Governor Whitman, I would like to welcome you to our Committee this
Christine Whitman and I have been good friends for a number of
years, and I can still remember how pleased I was to support her
candidacy for Governor back in 1993 when I was chair of the Republican
Governor Whitman and I have worked closely together in the National
Governors' Association where she was a very active member. I know of
her interest in and commitment to the environment because I appointed
her to serve as the chairperson of the NGA's Committee on Natural
Even though we had some differences because of the regions of the
country that we represent, we collaborated on many issues, including
giving states greater control over waste flow control as well as
shipments of out-of-state waste.
Throughout her term in office, Governor Whitman has been interested
in protecting public health and the environment, and has made it one of
To point out a few of her accomplishments, Governor Whitman has
provided nearly $675 million in loans and over $17 million in grants
for a variety of clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects
in New Jersey; she has worked to clean up New Jersey's waters, making
100 percent of the state's beaches ``swimmable'' and increasing the
acreage in her state available for shellfish harvesting; and she has
fought to preserve farmland and other open spaces including approving
$11 million to preserve Sterling Forest in New York a major watershed
region for millions of residents of northern New Jersey and New York
As Governor, Christine Whitman has understood that being a good
environmental steward can be done responsibly; that there is a balance
that can and must be maintained between economic progress and
It is that balance that this Senator will work to achieve with
Governor Whitman when she is as I believe she will be confirmed by the
Governor Whitman, an issue that is of concern to me and millions of
Americans is the high price of energy, coupled with the need to
maintain a reliable energy supply. With electricity, natural gas and
home heating oil prices skyrocketing and gasoline prices remaining
high, it has become apparent that our country's lack of a comprehensive
energy policy must be addressed. Since at least the mid- 1970's,
Congress and Presidential administrations of both parties have been
unwilling, unable and unmotivated to implement a long-term energy
As an aside, it seems like deja vu as we all sit here today
awaiting the outcome of another OPEC meeting that is being held to
determine what production levels will be imposed by this oil cartel.
Today, the United States relies on more foreign sources of oil than
at any other time in history. However, even if we wanted to increase
the production of crude oil in this country, there has not been a new
refinery constructed in 25 years due, in part, to changes in U.S.
environmental policies. Additionally, 36 refineries have closed since
the beginning of the Clinton Administration, in part, because of strict
Last year, the existing refineries were running at 95 percent
capacity or higher for much of the year. With our refineries running at
these levels, even if a greater oil supply was available, there would
be no capability for refineries to turn it into useful products. As a
result, we must rely on overseas supplies at an astronomical cost from
a region fraught with instability. Until new refining capacity is
available, even minor supply disruptions will continue to lead to
drastic increases in fuel prices.
In addition, natural gas heats 56 million American homes and
provides 15 percent of the nation's electric power, for nearly one-
quarter of our energy supply. Because natural gas burns so cleanly, it
is easier to obtain the environmental permits necessary to build
natural gas-run energy plants. Thus, it is easy to see why up to 95
percent of all new electric generation plants that are currently being
built are expected to use natural gas for fuel.
The popularity of natural gas is good for the environment, but the
high demand for it is beginning to pinch the pocketbook, resulting in
soaring costs. We should not forget that other energy resources are
available which can provide additional sources of clean, low-cost
New technologies are making coal an increasingly cleaner source of
electricity. We shouldn't forget this valuable, abundant natural
resource with an estimated domestic supply of 250 years as we move
forward with an energy policy that not only protects our environment,
but also continues to meet consumer's needs for power.
During this energy crisis, it is critical that we restructure our
country's disjointed energy policy into a national plan that is
comprehensive, cohesive and cost-efficient. This is a goal that we
cannot accomplish without considering the role environmental
regulations play in our energy infrastructure, and Governor Whitman, I
would be interested in hearing your views on what we should do to forge
a comprehensive energy policy, and the role that the EPA should play in
developing that policy.
One other area that I am interested in, and which I know Governor
Whitman cares about, is the need to enact brownfields legislation. In
fact, I introduced legislation last year to provide incentives to clean
up abandoned industrial sites across the country, put them back into
productive use and save our greenspaces.
The main impetus behind my legislation was my view that we need to
create more certainty in the brownfields cleanup process. Parties that
clean up non-NPL sites under state cleanup laws need to be certain
about the rules that apply to them, particularly that their actions
terminate the risk of future liability under Superfund.
We need to create that certainty by allowing states to release
parties that have cleaned up sites under state laws and programs from
Again, I intend to reintroduce my legislation once the Senate re-
convenes, but, Governor Whitman, I would like to hear your views as to
what the administration will do with respect to implementing a fair and
reasonable brownfields policy that does not impede progress onsite
clean-ups that have been conducted via state standards.
Finally, I would like to talk about an issue that I believe to be
very important; one that affects all Federal agencies and departments
the human capital crisis.
By 2004, 32 percent of all Federal employees will be eligible for
regular retirement, and 21 percent more will be eligible for early
retirement. Taken together, more than half the Federal work force
900,000 employees will be eligible to leave government service in just
While I don't expect such a mass exodus, it's certain that we will
lose a lot of good people who have the experience and know-how
necessary to meet the expectations of the American taxpayer.
For instance, at the EPA, the loss of scientists could affect
attempts to revise environmental standards, while the loss of lawyers
could have an impact on enforcement action timetables.
All in all, fewer qualified Federal employees could have a
tremendous economic and societal impact.
Last month, I released a report titled ``Report to the President:
The Crisis in Human Capital,'' a guide for the Bush administration to
respond to this crisis while it can still be reasonably addressed, and
before it reaches critical mass.
I am ready to work with the administration in helping to resolve
this impending crisis and to create greater awareness among my
colleagues in order to pass legislative remedies. In the meantime,
Governor Whitman, I hope you quickly familiarize yourself with the
human capital needs at the EPA and I would be interested in hearing how
you intend to respond to this challenge.
Mr. Chairman, everyone in this room agrees that we need to protect
the environment and the health of our citizens. I believe that Congress
and the Administration need to do a much better job of ensuring that
the costs of laws and regulations bear a reasonable relationship with
their benefits to public health and the environment, and we need to do
a better job of setting priorities and spending our resources wisely.
How we do that will have an enormous impact on our ability to
create a national energy policy, secure our national defense and
economic competitiveness in the world marketplace, and respond to the
need to maintain a reliable source of energy as well as address the
soaring cost of energy in this nation costs that are impacting most
severely on those least able to pay, primarily, seniors on fixed
incomes and low-income families.
The unrest that is happening in the Middle East and the soaring
cost of energy in the United States means that this nation's lack of a
cohesive and comprehensive energy policy will be on the ``front
burner'' for quite some time. And Governor Whitman, you and President-
elect Bush will be in the kitchen.
Senator Reid. As usual, you give an important statement.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Senator Clinton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I'm pleased to be joining my colleagues as a new member of
this committee. It has a strong tradition of New York presence
and leadership because of Senator Moynihan's work on behalf of
the environment and public works and his service as the
chairman of this committee.
I'm looking forward to working on behalf of the issues that
this committee is concerned with--protecting and preserving our
environment, protecting and furthering public health, and
providing communities with much needed infrastructure.
I'm delighted to be here with Governor Whitman and her
husband, whom I have shared many spousal events with, so it's a
particular pleasure to see you here and to see you in this
The points that have already been raised by previous
opening statements are all ones that are of concern to the
State that Senator Torricelli described as being east of Jersey
City and Newark because New York has a number of environmental
challenges, partly because of our long tradition of
industrialization which we share with New Jersey, Delaware,
Connecticut and other States in the Northeast; partly because
of transported pollution. We have particular issues that will
need the concern and attention of the Administrator of the EPA.
That is why this hearing is important to me because as I've
traveled New York from the Adirondacks to Lake Onondaga to the
Hudson River to the Long Island Sound and the New York
shoreline, I've certainly seen the extraordinary environmental
treasures but also the problems that have come over the decades
that have not yet been addressed.
I too believe that a clean and healthy environment go along
with a growing and expanding economy. Today we enjoy the
cleanest air, cleanest water and strongest economy in a
generation. It is my hope that through new tax credits and
other incentives, we can further reduce pollution and improve
the environment while continuing to grow the economy,
particularly in areas like upstate New York, and other urban
areas in New York and elsewhere that have not yet realized the
full benefits of economic growth.
I know that we can continue to improve the environment and
provide new opportunities for job creation and economic
development through an increase in brownfields cleanup and
redevelopment. EPA's brownfields initiative has already proven
successful across the country and in many areas in New York
State including Buffalo, Rochester and Niagara Falls.
I believe that an effective, voluntary and incentive-based
program needs to be backed by strong environmental and public
health standards, and by rigorous enforcement where compliance
with such standards is lacking. These efforts need to be
supported by adequate resources in the agency's budget.
I look forward to learning more about Governor Whitman's
ideas of how best to enforce environmental standards.
Perhaps even more important than the link between the
environment and the economy is the link between the environment
and public health. In the work that I have done on behalf of
children's health, as many of you, including members of this
committee have done, we know and we're becoming increasingly
aware of the link between environmental degradation and harmful
pollutants and diseases that children and adults suffer. I
would particularly point to the extraordinary increase in
asthma as one example of that.
In children particularly, environmental damage can lead to
long-term learning disabilities and other health problems. So
this link between the health of our citizens and the health of
our environment makes it all the more important to continue
expediting the cleanup of toxic waste sites under the Superfund
Program, establishing the strongest standards for the quality
of our air, and ensuring that communities, particularly
communities of color, have the resources they need to
adequately treat their water and clean up the toxic wastes that
are in their environment.
Equally important are effort to provide the public with
information about the food we eat, the water we drink and the
air we breathe so that we all can make our own decisions about
how best to protect ourselves and our families from potential
environmental health risks. I would hope we would continue to
work to make certain the same protections are afforded to all
communities regardless of who lives in a community, the race or
ethnicity, or income level of those citizens.
In New York, as in New Jersey, the environment has been an
area in which Republicans and Democrats have worked together.
It is my great hope that we will make similar progress at the
national level with the new administration by working in a
bipartisan, even non-partisan way.
I think we can all recognize significant progress has been
made in improving and protecting public health and the
environment, but there is much more to be done. In addition to
the issues that I've mentioned, I certainly join my colleagues'
comments about everything from the energy crisis to climate
warming and know these are the challenges that will have to be
tackled with Governor Whitman's leadership in this
I look forward to discussing these issues and challenges
with you this morning and in the weeks and months ahead.
Senator Reid. Thank you, Senator Clinton. We appreciate
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER S. BOND,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
Senator Bond. Thank you.
It's a real pleasure for me to welcome a friend I've known
for over 40 years. She was a very, very, very young person when
I first met her.
It's also a pleasure to welcome two other new members to
the committee, Senator Clinton and Senator Carper whom I first
got to know in the Governors Association and following several
I have to tell you, Christie, there are a lot of
adjustments you have to make from being Governor to being in
Washington, D.C. The first thing you need to know is that when
they say hearing, don't believe we're here to hear the
witnesses. You have spent about a hour and 15 minutes and
you're not through yet.
Senator Reid. Would the Senator yield his time?
Senator Bond. No. I'm not going to submit my statement for
the record either because I know nobody reads it. It makes us
feel better but it doesn't do any good.
Senator Bond. On a serious note, I want to echo what
Senator Voinovich said about the energy crisis. We are seeing
in our part of the world the natural gas prices going through
the roof because of some very short-sighted policies. One, we
pushed our all other forms of energy so we are now building new
electrical generation facilities utilizing natural gas. I
happen to think that's a very, very outrageous waste of a
scarce resource. We ought to be using other sources.
I'm not going to tickle the fancy of our chairman by
mentioning one particular resource but there are other sources
of energy and natural gas should not be the primary source of
electrical generation. Natural gas itself is higher because of
the restrictions and limitations put on the development of
sources. That's something again that's going to come into this
On the question of your responsibilities, as a Missouri
Republican outdoorsman, everything from hunting, fishing, to
native grasses and wildflowers, I'm very proud of the tradition
we have in our State of conserving, preserving and protecting
our environment. I want to save it for my son who happens to be
a temporary resident of your State right now.
I think we both know that the issue is not whether we are
going to preserve and protect our environment, but how we go
about it and make it a sustainable, continually progressive
effort. I don't accept the status quo simply because
bureaucrats think it works but there are a lot of people on
main street who know it doesn't work.
I reject the notion that to seek reform and improvement in
the environmental laws and regulations is tantamount to a
rollback of environmental protections. That kind of easy
characterization won't work, that dog won't hunt anymore.
I hope you will agree to seek flexibility to seek improved
methods of cleaning up the environment, not rollbacks or
letting polluters off the hook. A targeted fix to improve the
environment in a cost effective way is not a stealth attack. I
would hope that we both agree that flexibility needs to be
protected, partnerships need to be formed and we need to
measure environmental progress, not in the bean counter numbers
of how many enforcement actions and how many people have been
sued solely but in how much the environment itself has been
improved in the various areas.
Our environmental statutes are like stovepipes that require
us to look only at one element in many of the activities. We
need to be looking at the broad impact our actions have across
the media which are affected by environmental statutes.
I look forward to working with you on this committee on
streamlining some of the environmental regulations. We do
transportation out of here as well and transportation is
vitally important. Yet we see in our State when we are building
a bridge of road, instead of taking two or 3 years, NEPA drives
it up to eight, nine or 10 years. There are some people who
want to use the environmental laws to cut out barge traffic and
navigation in this country. One barge tow takes about 880
trucks, 18 wheelers off the highway and that is a significant
Senator Reid. How many?
Senator Bond. 880 18 wheelers. A normal barge tow with 25
towboats on it. That's why I have imposed upon my colleagues,
particularly my colleague the chairman, in seeking to maintain
the flexibility to have river transportation as one of our
alternatives for transportation.
We look forward to streamlining the process so we can
protect the environment and keep transportation moving.
I look forward to working with you on some other
committees, on the Budget Committee, and the Appropriations
Committee where you'll have an opportunity to tell us what your
I certainly hope we can work to improve environmental
progress, one of the areas with which you are familiar with
your agricultural background, is how to deal with the problem
of nonpoint source pollution. We've done things with the EPA,
the hog producers and the Clean Water Foundation.
We think agraforestry has a means of providing natural
filter strips to lessen nonpoint source pollution from
agricultural runoff. We look forward to working with you on
Finally, I do have one more committee and that's the Small
Business Committee and Superfund liability is a tremendous
problem for many innocent small businesses. We've had the
dickens of a time trying to rationalize that to make sure we
can clean up Superfund sites and not hold small businesses who
have neither the resources nor the guilt for superfund sites
from being held liable.
We have a lot of work to do and maybe before lunchtime
you'll have an opportunity to make your opening statement.
I thank you for your indulgence and I thank the chairman.
Senator Reid. Thank you, Senator Bond.
The final statement will be made by Senator Graham. I say
to you, you and Senator Smith are an example of being able to
legislate things that really matter. The work you did last
session on the Everglades is something that will long be
remembered when history is written as to good things that have
happened dealing with things environmental. Both of you are to
be congratulated for getting that piece of legislation through
the Senate, through the House and signed by the President.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB GRAHAM,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Senator Graham. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. That's
typical of your thoughtfulness and courtesy as well as depth of
wisdom in terms of what is really important.
I want to also extend my congratulations and best wishes to
our two newest members, Senator Carper and Senator Clinton. We
know that you bring a great deal of wisdom and experience to
these issues and we will look forward to benefiting by your
In light of the fact that I am the last and also to try to
follow your admonition for brevity, I would just like to
mention two policy issues that I think are significant.
One is a continuation of what Senator Voinovich and Senator
Bond both previously referred to and that is the issue of
energy. I met last week with a member of an energy commission
that has been established by our Governor Bush to look at the
future in Florida. One of the things that stunned me was the
fact that today of the approximately ten new plants that are in
some stage of development in Florida, every one of them is a
natural gas plant. They are not being used as they had been in
the past, just for peaking power, but rather they are going to
be a part of the base load.
So the degree of dependence to which we have come on that
one source of energy I think has very serious ramifications.
One of the reasons we've become so dependent on natural gas is
that all the other alternatives had become very difficult to
get permitted. One area that our State had a good experience
with is nuclear. We have three nuclear farms in Florida. They
used to provide over 20 percent of our total energy. Now they
are under 15 percent and going further south.
That is going to particularly involve your agency in terms
of how can we have a rational national policy of
diversification of energy sources for electrical generation.
I'd look forward to working with you on this committee and also
on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to see if we can
come to an accommodation.
The second issue which was highlighted by a recent Supreme
Court opinion on wetlands, is that many environmental issues
involve a degree of Federal jurisdiction; then outside that
Federal jurisdiction is what the States will do. I think it is
important that we increasingly look at our Federal policy not
as if it were a unilateral policy but rather a partnership with
I believe this recent Supreme Court opinion which
apparently is going to restrict the jurisdiction of the Federal
Government relative to wetlands protection offers an
opportunity for us to explore how that partnership might be
With your background as a Governor and a citizen in one of
our major States, I think you bring special competencies to
both of those issues of energy and a new Federal/State
environmental partnership. I know the members of the committee,
including myself, look forward to working with you toward that
Thank you very much and congratulations.
Senator Reid. Governor Whitman?
STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, NOMINEE FOR
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Governor Whitman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'd start by offering my thanks to Senators Torricelli and
Corzine and Congressman Frelinghuysen for their very kind
introductions and frankly, to each of you for your statements;
to you, Senator Reid and Senator Smith, for allowing me to be
here today and appear before you.
I do want to echo what you said, Senator Reid, about the
importance of family and support and I am delighted that my
husband is here along with my sister. I would have loved it if
our son, Taylor, and our daughter, Kate, could be here but the
fact that one is attending to studies and the other is earning
her keep are both very good things. As a parent, I will forgive
them for not being a part of this today.
Senator Reid. Would your sister and husband stand and be
Governor Whitman. It is an honor to come before this
committee today as President-elect Bush's designee for
Administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency. I am
truly grateful for the opportunity that President-elect Bush
has given me.
Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed the opportunity
to sit down with almost all of you--Senator Graham is the only
one I haven't had that opportunity with yet and I trust we will
close that loop very shortly--to talk about what we can do
together to preserve this Nation's environment. I'm especially
looking forward to your kind invitations to visit your States.
I intend to take you up on that as early as possible. While I
look forward to seeing the sights you wish to show me relative
to the environmental challenges you face, I hope we can spend
some time in some of your States on a trout stream because I
have a particular place in my heart for that, to talk about
what we can do to protect our environment.
It was on the banks of a very small trout stream that goes
through our farm that my father first introduced me to the
beauty of nature and obviously, I've been hooked ever since,
having had the fortunate experience of being raised on a farm.
We stand today I believe at a place of enormous
opportunity. Over the past three decades, our Nation has won so
many important victories in our common mission to preserve this
Nation's environment, to protect America's environment.
We have seen a radical transformation in the way that we
look at our air, our water, and our land. Today, there is
universal, and I truly believe it is universal, agreement that
our natural resources are valuable, not just for the economic
prosperity they help create, but for what they add to our
quality of life. No longer do we debate about whether we need
to act to protect our environment. Instead, we discuss how we
can keep America green while keeping our economy going.
In fact, we have reached a stage of realization where we
recognize we need a strong economy in order to help us have the
resources to spend on some of the more expensive clean-ups that
we need to do, and to promote some of the more expensive
answers to environmental challenges that we face.
Due to the progress that we have made, both in our actions
and in our attitudes, America is at the cusp of yet another
transformation. We are ready to enter a new era of
environmental policy; an era that requires a new philosophy of
public stewardship and personal responsibility.
To discover what this new era will look like, I believe one
only has to look to the states. Since I happen to quite
familiar with one particular state, I would like to tell you a
little bit about what we have done in New Jersey over the last
In my home state, we are moving beyond the ``command and
control'' model of mandates, regulations, and litigation. We
are, instead, working to forge strong partnerships among
citizens, governments, and business, built on trust,
cooperation, and shared mutual goals. Those partnerships are
producing results: clear, measurable results. I would like to
share some of them with you.
Our air is cleaner. For example, the number of days New
Jersey violated the Federal 1-hour air quality standard for
ground level ozone has dropped from 45 in 1988 to four last
year. We are doing a better job of monitoring our air quality,
with more air monitoring stations around the state. We are on
target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels
through incentives to encourage voluntary reductions, promote
energy efficiency and renewable technologies, and reduce
landfill gas emissions.
Our water is clearer in my home state. The Delaware River
is thriving again, as Senator Carper knows, and the shad
population is finally coming back up, further up the river. It
has increased by more than 300 percent.
Senator Reid. You are not supposed to talk about chad in
Governor Whitman. Not chad, shad; it is the ``s.'' That was
my confusion initially, too, in part, I must say.
Governor Whitman. But it has increased more than 300 since
New Jersey leads the Nation in opening shellfish harvesting
beds. Annual ocean beach closings, as you have heard before,
dropped from a high of 800 in 1988 to 11 last year.
Our land is cleaner. We have transformed our brownfield
programs into a redevelopment tool, providing $15 million to
help towns clean up sites and market them for re-use. Mine is
the only state in America today that provides a program for
private citizens to do voluntary clean up sites. We provide
reimbursement, and we are the only state to do that.
In addition, in 1998, the voters in New Jersey
overwhelmingly approved my plan to preserve one million acres
by the year 2010, and we are already 20 percent of the way to
Only by measuring the quality of the environment, the
purity of the water, the cleanliness of the air, the protection
afforded the land, can we, I believe, measure the true success
of our efforts in everything that we are doing. By those
measures, New Jersey is succeeding: our water and air are
cleaner, and our land better protected than it was 7 years ago.
At the same time, New Jersey's economy is stronger than
ever. More people have jobs today in my state than ever in our
history. As President-elect Bush has emphasized, and as New
Jersey has seen, environmental protection and economic
prosperity do and can go hand in hand.
The President-elect has articulated a clear set of
principles that I will work to implement at the EPA, should I
be confirmed. I would like to highlight several of those today.
First, we will launch a new era of cooperation among all
stakeholders in environmental protection. Only by including all
America can we meet the challenges we face. There is much that
government can do, but government cannot do it alone.
Second, we will maintain a strong Federal role, but we will
provide flexibility to the states and to local communities.
They need that flexibility to craft their solutions to their
unique situations. We will also respect state and local
authority and rely on their expertise.
Third, we will continue to set high standards and will make
clear our expectations. To meet those goals, we will place a
greater emphasis on market-based incentives.
Next, we will use strong science. Scientific analysis
should drive policy. Neither policy nor politics should drive
Finally, we will work to promote effective compliance with
environmental standards without, and I repeat, without
weakening our commitment to vigorous enforcement of tough laws
and regulations. We will offer the carrot first, but we will
not retire the stick.
Taken together, these reforms will transform the way we
meet EPA's mission. They will also produce real results;
results to which we will be able to look when we want to know
how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go, in order
to meet the desires we all have for a clean and healthy
I am looking forward to the job ahead, should you honor me
with your confirmation. The EPA is staffed with some of the
finest environmental professionals in the world. I know that
they are eager, as I am, to begin our work together.
I also know that the demands I will face as Administrator
of the EPA will not be the same that I faced as Governor. The
position I hope to assume allows no room for regional
favoritism. But I do expect to bring to my job an understanding
and an empathy for what it is like to be on the receiving end
of mandates from Washington.
Mr. Chairman, one of the first things that my father taught
me on that trout stream was something he said which was,
``Christie, always leave any place cleaner than when you found
He did not know it at the time, but that was awfully good
advice for someone who would some day be nominated to serve as
head of the our nation's agency for environmental protection.
I pledge to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of this
committee, that if confirmed, I will do everything that I can
as EPA Administrator to leave America's environment cleaner
than when I found it. Thank you.
Senator Reid. Governor Whitman, thank you very much. The
process now is, to remind members of the committee and Governor
Whitman, each of us will ask questions for 5 minutes. There is
a light up here that indicates when you start. When you have a
minute left and the red light comes on, you need to terminate
the question and the answer, as soon as possible thereafter.
We will go through as many rounds as necessary to make sure
all the members have asked the questions that they feel are
Governor Whitman, you have heard a number of statements
made by other members of the committee about some of the rules
that are now in effect. One of the rules that is going to be
somewhat controversial, but of which I am a real backer, is the
new rule as it relates to the sulphur and diesel fuel, cleaner
There is nothing more irritating to me, from an
environmental perspective, than to be on a street in Los Vegas
and have a bus or some other vehicle pouring out this big
belching black smoke.
The final rule mandates a 97 percent reduction in sulphur
content in fuel in about 5 years, from approximately 315 parts
per million. There are other parts of that rule that are
Basically my question to you, do you believe that there
needs to be something done regarding diesel vehicles, and would
you enforce a final rule to get rid of these dirty vehicles?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, I share your concern for
air quality. We know how much of the degradation does come from
motorized vehicles. We certainly face it in our state.
I would say to you that as in the previous administration,
coming in, we have the opportunity and I believe the obligation
to review all pending rules and all new rules, and we will do
that in this case.
But I look forward to working with you and with members of
the committee to see what we can do to ensure that we meet the
environmental goals that we all share in a way that will ensure
that our economy continues to function, but that most
importantly, we are providing for the health and welfare of our
We will be going through that process, should I be
fortunate to become the Administrator at EPA.
Senator Reid. Are you familiar with the rule about which I
Governor Whitman. Yes, I mean, I know it is there.
Senator Reid. From a conceptual standpoint, do you believe
that there needs to be something done about diesel fuel?
Governor Whitman. I think we need to look at all the ways
that we can clean our environment. As I said, motorized
transport has been a large part of the problem that we see,
particularly in New Jersey, where we have taken several actions
to ensure that we clean our air. We need to ensure the balance,
and that is what I will look to do.
Senator Reid. Governor Whitman, one of the things that we
are concerned about is something called environmental justice;
making sure that people who have little ability to respond to
problems dealing with the environment are protected by others.
I, personally, have had some experiences in Nevada, and
across the country, serious concerns have been raised about the
disproportionate impact of environmental policies in decisions
on low income, minority communities. One of the examples that
has been given is some cement plant in New Jersey. I am not
really familiar with it totally, but I am sure you are.
What do you see as the role of the EPA Administrator in
promoting the environmental justice in programs administered by
Governor Whitman. Senator, environmental justice is clearly
a very critical area. I would speak to the kinds of things that
we have done in New Jersey, but also say that one of the
biggest things that we see in environmental justice issues is
the number, at least in our state, of situations such as
brownfields that are located in our inner cities, where because
of fear of retribution and of costly legal suits, there has
been no movement to clean those sites up.
That is one of the reasons why we have focused so heavily
in New Jersey on innovative processes to encourage non-
polluting parties to come in and, in good faith, clean up those
sites, so we can at least contain the pollution that is going
into the environment and render those as good economic
The same thing is true with our air. What we have done in
New Jersey to clean our air, the disproportionate impact there
has been to see a high level of clean air and changes in our
inner cities; again, very important.
I believe it is the Agency's responsibility to ensure that
we continue to have those balances and to see that no
population is singled out as a population that is, shall we
say, dumped on.
Senator Reid. I am going to submit a newspaper article or
articles dealing with a cement plant in Camden, New Jersey, in
a neighborhood which overwhelmingly consists of residents who
are poor, and a significant number of African Americans/
Latinos. I would ask you to respond in writing to that
Governor Whitman. Absolutely; I would be happy to do that.
Senator Reid. Before my time is up, I also want to direct
your attention to a problem that we have in Nevada, with an
Army depot in California, which is polluting a Paiute Indian
I would ask you, upon getting settled in your job, to make
a commitment to work with me to ensure that these Indians and
others in Nevada are not exposed to materials that would
threaten their health, and that this would be a priority to
Governor Whitman. Absolutely, Senator.
Senator Reid. Senator Smith?
Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and again, welcome
to Governor Whitman. Thank you for being willing to serve. This
is a tough business that we are all in, and the demands of
public life, especially on the families, are very difficult. I
think those of us who have been through it and are going
through it, understand and appreciate it. I do not think that
is said enough.
You know, any time anything negative happens, we hear about
it, but there is a lot of personal sacrifice with serving, and
we appreciate the fact that you are willing to do it.
There are a lot of good trout streams in New Hampshire, and
I think other members would say the same thing.
Governor Whitman. I know.
Senator Smith. You are welcome any time to our great state.
I want to commend you on your opening remarks. In a very
specific way, you have given a good outline, a good insight
into where you are coming from, in terms of how you will
approach this job.
You did not have to give a lot of detail in order to see
that; specifically using such terms as cooperation, as opposed
to the command and control technique; state flexibility as
opposed to rigid Federal standards; market-based initiatives as
opposed to Government initiatives; sound science as opposed to
theory; and certainly promoting compliance without
I commend you for that. I think that is an excellent
statement, and one that we look forward, here on this
committee, to working with you in implementing.
We have had some great successes in working together, the
Everglades, the Water Resources Development Act. We can work
together, I think, if we think of our environment, not to gain
points for the next election, but to look forward to the next
generation, and take the politics out. Good environmental
policy is not always equal to environmental politics. I know
you will work with us in that respect.
Let me just ask you a couple of quick questions. Short term
and long term, realizing just now, once you take over the EPA,
you will have to work with the new President in terms of
setting priorities, but just on a personal level, as one who
has been in a state that has dealt forthrightly with
environmental problems, nationally, what would you say would be
the most immediate short-term and long-term environmental
problem that we face today?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, where I had hoped that we
could come to some early agreement is in brownfields
legislation. I recognize the Superfund implications and the
need to look at Superfund reauthorization, as well.
But I really would love it if we could come together, and
in a collaborative way, reach some agreement on some
brownfields legislation that would allow the states to really
move forward to clean up these sites, to turn them into
productive places, and to stop the contamination and leaching
that is going on currently; and at the same time recognizing
that we also need to address issues of Superfund legislation.
I certainly look forward to tackling that very difficult
problem. I do not think for a minute that that is going to be
an easy one.
We also face the challenge of clean air reauthorization.
That is something that is very important, as expressed by the
concerns of the members of this committee; that we need to have
clean air standards that ensure the health that are based on
good science, that really reflect what is the best that we can
know about how we can address these issues in an effective way,
that will result in better health for our citizens.
Of course, another major area that we are seeing rise to
the top, particularly as we have done such a good job in many
of the states in addressing point source pollution, is nonpoint
source pollution. Much of that is traced back to water
infrastructure; to old and aging pipes and systems throughout
the country that are leaking.
Combined sewer overflow is a big issue for us. It is a big
issue in the State of New Jersey. After storms, it has a real
impact on our streams. We need to address those.
But in many instances, for the states and the localities,
the cost of that is prohibitive. We need to see if we cannot
work out a solution that would help the Federal Government be a
partner with the states and with the localities to help them
address this issue. Because I believe that could go a long way
to ensuring that we meet this next level of challenge in clean
water, which is moving from point source to nonpoint source.
Senator Smith. I think you certainly hit on three top
priorities with me, and I think with many others on the
committee. Of course, another area on the short term that we
share similar problems, as do other members of the committee,
is the issue of MTBE, which we will also be looking at, as
Governor Whitman. Yes.
Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you,
Senator Reid. Senator Carper?
Senator Carper. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Governor Whitman, thank you for your testimony. I know your
dad would be real proud of you today.
I am going to ask a series of questions. I am going to ask
you to answer rather briefly, if you will. The first one is the
kind of people you are going to be surrounding yourself with,
as EPA Administrator. You have certainly surrounded yourself
with terrific folks, back home.
The question that is on my mind, and I know it is on the
minds of some others of my colleagues, is will you have the
independence to surround yourself with equally good or maybe
even better people, as Administrator of EPA?
Governor Whitman. The short answer is yes.
Senator Carper. Good, we are going to hold you to that;
Governor Whitman. I will tell you, just to elaborate a
little bit, that this Administration has sent a very clear
message, at least to me, and I am sure to the other Cabinet
designees, that they expect quality people, and they expect us
to find them.
Senator Carper. Good; the second question is, we wrestle
with clean air problems, just as you do on the other side of
the Delaware River. Among the challenges that we face are
pollution put in the air and transported to our states. It
comes down to us when it rains. What do you think we ought to
be doing about that?
Governor Whitman. Well, as you know, right now there are
certain things in place that are somewhat controversial; some
regulations in place that would have an impact on that.
I believe that we need to ensure that we continue to clean
our air, to see if we can find some innovative ways that will
help those who have been designated as being part of the
problem, and move forward to clean up their concerns in a way
that allows them to continue to be economically competitive.
Again, it gets back to the concern that I have that we
understand that it is not an ``either/or'' on the environment.
We need to be forceful in our regulations. We need to be
forceful in the implementation of the regulations, but we need
to do it in a way that reaches out to those who are on the
receiving end of those regulations, and allow them to be part
of the solution. Because very often, then can come up with a
lot more innovative ways than those of us sitting in Washington
Senator Carper. All right, thank you.
Senator Voinovich and others have spoken to the issue of
energy. My wife and I drove yesterday down to Dover for the
inauguration of a new Governor and lieutenant Governor, and we
rode in someone else's car, not driven by a state trooper.
Governor Whitman. You are still not driving?
Senator Carper. I can drive, and I rather like it.
Senator Carper. But it was a big car. It was a big SUV. It
was a stretch SUV. My wife just loved it. I think probably we
stopped four times for gas between Wilmington and Dover.
Senator Carper. But she thought the ride was just terrific,
and there was plenty of room.
We now import over half the oil that we use in this
country. Over half the oil that we use in this country, we use
to power the vehicles that we drive.
Just as we were going down the road in that gas guzzler
yesterday, I was mindful of other vehicles that are just being
introduced and are about to be introduced to the marketplace,
that are, in some cases, highway vehicles; in other cases,
vehicles powered by fuel cell technology.
I am just wondering what you might have us do, in order to
ensure that there is a marketplace acceptance, and not just an
acceptance, of those kinds of vehicles with the new technology,
cleaner burning, cleaner operating, more fuel efficient; but
what can we do to provide incentives to consumers to actually
buy those vehicles, if they are indeed produced?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, I think you touched on it
when you said what kind of incentive can we provide. Because
that is really where I believe we are going to have the biggest
impact, educating the public and providing incentives and a
desire to find more fuel efficient vehicles.
I do not believe that we should mandate from Washington
that only a certain kind of car can be produced and that all
people can buy. But I do believe we have a very real way and,
frankly, when you look at gas prices today, that is one thing
that is going to drive consumer choice. But education is also a
part of it.
We entered into a contract to have clean fuel vehicles for
our state police. As we looked at them, the problem is that
they were electric photovoltaic cell driven cars. The problem
we ran into is where they could be recharged.
It turned out that, in fact, it was not practical for the
state police to use these vehicles, but it was very practical
for local police. So we have turned them over to the police
departments in the cities of Trenton and Newark, because that
is where the fuel stations were that they could receive their
clean fuel and be recharged. That makes sense.
I think what we have to do is look at this as a policy that
is not going to be answer. It is not going to be the same for
the entire country. But we need to educate people, and we need
to provide incentives and alternatives, so that they can move
to more fuel efficient vehicles.
Senator Carper. I have one last final statement. In the
National Governors Association, one of the best things that we
had going for us was the Center for Best Practices, where we
use our 50 states as laboratories to figure out what is
working, and rather than reinventing the wheel, steel somebody
else's good idea, and we would do that quite frequently.
Governor Whitman. Yes.
Senator Carper. I would hope that we would be taking a
similar kind of attitude in our Federal agencies, whether it is
EPA or HUD or any other, to say, how can we better utilize the
Federal agencies? That is not just to write rules and
regulations, and that is important; but also to be a bit of a
clearinghouse to share the ideas of what is working.
That having been said, I am going to submit later on, just
for a response in writing if you would, your thoughts on this
proposal by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Delaware
River to a depth of 45 feet.
Thank you very much.
Senator Reid. Senator Carper, thank you very much.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Governor, as you were responding to us, a term came to my
mind that would be a refreshing change. It is compassionate
Senator Inhofe. You have heard from each one of us as to
why we believe you would be an excellent Administrator. But why
do you think, in your own mind, that you would be a good
Administrator of the EPA?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, certainly, what I would
bring to the office are the strengths and the skills that I
have learned as Governor of a very complex state, as many of
you have noted.
Most of those skills have been based around, first of all,
the ability to manage a large work force of 60,000 in the State
of New Jersey and a large budget; to solve some very complex
and competing problems through bringing everyone to the table.
I have found that, for some, compromise is looked on as a
backing away from principles, and has been denigrated as a tool
for problem solving.
I, frankly, find it quite the opposite. I think compromise
is what you are doing in bringing everyone to the table,
recognizing there is no one right answer to almost any issue we
face. I do not care what it is, or in what field that you find
it. But it is listening to everybody and crafting a solution
that meets the greatest need of the greatest number of people.
I look forward, at EPA, to being very aggressive in
reaching out to you, to your constituents. In fact, I would
intend, if I were to be fortunate enough to receive the
confirmation, to very early on visit all the regions, and ask
those regional directors to pull together some stakeholder
meetings of those who are most involved in the most contentious
issues that you face in those regions, and for me to sit down
and to hear from them what they feel are the problems, and what
they see as some of the solutions.
That has been something that we have done in the State of
New Jersey. It is something that, as my fellow former Governors
know, is very much a part of how we approach problem solving.
Besides, as I say, just the obvious task of having managed a
large bureaucracy and dealt with a myriad of environmental
problems, it is more the approach in this philosophy that I
bring, that it is not either/or, either a clean environmental
or a health economy; and we have shown that in this country,
really. We have certainly shown it in New Jersey. I know it is
true in your states as well. We need to understand and accept
But we also need to recognize that the best way to come up
with a solution that really is going to provide a long-term fix
for problems is to bring all the stakeholders together, and to
work as partners with the states, and make sure the
municipalities and local governments are heard from.
Senator Inhofe. In your state, in your own personal
experiences, do you have any oversight experiences with the
EPA, where they could have been more helpful to you and your
state by focusing on environmental results, or by providing
assistance; rather than just listing things they thought the
state was deficient in?
Governor Whitman. Well, we recently had last year, or it
was 2 years now, a 1999 report, where they had come into the
state and they looked at a number of issues, and they issued a
report on it.
The thing that was disappointing, while most of the areas
where they had concerns were, you know, with the environment
nothing is minor, but as minor as it could be in the
environment, and we have taken steps to correct them. But there
were things such as they held us up and faulted us for not
having set certain standards, where they had not already set
There were no standards for us to set. We had not met
standards because there were none, and that was not recognized.
The work that we were doing to move the environment forward was
As I look at what is happening in states, there is a lot of
innovation occurring at the state level. But if we are going to
insist at the Federal level that we judge only through what was
referred to as, I think, by you perhaps, or Senator Smith, I do
not remember, the bean counting, only on how many fines are
issued or how many dollars have come in penalties; and not, is
the air cleaner or the water cleaner, we are making a big
In this one review that we got, the most recent one, that
is really where the emphasis was. It was kind of disappointing
that they are satisfied with everything we have done to correct
the issues that they highlighted. But I think we could have
done a lot of that in a more collegial basis up front, and
maybe solved the problems more quickly.
Senator Inhofe. Governor, you heard me mention the energy
crisis, and I think Senator Voinovich expanded on that. Have
you had occasion yet to meet with Senator Abraham concerning
ways you might be able to work together to address this; and if
not, do you have some plans to do that?
Governor Whitman. Oh, I will absolutely do that at a very
early time. As you know, the President-elect is absolutely
committed to an overall national energy policy. The final
decisions on that will rest with the Department of Energy, but
there is a great deal of involvement from the Environmental
I look forward to the opportunity to work with the
Administration and all of my colleagues, if I do reach that
level of being able to call them colleagues, to craft an energy
policy that does protect the environment.
Because that, first and foremost, is the responsibility of
the Environmental Protection Agency, but also recognizes that
people need to be able to live in this country, and to function
in this country, and to have access to energy at reasonable
cost, and not, as Senator Voinovich pointed out particularly
for those on fixed income, sometimes have to make a decision
between getting needed medication and paying for their electric
We saw many of those problems last winter. I hope we do not
face them to the same degree, although parts of this country
are in worse shape this year. We need to have that energy
Senator Inhofe. I have the same question as to what I
consider to be a military crisis right now in terms of the
compliance with many of these rules and regulations. Are you
planning to work with either Secretary Rumsfeld and/or our
committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the House
Armed Services Committee?
Governor Whitman. Both, absolutely.
Senator Inhofe. Good, thank you.
Senator Reid. Senator Lieberman?
Senator Lieberman. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
Governor Whitman, I appreciated the comments you made about
pollution prevention and market-based incentives, in
cooperation with regulated entities.
I think, as the comments of some of my colleagues have
indicated, you will find a lot of support on this committee and
in Congress generally, across party lines for those kinds of
I spoke in my opening statement about what I, at least,
perceive as a broad consensus in our society in favor of
environmental protection. It seem to me that one of the most
encouraging aspects of that, over the last three decades of the
modern environmental protection movement, has been the extent
to which law has led to an assumption of responsibility by
private parties; a kind of environmental ethic.
I see it, and I am sure you see it in your state, among
businesses that had previously been sources of pollution, to
say that they did not want to be identified as polluters or law
breakers, and have taken steps, some at great cost, to make
sure that they were living and doing business in an
environmentally appropriate way.
But I do think that part of what has helped created that
ethic has been environmental enforcement. That will continue to
be important, as we move into what some have called a second
generation of environmental protection.
So I welcomed your statement, in your opening statement,
that while you offer the carrot to regulated entities when
appropriate, you are always going to preserve the stick of
enforcement. I wanted to invite you to speak with some more
detail on the emphasis that EPA, under your leadership, will
place on enforcement.
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, as I indicated in the
opening statement, I believe that enforcement is a critical
tool. We must not abandon it, nor walk away from it.
But I have also found in my experience in New Jersey that
where we can collegially have relationships with many of the
businesses, they will clean up faster and sometimes better,
than if it just through the threat of fine and penalty.
So while I think enforcement is important, and it would
never be something, as I indicated, the stick, we will never
retire, I would and have in the past in New Jersey, approached
it in an effort first to see if we cannot find some compliance
intelligently up front.
We have worked on, in New Jersey, what we call facility-
wide permitting, for instance.
Senator Lieberman. What is that called?
Governor Whitman. Facility-wide permitting.
Senator Lieberman. Yes.
Governor Whitman. It is basically getting to one permit,
where we used to come in as the department and permit every
single step along the way of a production line.
Senator Lieberman. Right.
Governor Whitman. What we do is, we go in to the business.
We will sit down with them. We will go over all their steps. We
will go over what they use in their steps. We will come to an
agreement as to what the final output is, what is an acceptable
level of discharge into the air or to the water.
We will point out to them where we think they can be a
little more efficient within their own production cycle; but we
will leave it to them to achieve those levels.
What we have found, and then we have added, and I can give
you more for the record, if you would like, in writing, of
something we call silver and gold track, which has allowed them
to voluntarily reach this. We agree upon these standards.
We have allowed for trading. If they do better than those
standards, they can then trade the air emissions, the
difference there, which allows them to earn a little money, at
the same time that they are going beyond what we have agreed
upon as the standard for discharge into the atmosphere.
Those kinds of innovations, I believe, you are seeing all
around the nation, when states have the ability to do that.
While you do not retire the enforcement, if you can come to
those kind of incentive-based agreements, we find that the
businesses actually are very willing to go beyond that.
Oftentimes, they go beyond what we have all agreed is an
acceptable level of discharge, in order to have more
Senator Lieberman. Well, I hope you will be able to build
on that. Also, I am sure you agree that, notwithstanding the
movement in the right direction, there are always going to be
entities that will simply not obey the law.
Governor Whitman. Absolutely.
Senator Lieberman. There, we have got to enforce the law.
Governor Whitman. Absolutely, I pledge to you that we will
do that. There are certainly those, unfortunately, who do not
do what is best for everyone.
Senator Lieberman. Let me ask a final question about
climate change, which I spoke about briefly in my opening
Here is an area where the slightest steps have been fought
in Congress. The late Senator Chafee and I had what we thought
was a very modest bill to create a registry where industries
that were taking action to reduce greenhouse gases could gain
credit for some potential down the road of a system that would
require them to take those actions, and that was fought.
I note that in New Jersey, under your leadership, and I
presume with bipartisan cooperation, you adopted a state
climate change plan. You indicated in your opening statement,
if I heard you correctly, that the goal was set to achieve a
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level.
I wonder if you could both speak about that, and speak to
what your plans are for speaking and acting to this issue of
climate change, as the Administrator of EPA.
Governor Whitman. Well, first, Senator, let me say that I
would look forward with you and with Senator Chafee, if the
current Senator Chafee assume where his father left off, to see
what can be achieved, and with the other members of this
committee, to see what can be achieved toward that goal.
We understand this, and I think the science is pretty clear
there. There is no one who objects, and the President-elect has
indicated that he is very concerned about global warming and
what is occurring.
We, in New Jersey, have set goals and targets. We are ahead
of our targets, right now. We have agreed with the
Environmental Protection Agency. We came to a joint agreement
as to attainment, and we are moving forward toward that
If we can come to more kinds of agreements like that as an
agency with the states, where we can come to a voluntary
agreement on what the standards are and, again, allow the
states the flexibility to put together programs that address
their particular industries; because what is causing the
problem in states differs, as we know on the East Coast. Some
of the challenges that we have are beyond our particular
ability to address.
So we need to provide the flexibility to the states to be
able to work with EPA, to achieve goals that are mutually
Again, I would look forward to taking the experience that
we have had in New Jersey, but not trying to impose that
wholesale on anyone else, but to use it as perhaps a blueprint
as to how we can have an interaction between the Environmental
Protection Agency and the states to achieve mutually agreed
Senator Lieberman. Thank you. This is an area that I think
is critically important to our future, and I look forward to
working with you on it. Thank you.
Senator Reid. Senator Lieberman, I appreciate very much
your statements regarding climate change. I look forward to
working with you on a continual basis on this. We need to do a
lot more work than we have done.
Senator Voinovich. I am anxious to bring you to Ohio for
some of the best steelhead fly fishing in the United States of
Governor Whitman. That sounds fabulous.
Senator Voinovich. And I will show you one of the great
stories in this country, and that is the clean-up of Lake Erie
and our tributaries. There are some wonderful things that have
happened over the years, since my days with the Environmental
Protection Agency in Ohio.
We have hear Senator Reid talk about the issue of diesel,
and the new regs that are out. Last week, I met with a
businessman from Ohio, who has come up with new technology that
is being used today in Europe, that reduces the pollution from
diesel vehicles 40 percent. For some reason, he cannot get the
paperwork done in the Environmental Protection Agency to get it
on the street.
Now in Europe, they are using it. In fact, they have
incentives to encourage firms to use it, but they cannot get it
through the agency.
I think that one of the challenges that you are going to
have, a big one, is the issue of the kind of people that you
have. You need Ph.D.s, you need Masters Degrees, and you
probably are going to have to look at your budget, in terms of,
do you have the people that you need to get the job done. Of
course, we have already talked about the issue of this human
But I know in Ohio, I had to increase the budget of our
Environmental Protection Agency 60 percent in order to get the
job done. So that is one thing that I hope that you are looking
The other is this. Senator Smith and I are very much
concerned, and I am glad we have heard some testimony about
storm flow, overflows, and combined sewers. It is an
unbelievable problem. In my state, because of the new mandates,
the sewer bills of people are going to go from $40 a month to
$100 a month. It is because of the mandates coming out of the
You may not recall this, but when we got started with
cleaning up our waste treatment facilities, we had a 75 percent
Federal participation and a 25 percent local. Now we have gone
to completely locals.
Last year, I tried to get the SRO, the State Revolving Loan
Fund, reauthorized. It fell on some bad times, because there
was some problem with Davis Bacon or something.
But the fact of the matter is that we do need an enormous
amount of more money to deal with that problem. Senator Smith
and I, in the Appropriations Bill, were able to get the Wet
Water Quality Act of 2000 passed. That is a bill that requires
$1.5 billion of grants during the next 2 years, but it will not
happen unless Congress authorizes more than $3.5 billion for
the SRO program.
So one of the things that I suggest you look at is the
issue of the wherewithal and the unmet needs that we have. I
have talked with the people that are in this area around the
country, and they say we need $57 billion during the next 5
years, to deal with the problems of storm flow, overflow, and
The President is putting his budget together, and we are
all talking about reducing taxes and spending more money on
this program and that program. I have to tell you, we have
enormous unmet needs that we see here on this committee all the
The WRDA bill that we worked on last year, that the
Everglades were part of it, we have $39 billion on the shelf of
projects that have received design money or some construction,
and last year, what did we appropriate; a $1.5 billion or
something like that for WRDA?
Yes, and so you are going to need the team to get the job
done. I agree with Governor Carper, that you ought to choose
Too many times, in these Federal agencies, they tell you
who is this director and so forth; and I know you are getting a
lot of names. But I would insist they are going to be your
people. I did that when I was Governor of Ohio. I appointed a
director, and you choose your people, because they are your
Second of all, I think that you ought to really make a run
at getting some money, so you can get the job done in your
agency, and also look at these unmet needs. Make sure that as
the Director, you get that on the table. I agree with some
other people, we ought to make the EPA a Cabinet level
department in our Government.
Governor Whitman. Thank you, Senator, and I do want to just
compliment you on the focus on human capital, because that is
such an overlooked area so often, and it is going to be a
Although I believe that we have within the Environmental
Protection Agency, while there are a number of people who are
getting ready to retire, and that will be a real loss and I
hope they will not leave entirely but will allow us to pick
their brains from time to time; but there are a number at the
staff level below that, who are very capable and qualified, and
ready to move up and accept responsibility.
But it is an issue that is of concern, as you have pointed
out, to every agency in the Federal Government. We need to
ensure that we are getting the best and the brightest,
particularly in an agency like the Environmental Protection
Agency, where science and sound science has got to be the
absolute basis of everything that we do, as far as
decisionmaking is concerned.
I would look forward to working with you and other
Senators, to see what we can do to help provide us with more of
the wherewithal to address this issue of waste water and
combined sewer overflow, because it is an enormous problem.
Senator Reid. Senator Voinovich, I appreciate very much
your statement and your question. We have a problem, not with
billions, but trillions of dollars in backlogged work that
needs to be done with our sewer systems and our water systems.
We can talk all we want about having a clean environment, but
we have to spend some money to get where we need to get.
So I appreciate very much your very strong statement. We
are going to have to do it on a bipartisan basis. As you know,
the Clean Water Act, as I recall, started as a result of the
Cuyahoga River catching fire on several occasions. I understand
that is in Ohio. Is that right?
Senator Voinovich. When I was mayor, we had to sanction one
our police officers for fishing in the Cuyahoga River; so
things have improved.
Senator Reid. But that is true?
Senator Voinovich. Oh, absolutely; I mean, the truth of the
matter is, when I came to legislature, we had people from BBC
coming into Ohio. They talked about Lake Eric dying and the
eutrophication, and the burning river, and so forth. I mean, it
You are right. It was one of the things that people focused
on, to move forward with coming up with the Federal Program for
waste treatment, and the Clean Air Act.
In fact, I went out and spoke in 1971. Bill Ruckleshaus
asked me to go out to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to talk to Rocky
Mountain legislatures about preserving their air and water, and
not allowing it to deteriorate on the alter of economic
That was a real crisis then, and we have made some real
progress. But a lot of that, somebody mentioned, is aging
today. We have got these new mandates that are coming out of
the EPA. If we are going to comply with those mandates, the
communities have got to have the money to deal with the
Senator Reid. I would hope that in the work that we do here
in authorizing things, that we remember there is another step,
and that is appropriating the money. I hope that you and others
will work with me, to try to get the Appropriations Committee
to be generous in trying to meet this tremendous backlog that
you have outlined.
Senator Voinovich. If we could get the Secretaries and
others, the independent agencies, to put those unmet needs on
the table, so they could be considered; but what happens is,
they just get put in the drawer. Then we go off on a lot of
other initiatives, and we have all these problems that need to
be dealt with.
Senator Reid. We thank you very much, Senator Voinovich.
Senator Clinton. Well, I certainly want to associate myself
with Senator Voinovich's comments. You know, so many of the
issues that we will deal with on this committee are somewhat
less visible than other pressing problems, and do get put on a
Certainly, the infrastructure needs for clean, safe waste
water treatment are, to me, one of the most important concerns
about which I heard a lot, as I traveled around the state,
talking with local officials about the needs that they had.
The elimination of the resolving fund was a very serious
set-back to our ability to deal with that. So I would certainly
look forward to working with the Senator about moving forward
to try to provide those resources.
I would like to ask Governor Whitman just a few questions
about issues that are particular to New York in terms of their
location, but I think have national implications.
The first concern is the Hudson River which, as you know,
is the nation's largest Superfund site. It is a national
treasure and an American heritage river; but it was,
unfortunately, affected by a 30 year period during which about
1.1 million pounds of PCBs were discharged, because of
industrial activity by General Electric at its plants in Hudson
Falls and Fort Edward.
Last month, the EPA issued its proposed remedial action
plan for cleaning up the contamination of the Hudson from those
PCBs, which recommends targeted dredging to remove 100,000
pounds of PCBs from the most contaminated areas in the upper
These proposals by the EPA have been supported by a wide
range of New York elected officials, including Governor Pataki.
In fact, they were supported by the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection in the last weeks.
EPA is accepting public comment on the plan until February
16th, and then will issue a final plan in June of this year. I
would like to ask the Governor that she not only pay close
attention to this issue, but inquire specifically as to your
commitment to the EPA's dredging proposal.
I know there are legitimate questions being raised about
where to place the dredged material, and I am very concerned
that. I would look forward to working with you on that. But
will you be committed to a clean-up schedule that is finalized
within the timeframe recommended by the agency?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, as you know, as you
pointed out, that is in the comment period now. So it would be
really inappropriate of me to stake out a claim and say
definitively what I will do, except to tell you and assure you
that, of course, I will look very closely at those comments, as
well as the rule.
As we spoke, I indicated to you that Governor Pataki and I
signed that estuary agreement with the Environmental Protection
Agency and New York Harbor. That is impacted by what is coming
down the Hudson.
I have opened canoe and kayak take-out places along the New
Jersey side of the Hudson River, and kayaked in it as well. I
enjoyed that, and what an extraordinary river it is.
But as to the actual language within the proposed order, it
would be inappropriate of me to say anything specific until the
comment period is closed, and I have had the opportunity to
review all of that; but I certainly will. That will be an issue
where I look forward to working with you on it, to see what we
can do to protect that very special river.
Senator Clinton. It is; it is just a fabulous treasure for
We have another unfortunate distinction with respect to
Onondaga Lake, which is outside of Syracuse, which is
considered the most polluted lake in the entire country. It has
not yet caught fire, but it is a problem that has certainly
impacted on the development, both tourism and economic
development, as well as recreation opportunities there.
The Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of cleaning up the
lake, and currently, the plan is expected to take 15 years to
complete. The EPA has been extremely involved in the clean-up
Again, Governor, I would like to not only bring this to
your attention, but to ask if the EPA, under your leadership,
will continue this high level of involvement.
Governor Whitman. Senator, I have to tell you, I am not
familiar with that particular issue that you are talking about
with the lake. But of course, we will take a very hard look at
We will take very seriously our commitment to prioritizing
the most serious environmental challenges that we have, and
focusing our attention on solving those problems; working with
the local community; working with the state; and, of course,
working with the Federal legislators to achieve those goals.
Senator Clinton. Finally, I just wanted ask about the right
to know. I think it is important that we build on the consumer
right to know provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996
by providing consumers with information more quickly about the
quality of our drinking water. I intend to propose legislation
that will build on that.
This would be particularly important in areas such as Long
Island, where we depend on an aquifer system, and where we need
to have accurate, timely information to promote consumer
confidence, and also to make knowledgeable decisions about the
I would look forward to working with you and your staff at
the EPA in coming up with some legislation, if you would be
interested in pursuing that.
Governor Whitman. I would be happy to work with you on
Senator Clinton. Thank you.
Senator Reid. Senator Graham?
Senator Graham. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Governor, to get some sense of your priorities, what might
we expect to be some of the early legislative recommendations
that you will be submitting to us for consideration?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, I have to tell you, beyond
what I outlined initially in response to Senator Smith's
question: brownfields, clean air, the issue of infrastructure
of our combined sewer overflow, as immediate issues that need
to be addressed.
I really have to, if I, again, become the Administrator of
the Environmental Protection Agency, take some time to
thoroughly review all those pending legislative issues that are
facing the agency, and to sit down with you and the members of
the committee, to get your input as to problems and priorities,
and where we can move to reach resolution.
I will tell you that one of the things that I am going to
focus on is trying to identify those areas where we actually
can build a consensus, that is a bipartisan consensus, that can
come to some resolution, so we can actually start to solve
As we look at the impact that we are having on the
environment, we can measure it, and say that it is, in fact,
good; that we are making a difference.
I recognize the importance of having the access to the
courts; the importance of always having the availability of
lawsuits. But I will say that I do not think that the time and
the money spent in court does a whole lot to clean up our
environment. Therefore, to the extent that we can reach
agreement and consensus on approach, we will be far better off.
I would have to beg your indulgence to ask, beyond those
that I have mentioned, that are clearly immediate problems,
that I believe where we are close to some agreements, where we
could come to some agreements and move some legislation
forward, that I have the opportunity to get into the agency and
get the benefit of counsel, from those who are there now, as
well as from working with your staffs, to start to identify
those priorities that could be legislative priorities, where we
think we can come to agreement and move this nation forward.
Senator Graham. I commend you for your emphasis on doing
the doable, first. Not only does it allow us to move forward in
those areas, but also, it helps to build a relationship of
mutual confidence, which can then be drawn upon to deal with
the more difficult questions.
So I will personally be looking forward to your
recommendations as to what those first tier of issues should
be, and see if together we cannot show that bipartisanship can
achieve positive results for the environment.
To followup maybe to some degree on Senator Voinovich's
questions relative to infrastructure, there is another issue,
and that is the issue of infrastructure for water supply. For
many particularly eastern and southern states, we have lived
with a history of adequacy and even abundance of water.
Now we are beginning to see the fact that there are limits
to that water supply, and beginning to ask the question, how
can we, in an environmentally appropriate manner, begin to
supplement our traditional water supply sources? What do you
believe could be EPA's role in working with the states in water
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, there are two parts to
that. One is, obviously, the fiscal demands of replacing, and
the Senator from New York will know that; that New York City
has a water supply system that leaks vast amounts of very
valuable water every day. That is an extraordinarily expensive
problem to solve, but one that we need to address.
I would also encourage states to move forward in the kind
of way that we have. As we have looked at the demands on our
water and water table, and we have seen periods where we have
had serious droughts in the State of New Jersey, we need to
recognize that a lot of that goes very much to planning, to
where we grow, and how we grow, to ensure that we are
preserving water shed areas, we have moved.
It is an area where I believe the Environmental Protection
Agency can be helpful to states; and again, the Federal
Government can be helpful in providing some of the resources
necessary to do this.
But we have 20 water shed management areas in the state of
New Jersey. I have, in the last two budgets, provided
additional money to allow for plans to be developed for each of
those water shed management areas, based on the local needs and
the counties involved, to see how we can best control and
direct growth, so that they do not adversely impact the water
shed management area.
Also, Senator Carper touched upon information. One of the
things that we have done in the State of New Jersey is, we have
a GIS system, Geographic Imaging System, that shows not only
every brownfield in the site in the State of New Jersey, but it
also shows all our water sheds.
It allows for intelligent planning. It allows the counties,
and the municipalities to be much smarter when they work with
the state, and they work with the constraints of overall water
availability, land availability, to plan and direct development
where the land can sustain it.
Those are going to be ultimately some very important tools
for us to provide to states and to localities, to allow them to
do the kind of planning that they want to do; and at the same
time, reminding them that this does have an impact on the water
table, on salt intrusion into clean water, which is what we see
coming in the State of New Jersey, and the other issues that
face us, as a nation, that are different than what the west
I recognize that, and that is why I think it is also very
important that we work with partners; work with the states as
partners, and work with the other stakeholders, because the
solutions to our problems are going to be different than the
solutions to the problems in Nevada and Wyoming and Utah.
Senator Reid. Senator Corzine, we appreciate your patience.
We realize you were here early this morning and had to leave.
We appreciate your patience.
Senator Corzine. Thank you, first of all, I want to also
embrace Senator Voinovich with regard to funding for this waste
water treatment, which is such an important issue for, I think,
all of us, and certainly in New Jersey, as the Governor knows.
I also would embrace some of the remarks and questions that
were probably more articulately framed by Senator Lieberman
about enforcement, than I might be able to fully articulate.
But there are concerns in my mind, and I think among some in
New Jersey, about the balance between enforcement and
collegiality and consensus building. I think I understand the
But it is also a concern that we saw the Department of
Environment reduced in size fairly substantially; certainly in
the first term, elimination of the environmental prosecutor. I
understand the philosophical arguments that were raised, but I
wonder whether some of those same considerations will occur in
the initial stages within EPA. But I think the response to
Senator Lieberman is relatively clear on how you will look at
Maybe more importantly, I would like to ask the question
that I think is very much an issue, germane both to New Jersey
and across the country. I know you, like all of us, are very
desirous of ending the practice of racial profiling, and the
concern that a number of our minority communities have with
regard to racial justice.
I think in the environmental context, we need to make sure
that we have as great a security with regard to environmental
justice, as we have concerns about driving on highways.
I know there were questions about citing issues, and how
one would address particular considerations. I wonder if you
have thought about the Title 6 guidelines and the EPA's
commentary on those, and how you might address them; and then
also, how you might go about providing assurance to all of our
communities that their equity issues would be fully addressed?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, I know you had to leave,
and we had a little discussion of this earlier. But I am fully
committed to ensuring that environmental justice is something
that is recognized and at the forefront of decisionmaking.
I look at issues, and we have touched a bit on it, for
instance, on hopefully some kind of early recognition and focus
on some brownfields legislation. As you know, in the State of
New Jersey, unfortunately, many of our brownfields are located
in our cities.
I am very pleased with the accomplishments that we have had
in New Jersey, through the legislation that we enacted, that
provided some liability coverage for good faith efforts at
clean up, which have resulted in an extraordinary number of no
further action letters. There have been over 7,000, which
represents the fact that we have over 7,000 sites that have
been cleaned up, in our inner cities, that are moving forward
to be contained, so that they are not continuing to pollute;
and to ensure that they are now becoming actually economic
development opportunities within our cities.
I can certainly give it to you for the record, if you would
like, because I have to confess that using all the terminology
in citing all the parts per billion that have changed does not
roll off the tip of my tongue right now, but I am sure it will,
with a little more exposure in the agency. But the level of
impact that our efforts at cleaning the air have had,
particularly on our inner cities, it really has been
I mean, it is not just the way we have been able to reduce
the number of 1 hour, ground level ozone non-attainment days
from over 40 in 1988 to four last year; and, again, our
monitoring systems that we have expanded, particularly in our
This is an issue that should be at the forefront. It should
be part of our planning. It should be part of our assessment.
As I know, with Senator Boxer and Senator Clinton, they are
particularly concerned on children in the Office of Children's
Health, within the Agency. That is something that I, along with
the President-elect, pledge to strengthen and continue to
ensure that it has an active role in the decisionmaking of the
Senator Corzine. Do you have any comments on the Title 6
guidelines; whether you feel like EPA's interpretations of
those are ones that you would find consistent with your own?
Governor Whitman. Senator, I have to tell you very
honestly, I am not totally familiar with EPA's current
assessment and analysis of Title 6. That will be something that
I will look at immediately upon assuming office, if I get that
Senator Reid. We are now starting the second round of
questions. Let me just build a little upon what Senator Corzine
One of the concerns I have, Governor Whitman, is voluntary
compliance. I think there is a place for voluntary compliance,
but I think it takes not long to understand that people are
using the system, rather than trying to comply.
I would hope that based upon your experience, and I see
from some of the information given to me, that you had a 30
percent cut in the agency budget in the state. A significant
number of enforcement positions were eliminated. There was a
corresponding drop in enforcement, and we are told that there
was an 80 percent reduction in penalties collected across all
programs in the first 3 years that you were in office.
I am sure there are reasons for what you did. My only point
is that voluntary compliance sounds good, but it is easy if you
have, within the first couple years of your being the EPA
Administrator, with a reputation that we do not have to comply;
that she will not do anything to enforce the law, I would hope
that that is not a legacy that you are going to leave.
I think it is great that you are going to try to work
things out with people. But I think you have to have, as you
have indicated, the carrot, but also let everybody know that
you have a very powerful stick.
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, let me just clarify some
of those things. First of all, there has not been a reduction
of 30 percent in financial support for the Department of
Environmental Protection in New Jersey. In fact, we have,
today, continued to increase the level of support. Yes, there
Senator Reid. Those figures I have been given were wrong?
Governor Whitman. That 30 percent figure is erroneous. The
Commissioner is here, and will speak to that. But we continue
to increase funding for the Department of Environmental
Yes, there were changes in staffing patterns. I will tell
you that part of that was due to my feeling that we need to do
better with what we have, and that we can be more efficient,
and do not perhaps require all that we saw in staffing at the
time that I came in. Also, it was because I faced a budget
deficit of almost $2 billion, that was awaiting me when I took
office. I was forced to cut a little more deeply perhaps across
state government than I had initially anticipated.
I will also tell you that the number of inspections in the
State of New Jersey have remained relatively stable at over
20,000 annually. So if you are only going to judge by the
number of fines and penalties in a given year, then first of
all, there are two things. One, I feel the measurement really
should be, is the air cleaner; is the water cleaner; is the
land better protected? In those three areas, the answer in New
Jersey is, yes.
Second, one large fine can raise or lower that number
rather dramatically. We took over $80 million in fines and fees
last year collected. That is right about where it has been, at
the high. It is just below the high, but it varies from year to
year, depending on where we have non-compliance.
What we try to do is ensure that we get voluntary
compliance, but we are absolutely ready to use the stick. We
have used the stick. Voluntary compliance still does not mean
that you do not have regular inspection. With over 20,000
inspections done by the state, by the way, we also have
inspections done at the county levels, as well, that add to
We believe that the answer, or actually the report card,
if you will, is reflected in the fact that the air is cleaner
and the water is cleaner, because that is what is most
important to me.
Senator Reid. But you do believe that enforcement is a
powerful tool in environmental issues.
Governor Whitman. Oh, absolutely; of course.
Senator Reid. As you may know, the EPA has the statuary
responsibility of issuing final public health and safety
standards for the protection of the public from releases from
radioactive materials stored in the depository at Yucca
Mountain in the State of Nevada.
In August, 1999, EPA proposed to limit annual radiation
doses to reasonably maximally exposed individuals to 15
milirams, and to four milirams for exposure to ground water.
The nuclear industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
seemed to think that the standard is too protective of the
health of the public.
It is my further understanding that there is being sent
from the EPA today, down to the Office of Management and
Budget, this standard of 15 milirams and four milirams of
ground water standard.
I am wondering, because it does not become final unless it
goes beyond the Office of Management and Budget, do you have
any feelings about the EPA setting the standards, or do you
feel the standards should be set by the NRC.
Governor Whitman. Obviously, I think that is going to be a
combined responsibility. The Environmental Protection Agency
has the final responsibility for ensuring the environmental
health and safety of the public.
That is the kind of resolution that we should achieve in a
collegial way, working amongst and between the departments, in
a way that ensures that we protect the public health and
safety, but allows Government to do what it needs to do in
addressing some of these problems.
I am familiar somewhat with your situation with Yucca
Mountain. I look forward to working with you further on that,
to see if we cannot achieve some level of comfort that the
public is being protected, as it needs to be if, in fact, the
final decision is made that would locate a facility there.
Senator Reid. My only criticism of your statement would be
that you feel it is a shared responsibility. I think it is the
EPA's responsibility. The NRC is the ultimate licensing agency,
and the licensing agency should not be setting the standards. I
would hope that you take a close look at that.
Governor Whitman. I certainly will.
Senator Reid. Senator Smith?
Senator Smith. Mr. Chairman, like so many other members who
are juggling their schedules, I am now supposed to be over at
the Judiciary Committee. So with my apologies to the Governor,
I am going to leave now, and yield my time to Senator Inhofe.
I would say also that Senator Reid and I will be working
together to try to get this to the Floor some time the middle
part of next week, unless there is some unforeseen circumstance
that we do not know about. Thank you.
Governor Whitman. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Reid. Thank you, Senator Smith.
Senator Inhofe. I will be very brief, but I need to bring
up one last thing that I hope is not going to be too
uncomfortable, and certainly it should not be for you.
Governor Whitman, I spent 30 years, prior to coming to
Washington, in the real world. I was out hiring people, and
trying to make competitive businesses grow. I had some
successes, some failures. It seems like all the years that I
was out there, the chief adversary that I had was the Federal
Government, and the attitude of the Federal Government and many
of the regulators.
I think I promised Carol Browner that I would not tell this
story again, but you have not heard it yet, so I am.
Senator Inhofe. In 1994, I believe it was, I got a call
from a guy from Tulsa named Jimmy Dunn. He was the third
generation ownership of Mill Creek Lumber Company. He said, ``I
do not know what to do.'' At that time, it was my last year in
the House. He said, ``The EPA has just put us out of
I said, ``Put you out of business; what did you do?'' He
said, ``Well, I did not think I did anything wrong.'' He said,
``We have been selling our used crank case oil to the same
contractors for 10 years now. They are licensed by the State of
Oklahoma, and licensed by the County of Tulsa, and they have
traced this to a Superfund site. I have received a letter
invoking fines on me for $5,000 a day.'' He said, ``You know,
in three or 4 weeks, we are out of business.''
I said, ``Fax me the letter.'' I read the letter, and it
was written beautifully, as bureaucrat would write, to instill
and inflict intimidation into this person, which it did. After
I looked at it, it was worded cleverly to say, in the event
that this does not happen, we are prepared to do this. All of a
sudden, he saw three generations of his family's business going
down the drain.
I really feel, and it is not just the EPA, but certainly,
it includes the EPA, the attitude toward those people, who are
out there in the real world, paying for all this fun we are
having here in Washington, the instilling of fear and
intimidation in these people, I am hoping this will be
something that you will jump on right away, and stop and give
them the proper recognition that they are, in fact, the ones
that are generating and running this ship that we call our
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, let me say that I think,
in talking with Senator Reid and his concerns about reaching
partnerships, we do much better when we do that. Instilling
fear does not solve problems, generally. It is important to
have the stick. It will always be there.
Senator Inhofe. But I bet you have some examples in the
State of New Jersey, where this has happened, too.
Governor Whitman. We have had numerous examples. What
happens is that people back away from problem solving, and they
get into the defense mode or end up in court. That does not
clean up the problem. It does not solve the problem. It does
not clean up the issue that is at hand.
I would prefer, and I would hope that the agency would
proceed along the lines of identifying what the problem is and
sitting down with them. One of the things that we have found,
and one of the tools that we had, that we have used really very
successfully, when we identify a problem with a business, is
sitting down with them.
Rather than giving them a letter or a notice of violation
immediately with the fine attached, we go to them saying, these
are the problems. This is what is happening. How are you going
to clean it up? What can we do to work with you to clean it up?
We give them a grace period in which they can resolve the
problem, without resorting immediately to the threat of fines
If they do not meet the agreed-upon timetable, then they
will be fined, and they know that. There will be sanctions and
there will be penalties for that.
But by going in first and talking the problem through with
them, we have found that, in fact, they can be very creative in
how they solve that problem, and they can do it in a way that
will allow them to maintain their economic viability and
competitiveness. That really is an approach that we need to
Again, it is never saying that you will not ultimately have
the sanction of fines, fees, and penalties, or the ability,
when necessary, if someone is criminally negligent, to take
them to court.
But it does say that first, we want to identify the
problem, to see if there is a way that you, within your
understanding of your business, your running it, your handling
it, whether you can figure out a way to solve this problem to
our satisfaction, so that the environmental damage being done
is rectified or stopped. That would be the approach that I
would like to see the agency adopt.
Senator Inhofe. Compassion compliance; that is good. Thank
you very much.
I have one last thing. You had mentioned brownfields, and
some of the things that there is consensus on. This is very
closely related to the Mill Creek Lumber experience that I
We need to have comprehensive Superfund reform. What I am
hoping we will not do is cherry pick, and take those things
that are easy to do first, so that leaves maybe retroactive
liability, joint and several liability, natural resource
damages, some of the tougher issues, unresolved. So I hope you
will keep that in mind, as you progress into these areas.
Governor Whitman. Certainly, Senator.
Senator Reid. Jim, the one thing I would say to you,
though, you know, we have tried. Senator Chafee, when he was
chairman of this committee, Senator Baucus, Senator Kempthorne
and I, we worked, for example, on Endangered Species. It needs
a lot of work done on it.
We came up with a comprehensive new Endangered Species Act.
We could not get it out of the Senate. It died a slow death
So I hear what you are saying. I think it would be great if
we could have these big bills and re-write them. But I think
that we are going to have to try to solve parts of those bills,
because I do not think we can get them done anymore with the
present climate that we have here.
I hope I am wrong, and I would be willing to work with you
and Senator Boxer with the Superfund legislation, but I think
we are going to have to do pieces of it. But I look forward to
working with you.
Senator Inhofe. I thank the Chair.
Senator Reid. Senator Boxer?
Senator Boxer. Thank you so much. I missed you, but I got
to hear Colin Powell, which was very interesting. I have a few
areas, and will I be allowed to come back for another round?
Senator Reid. Of course.
Senator Boxer. Let me start with the Superfund, since that
is where we were headed. The first thing I would say to my
friend, Senator Inhofe, is that compassionate compliance is a
great idea, but we do not want it to lead to taxpayer's tears.
Senator Boxer. Because if you are too compassionate with
polluters, and you let them get off the hook, that means the
burden falls to the taxpayers. But I do think we can work
together to make sure everyone is happy in the end, with a good
Superfund bill. Now I agree, we are going to have some problems
with that, and that is why I want to ask you some questions on
I know that there are some Governors who fight, getting a
site listed on the Superfund list, the NPL list, the National
Priorities List, but I understand that you have not taken that
position. I want to commend you for that because maybe, yes, it
is a little bit bad press when you announce you have a site,
but it certainly is great when you clean it up, and you can use
So I wanted to ask you, given your good history, from my
perspective, on this, do you support preserving EPA's authority
to put new sites on the Superfund list?
Governor Whitman. We have certainly used that ability of
the Environmental Protection Agency. You are right, it has been
difficult at times, because our new GIS information system also
lists all the brownfields in the state.
The fact that we recognize that we have these problems ends
up with some bad press at times, but I believe that only by
facing them, can we solve them. So I would be very comfortable
with continuing that ability.
Senator Boxer. As you know, Superfund is partially funded
by a tax on petroleum and chemicals. The tax expired in 1995,
and we predict the proceeds of the tax will be used up this
year. Would you support reauthorizing that tax?
Governor Whitman. That would be an issue that I would be
happy to work with you on, and take a closer look at, in the
context of the overall issues that we face.
I will say that since I have been in office in New Jersey,
more than $118 million of the corporate business tax has been
directed toward Superfund site clean-up in our state. So I do
recognize the very high cost of Superfund clean-up, and the
need for the resources to be available. I certainly would be
happy to work with you on that legislation.
Senator Boxer. Well, thank you, because I think that is
certainly going to be very key to us. We have so many needs in
this country. This is one expensive one. We need the resources.
I wanted to pick up on the issue of civil rights. I know
that Senator Corzine asked about the issue of environmental
justice. I want to associate myself with my concerns on that
issue very strongly.
But I also wanted to bring up the issue of civil rights
within EPA itself. I have followed, certainly, the debate over
racial profiling. This may sound like it is from some other
issue, but it is sort of the same, if you have been watching
the Ken Burns' documentary on jazz.
Governor Whitman. No, I have not seen it.
Senator Boxer. It is incredible to see what a history
lesson it is, and the incredible prejudice that has plagued
African Americans. We need to be reminded of it, and we need to
understand that we cannot stand for it.
That is why I think that on every one of these Cabinet
positions, I was happy to see a Cabinet that looks like
America. I also hope they think like America, because I think
that America thinks wisely on the issue of race. I think they
really want to see fairness.
So I know that there has been tremendous controversy over
the issue of racial profiling, and it has not spared you some
pain; nor the blacks in your community pain. So I am not going
to get into and dredge up images.
But what I want to tell you, and we did discuss this
recently, the House recently held hearings to investigate
various claims of employment discrimination at EPA. They asked
Carol Browner to come forward. It was a very emotional hearing
for her. She was clearly upset about the issue.
We know that under her leadership, women and minority
representation has increased to its highest level, under the
Clinton Administration; but still there are problems. Employees
continue to complain in that agency about harassment and
discrimination in promoting.
In the hearing, Administrator Browner announced that
preserving the civil rights of all employees requires constant
vigilance, and personal oversight by the Administrator of the
agency. She pledged to have an independent order to review the
agency's procedures for processing civil rights complaints,
among other things.
I know in your experience in New Jersey with racial
profiling, you had stated that you were not aware of it, and
when the Attorney General found out, he did not inform you
So this is a crucial issue. I wanted to get it on the
record today, because I do believe you will make this
commitment. Will you commit to personally stay vigilant on this
issue at the EPA?
Governor Whitman. Senator, I think there is probably nobody
else who would pledge to be more vigilant on this issue than I.
I think it is absolutely critical.
I believe we need to look very quickly at the backlog of
pending discrimination cases that exist at the agency and clean
that up, in order to be able to assure the staff that we are
taking this seriously; and then ensure that every time there is
an allegation of discrimination, that it is dealt with
properly, and that everyone understands their responsibilities,
understands what is appropriate behavior and what is not, and
that we pledge ourselves to that.
Senator Boxer. So will you continue to have this procedure
that Carol Browner has started, that she is personally
informed, and there is a new procedure, so that people can get
their complaints heard? Will you continue what she has started,
in terms of this constant vigilance and oversight?
Governor Whitman. I cannot speak to exactly what she
started, because I do not know what she has put in place. But I
will pledge to you, constant oversight and vigilance.
Senator Boxer. OK, I will just try one more. She pledged to
have an independent auditor review the agency's procedure for
processing civil rights complaints. I am wondering if that
sounds like a good thing to you? I do not know if she has
Governor Whitman. Off the top of my head, I have no problem
with that at all.
Senator Boxer. I would love to know, within the next few
days, as you give this more thought and perhaps speak with her,
specifically what you think about that. I will hold the rest of
my questions for another round. Thank you very much.
Senator Reid. Senator Voinovich?
Senator Voinovich. Yes, we were talking about brownfields.
I think I probably agree with Senator Reid that we ought to get
on with it.
One of the things that used to bother me, we have a
Department of Health and Human Services, and we are trying to
provide training for inner city people on welfare, and provide
jobs in the city. We have acres and acres all over this country
of land that could be developed, and businesses could expand.
Frankly, I think, in many instances, because of nitpicking,
nothing gets done. I think sometimes, you wonder if the left
hand knows what the right hand is doing.
I would suggest that maybe you sit down with the folks over
at HUD and talk to them, and Health and Human Services, and see
how your various agencies relate to each other. We do need to
get on with some brownfields legislation.
The other thing that I would be interested in, as Senator
Carper talked about, is best practices. In Ohio, every year,
when I was Governor, we honored businesses that had done the
most to reduce their pollution, voluntarily. That was amazing
how well some of them did, and testified that it was not only
good for the environment, but good for business. There is a lot
of new technology out there.
When we tried to put a program in force in Ohio for
volunteer audits, and that basically would have allowed our
people to go into businesses and look at them, and comment
about how they could improve and be more friendly
environmentally, it hit the rocks. Because we wanted to give
them the assurance that we would not publish what we found. You
cannot do that, because if you do that, then there is a cover
I think there is a lot more that could be done, I think, in
the area of best practices and voluntary audits. I know we did
that with our Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, where we
said to businesses, let us come in and look at your shop. We
are not going to fine you if we see things, but we will tell
you how you can do things better to reduce your accidents in
your business. There is a whole area there that I think needs
to be looked at, you know, going outside the box.
Second is Senator Reid's concern about Yucca Mountain. You
know, we have been talking about dealing with nuclear waste. I
was a county commissioner in the mid-1970's, when they were
talking about storing it in the salt mines under Lake Erie. Of
course, I was opposed to that, Senator.
Senator Voinovich. And the Senator is opposed to, I think,
the use of Yucca Mountain.
But we need to look at what other people are doing. You
know, nuclear power is very prevalent over in Europe. But how
do they deal with their nuclear waste? I mean, that is the big
issue with nuclear power. How do you deal with the waste and,
of course, the plants and technology, and so forth?
Hydroelectric power, again, you know, there are people that
want to say that we need to get rid of some dams and so forth,
because of the environment. They say that the salmon are going
upstream and so forth. There is coal and all of these things
that I think we need to look at.
I would be interested, how much of a priority are you going
to give to harmonizing our environmental policy with our energy
policy? What kind of a priority do you think that ought to be
given in your agency?
Governor Whitman. Well, Senator, one of the things that the
President-elect has indicated to all us, as potential nominees,
is the importance of working together. In fact, they have put
that down on paper, that the departments and agencies need to
work with one another.
I think it is even a problem perhaps within the agency
itself, in looking at things in silos. Water is one set of
problems; air is another; land is third. Somehow, they do not
interact at all. It is clearly true, amongst and between
departments and agencies.
I expect to spend a great of time working with my
colleagues in the Cabinet to problem solve. It will be
different agencies and different issues, but that is the way,
as a Governor, that I have organized my Cabinet. I have had a
number of committees of the whole cabinet, depending on the
If we are talking about our urban redevelopment, we have an
Urban Coordinating Council. In every single agency that has an
impact, which was all of them, met together just to discuss the
issues of urban revitalization and how we approach those
I think the same applies for environment and environmental
problem solving. As someone who had shamelessly stolen from
you, when you were Governor for some of my governmental
initiatives, I would be more than willing, and in fact welcome
whatever we can learn, not just from the states themselves in
this country, but from other countries around the world, as we
address issues that are frankly shared issues.
I would put that as a high priority: the collegial
relationship amongst the Cabinet, to problem solve.
Senator Voinovich. What about in terms of priorities? Where
will this harmonizing in getting at this policy; where will
that be on your list?
Governor Whitman. To me, that would be underlying all of
the decisions being made. Again, I need to get into the agency.
I have not been into the agency. I have no status at this
point. I am simply a nominee. If I get your support to assume
the role, that will be something that I will do right away.
But to me, that is something that should be underlying
every issue. As you look at an issue, you need to work with the
Department of Defense, the Department of Energy. Is this
something where Commerce is going to be impacted? Frankly, a
lot of the Environmental Protection Agency decisions impact on
There are a host of decisions that are being made all the
time, that impact other departments and agencies. The desire to
find where those nexus are should be part of every
decisionmaking that is done at the agency.
Senator Reid. Senator Clinton?
Senator Clinton. Governor, in following up on Senator
Voinovich again, which I find myself doing often today, I think
the points that he made earlier in the first round about the
energy shortage that is being felt in many parts of the
country, most acutely in California, are certainly going to be
on the forefront of the national agenda and will require a lot
of harmonization and cooperative efforts on the part of not
only the Administration but the Congress and the private sector
as well. One element of that that we have not yet referred to
is the whole issue with respect to conservation and trying to
make our energy usage more efficient.
I was struck by Senator Voinovich's reference to the
voluntary audit being not pursued because of questions about
what would be found in a different context. But I would offer
any encouragement we can provide to auditing of energy usage.
We have become somewhat more efficient in the last decade but
there is still an enormous amount of waste in our energy use
here in this country, particularly in our industrial plants
that are often out of date, using equipment that is not up to
standards that could be considered conservation promoting.
Will you see this as a particular issue that you would take
to the cabinet and within the Administration so that when
energy policies are devised and put forward, perhaps by
colleagues of yours, conservation will have a role in whatever
policies are promoted?
Governor Whitman. Absolutely. As we have done as we have
moved toward deregulation in New Jersey, we disseminate the
information to the buyers of energy as to where the sources of
energy come from so they can start to make more informed
decisions about whether they are buying ``clean'' energy or
energy efficiency. Again, it is an education process. I do not
imagine I have much fight within the cabinet, but I certainly
would see that as an issue that needed to be raised in the
context of discussion of energy policy.
Senator Clinton. There have been a number of fights over
the last several years within the Congress. I do not think any
of the major conservation proposals have made it through the
appropriations process over the last several sessions, which
have made it more difficult to have any kind of balanced energy
policy. So, I am sure, given the great public attention that is
being focused on our energy issues, there will be a lot of
proposals coming forth about drilling or about using fast
permitting processes for getting plants up and going. But at
the same time, I would hope that conservation would be
considered an equally important element of whatever plans are
I am also interested in your response to the recent Supreme
Court decision about implementation and enforcement of the
Clean Water Act. I think it came as something of a surprise to
some of us to see how far the court went in undermining Federal
jurisdiction over clean water. And, again, I think this is one
of those penny wise and pound foolish issues, without passing
any judgment about which I know nothing of the facts concerning
the Illinois example.
Certainly, speaking from a New York experience, watershed
protection is absolutely essential to clean water. The water
supply for New York City comes from two different watersheds,
the Croton and the Catskill. We are now looking at having to
spend billions of dollars to build filtration plants to clean
up water that historically had been considered of high quality
because we have not done enough to protect the watersheds. So
it is an issue of particular concern to me from the New York
But more generally, how do you view this recent Supreme
Court decision? And would the EPA under your leadership take
action for making whatever legislative changes might be
appropriate to ensure watershed protection in the future?
Governor Whitman. Clearly, the decision stands now as case
law and we will have to operate within that framework. It would
be one of the functions of the Agency to take a look and see
how we can be most effective in that. But it seems to me that
that decision argues perhaps as eloquently as anything else for
the need for partnership with the States. But to the extent
that the regulatory authority of the Agency is restricted by
the decision, we cannot stop trying to protect watersheds.
Therefore, we need to be aggressive in working with the States
and with the localities to identify watershed areas, to
identify appropriate approaches to watershed protection and
management, and to help people understand that, frankly, Mother
Nature does a whole lot better job for a lot less cost of
cleaning our water than do filtration plants.
Senator Clinton. Absolutely.
Governor Whitman. That is something that we have
acknowledged in New Jersey and watershed protection and setback
is a major part of our Open Space Initiative. It is not just
open space for parks, whether they be urban or suburban or
rural, it is not just farmland preservation, it is also
watershed preservation. That is the kind of thing where the
Agency now is going to be challenged to reach out to the States
and to reach out to the local communities to help ensure that
watershed protection continues in spite of what is seen to be
now as a restriction on the ability of the Agency to actually
regulate those issues.
Senator Clinton. Mr. Chairman, could I just followup. Would
that include perhaps looking at legislative changes that would
provide clearer congressional authority for such action in the
event that it was needed?
Governor Whitman. I would be happy to work with you on
taking a look at those issues.
Senator Reid. Senator Corzine.
Senator Corzine. Yes. I have heard about compassionate
compliance, and I am sympathetic when there is over-reaching by
regulators in the private sector. In my own experience, that
sometimes has been a problem. But the cost of failure to comply
can really be truly serious. As you are well aware, in New
Jersey we had a warehouse explosion in Lodi which actually took
five lives and interfered pretty seriously with environmental
concerns to fire fighters and a whole host of folks that live
in the area. And it gets at another version of right-to-know.
There are concerns about whether we are aggressive enough,
either in the State or, more importantly now, in the Nation
about making sure that businesses that store hazardous
materials make it known to the public. I wonder if you have
observations about that, concerns about maybe the cutback of
those substances in the decisions taken early on in your
Administration, or how you feel about it as EPA Administrator.
Governor Whitman. Certainly, Senator. First, let me address
the issue of what occurred in New Jersey and right-to-know just
to clarify. We have an extensive right-to-know policy. We go
beyond the Federal Government in instances of some of the
things that we list. We do not, and did not, adopt the U.S.
Department of Transportation right-to-know requirements. That
is something actually EPA has agreed with as a decision simply
because it did not have the same application. Those were
applications that dealt with transportation issues.
One of the things I found, and particularly at the Lodi
explosion that occurred early on in the Administration, was
that, we had right-to-know books, the first responders were
faced with right-to-know books that were literally the size of
a telephone book. And the ability to go through those and
figure out what they were facing in this particular fire was
very difficult for them. Plus, they had no idea as to the
location of the chemicals. They knew that those chemicals had
been stored in this facility but they did not know where they
were and what the potential interaction would be.
So one of the things that we have done now in New Jersey is
we have required all companies to provide to the local first
response teams and to publish and post where they are easily
available an actual map of where chemicals are located. We also
try to ensure that we prioritize so that those first responders
know which chemicals are there in bulk that are going to cause
the biggest problem, rather than just if at some point there
was some storage of a minor amount which does not really pose a
We want to have right-to-know be not only do we need to
know what is going through our State--and we did do, and again
this sometimes gets muddy, we did do a survey of businesses as
to what chemicals they had pursuant to the USDOT right-to-know,
but that was for us to understand what chemicals were in the
State, it was never incorporated into the State right-to-know
law--but the important thing is to have this be something that
is usable, something that is relevant to those who are
responding to an emergency situation. They need to know right
away what it is they are facing, in what quantities, what the
possible combinations are. In that Lodi fire, that was one of
the concerns because of the potential for carcinogens and the
potential for volatility in the combination. They did not know
whether in fact the drums were stored even in the same
building; there were three buildings involved in that
And so we have tried to not only ensure that we have a very
thorough right-to-know, but that it is structured in a way that
is actually of use to those who have to respond to these
Senator Corzine. If I might frame this though in the
enforcement question. Because without some kind of audit to
make sure that the additions as well as the participation of a
business is in place, it is nice to have it on the books, but
with no audit it can turn out to be actually protection that is
falsely embraced by a community.
Governor Whitman. That is why it is important, as we have
said at least in our New Jersey experience, inspections
continue to be above the 20,000 level annually. So we have not
backed off on the inspections. That is the way you ensure
compliance. That is what we have to do. And I agree with you,
at the Federal level that needs to be part of addressing these
issues. No question about it.
Senator Corzine. If I might, Mr. Chairman, I have a
parochial question I might ask. You probably know this one is
Governor Whitman. I have a suspicion.
Senator Corzine. Mills Corporation is seeking a permit for
the fill-in of 206 acres of wetlands in the Hackensack
Meadowlands in order to build a shopping mall and other kinds
of facilities. The project has been opposed by the
Environmental Protection Agency to date. I wonder if you have
reviewed this, have a view on it. I am interested in your view
of this in the context of protecting wetlands and protecting
water supplies which we have been talking about here in
watershed context, but equally important within the context of
Governor Whitman. Certainly. First, let me just say as
Governor, I have read that I have been in support of this
project. I have never taken a public position on this project.
So that is simply incorrect.
As far as the issue goes of were it to come before the
Agency--well, the EPA has already opined on it, has issued an
opinion on it--that would be an issue that I think I would want
to discuss with counsel relative to recusal should I be asked
to make a further decision, simply because of the level of
involvement that I have had to date.
Senator Reid. Senator Corzine, thank you very much. And you
are welcome to stay if you wish for more questions.
I understand New Jersey has experienced MTBE contamination
of some of its important groundwater resources. You may know
that Lake Tahoe, this beautiful lake that Nevada shares with
California, has also had a problem with MTBE contamination.
Carol Browner has supported reducing or eliminating use of MTBE
and establishing a renewable fuel standard as a way to prevent
Do you have an opinion as to what should be done nationally
to deal with this problem? At this time, would you support a
ban on MTBE? And, final question, would you pledge to work with
this committee, that is an easy one, to get legislation?
Governor Whitman. Of course, you know I pledge to work with
you, Senator. There is no question about that. This is an issue
of great concern throughout the country. As you know, we have
had concerns, ongoing concerns in New Jersey with that
The only thing that I would say, as we look toward a
national response to this, is we ought to be sure of what the
alternatives would bring. We have to be sensitive to the fact
that MTBE was given the blessing of the Environmental
Protection Agency because the feeling was that it was going to
do good things.
Senator Reid. And it did do good things.
Governor Whitman. And it did do good things. It has cleaned
the air. But we did not know enough about what its impact was
going to be on the water. And that is something that I think we
need to be very careful about as we move to alternative fuels
and reformulated gas and other steps that we take to preserve
the environment. That is where it comes down to the need for
good science with peer review that is meaningful to ensure that
we are as conversant as possible with all the potential
Senator Reid. I think what we need to know is what we can
do on a short term basis, and I know you cannot give us an
answer now, because we have very, very definite problems in the
Lake Tahoe area and we cannot wait for a long time for
decisions to be made because that lake is not very renewable.
It has problems that once water problems develop, they do not
go away for decades and decades, unlike most water sources. So
we need you to address that very quickly.
Governor Whitman. Senator, I promise you I will. That will
be among the first things that I would look at.
Senator Reid. I understand that the State of New Jersey
under your leadership has actively participated in the legal
defense of EPA's new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for
ozone and fine particles. Will you continue to support and
defend these new standards both in the courts and within the
Administration as head of the EPA?
Governor Whitman. Senator, as you know, I have taken a firm
position on that as a Governor. My responsibilities as
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency require a
national view and I would review it with that in mind,
understanding what the issues are.
My understanding of the problem is not going to go away
because I have assumed this role. My responsibility to listen
to everyone and to try to work out a solution is there because
I will be assuming a different level of responsibility. But I
have very real concerns about those issues. What I would like
to see us do is to try again to work with those who have been
identified as being part of the problem to see if we can't come
up with ways to clean the emissions and reduce the emissions
that are being put into the atmosphere without totally reducing
their ability to function and do business.
Senator Reid. Strong scientific evidence continues to
accumulate demonstrating the connection between fine particles
and premature mortality. You know I am sure that the President
directed EPA to make a determination by July 2002 as to whether
to revise or maintain the fine particulate matter. Given this
proof of public health damage, and it is mounting, would you
keep to this timeline for this determination?
Governor Whitman. Senator, I can see no reason at this
point why we would draw back from that timeline. But, again, it
would be part of the rules and regulations that I would have to
review if I were to become the Administrator of the Agency.
Senator Reid. President Bush, not George W., President Bush
talked about no net loss of wetlands. And we have not done a
real good job of that. There has been some progress made. But
for a State that is as wet as New Jersey, you may have some
trouble understanding why we in the West have very, very few
wetlands. And we treasure our wetlands. Do you understand how
important wetlands are, and that as one of your main functions
as EPA Administrator is to maintain our marshes, our swamps,
the things we used to try to get rid of?
Governor Whitman. Senator, I know why wars are fought in
the West, and water is one of the major reasons for that. And I
am very sensitive to those issues and very sensitive to the
needs to protect our wetlands. That is one of the reasons why
we have such an aggressive program in New Jersey to set aside
those wetlands permanently and forever so that they cannot be
Senator Reid. Senator Voinovich.
Senator Voinovich. I was interested in some of the
questions that you asked. I have been particularly interested
in the court case before the Supreme Court where we have
regional differences. One of the problems that I think we have
today, and it may apply to regulations across the board, not
only in the Environmental Protection Agency, but throughout the
Federal Government, is that not enough emphasis, in my opinion,
has been placed on risk assessment, cost-benefit, good science,
peer review, alternative regulations, and so on. I would be
interested in your view of that issue.
When I, for example, visited with Carol Browner on this
issue, she basically said, ``Look, Governor, there is not much
I can do. I am not to take into account these other issues.''
Of course, I argued that CASAC and other scientists have said,
in terms of the ozone and particulate matter in terms of
environment and public health, that some argued that it really
did not have the impact that some were saying that it was
making. But she basically indicated that, because of the
current law, there was not anything that she could do about it.
I have been trying to get some change in that, very much
like what we have in the Safe Drinking Water Act that basically
says you go through a system of considerations and at the end,
if the Administrator still says it is a public health or
environment problem, we will go forward with the regulation. I
would like to know how do you feel about looking at the cost-
benefit, good science, and those issues in terms of your
Governor Whitman. Well, as I have said, I think good
science is the basis for all the decisions that are made at the
Agency. That is critical to the credibility of the Agency and
to the implementation of the decisions made by the Agency. The
things that you have talked about are I would have thought
appropriate to be part of the decisionmaking process. I cannot
speak to the analysis of the law that I presume counsel gave
Carol Browner, so there may be some legal impediment to the
more formalizing of those considerations.
Certainly, good science, cost-benefit analysis, those are
all appropriate things to be taken into consideration when
making some of these decisions. Again, the final decision has
to rest on the health of the environment and the population.
That is the responsibility of the Agency. But to consider as
broad as possible the other factors that impact on that is
Senator Voinovich. It is interesting that when we first got
into this issue of particulate matter that many argued that we
were not sure what impact increasing that standard would have
on public health and the environment. And simultaneously with
the proposal of that regulation, the Agency asked for
significant money to do research work on the issue of
particulate matter. They are still installing monitors now
around the country to ascertain just what impact particulate
matter is going to have on the environment and on public
Mr. Chairman, I think we have spent maybe $200 million so
far on going forward with this research work to deal with the
particulate matter. It seems to me that we are getting the cart
before the horse. And then the Agency, even though it has not
been approved yet, moved out and took some enforcement actions
in terms of complying with the act and also with the NOx
problem, you are familiar with that, that we have. We came back
with a proposal that we would reduce NOx by 65 percent. But the
Agency just came down and slammed the hammer down that it has
got to be 85 percent, that is it. We showed them that we could
get the 65 percent before the deadline on the 85 percent and
they just said no, you have got to reach the 85 percent.
The point is that it seems to me, and I know some people
may not like to hear what you are saying about working with
people, most people want to do the right thing but they want to
know what the rules are. I think President-elect Bush talked on
the campaign trail about the fact that we ought to be able to
get together with someone and say this is what you are going to
be responsible for, you go to work on it, and 5 years down the
road we are not going to come back and change the rules on you;
for example, like this new source review problem that we are
Those are things that you are going to have to grapple
with. And if the Supreme Court rules the other way, you will
have to grapple with that problem. But I just hope that you are
true to what you are saying, and that is that you want to work
with people to get the job done. That does not mean that you
are going to let somebody off and clobber them if they violated
it. But there seems to be an attitude out of the EPA that they
start off that you are bad, that you are a polluter, you do not
care about your employees, you do not care about public health,
you do not care about the environment. And the fact of the
matter is I happen to believe that most people do. And if you
work with them, they are going to do the job. Now we know there
are some people out there that are bad. But what you do is you
nail the bad ones so you set the precedent that you are not
going to put up with it.
Senator Reid. Senator Boxer.
Senator Boxer. Thank you very much. Our Chairman Reid
brought up the issue of MTBE, and Lake Tahoe is truly an
incredible issue. I know you are very familiar with it. I want
to followup. Also Senator Smith is very well aware of this. So
it really is an area where we have strong bipartisan support on
this committee. I really think we can get something done. We
already passed a ban on MTBE out of this committee but we did
not have the time to take it up on the Senate floor. I was
proud to author that ban.
I know that the first leakings that were discovered from an
underground tank occurred in Rockaway, New Jersey, in 1980 of
MTBE. If we had all understood what it really meant, we could
have spared the Nation a very costly cleanup problem. Even in
California we saw it coming but we were too slow to warn
everyone. I came on this committee, I started to kind of let
everyone know that this was an emerging major problem. In Santa
Monica, California, we have lost half of our drinking water
supply. The thing about MTBE is that it is a probable
carcinogen. But beyond that, it has this horrible order even in
very, very small quantities. So no one will drink the water if
it gets into the water. They just refuse. Even is you tell them
this is safe, no one is going to drink water that smells like
turpentine or worse and looks like turpentine or worse. So it
is an insidious problem.
I had a big argument with EPA on this, just so you know
that this is not about being partisan. I called for the phase-
out and I felt that EPA was denying that MTBE was a problem for
a long time. They told me they did not have the authority to
phase it out. We kept showing them parts of the law that they
still said that they disagreed. Finally, they did agree that in
the Toxic Substances Control Act they could, in fact, phaseout
MTBE. And much to my delight, a little bit late but they did
it, they began a rulemaking to phaseout MTBE.
So my question to you is, can I have your commitment that
you will continue to move that rulemaking forward?
Governor Whitman. Senator, again, I generally, and we have
had a little bit of this conversation, I am generally in favor
of limiting the use of MTBE. I will certainly review that
rulemaking, as we will review all the rules that are in
process. I think that is appropriate to do as a new
Administration coming in. But I tell you personally that I am
generally in favor of limiting the use, because we have had the
same sorts of problems that you are indicating. I am going to
review this issue, I look forward to reviewing it with you, and
certainly in the context of any other adverse impacts that it
may have and causes that it could concern on the population.
Senator Boxer. Let me just say there is a difference
between limiting the use and phasing it out.
Governor Whitman. I understand that. I am just giving you
the first cut.
Senator Boxer. I understand. But I think this is a very key
matter. I think using it a little, it still leaks into the
water supply. So it is a big problem. So I am very interested
in this, and because my subcommittee that I will be the ranking
member on with Senator Chafee will deal with waste cleanup and
brownfields and Superfund, we will be getting into this. But we
do have the support of I want to say both Chairmen for today,
that is a fact, this chairman and the new chairman to come, on
There is another issue that I merely want to bring to your
attention. And that is the courts are looking at the oil
companies culpability in a lot of this. It is very contentious.
There was an amendment we defeated in this committee that would
have allowed oil companies to get off the hook for the
liability. Those who supported the oil companies here said that
oil companies had no idea that MTBE would pose such a problem.
Discovery in a California suit which was similar to that filed
in New Jersey shows that the oil company did know MTBE would
pose exactly the problems we are now discovering. Do you agree
that Congress should not pass legislation to stop the courts
from examining if the oil companies knew about MTBE rather than
let them off the hook?
Governor Whitman. I would be surprised, with all due
respect to the power of Congress, if they could pass a law that
would prevent anyone from the courts looking at the cases that
were brought before it.
Senator Boxer. If we say that they are not liable, then
there is no point in anyone suing. That was the question. There
were those on this committee who tried to say oil companies had
no liability. I will send you that so that you can take a look
at it. I know these questions are not easy for you without
consulting others. But I just wanted to say this is a
I wanted to talk to you about just a couple of other things
and then I am actually going to be done. So I will wait until
everyone is finished.
Senator Reid. If I could say, Governor Whitman has been
here since about a quarter after nine. We are going to allow
one more round of questions and then we are going to ask that
any other questions that people have be submitted in writing.
Senator Boxer. Sure.
Senator Reid. She has already agreed to get the questions
answered by Monday.
Governor Whitman. Yes, sir.
Senator Reid. Senator Clinton.
Senator Clinton. Governor, we have alluded to the issue of
acid rain in several previous questions. But there are
precedents certainly to be built on in trying to expand the
regulation over the emissions from power plants that affect one
part of the country that are based in another part of the
country. Certainly in New York and in other parts of the
Northeast, we suffer from acid rain that comes from two
geographic locations, power plants in the Midwest and then
increasingly some power plants in Canada.
With respect to the first, my predecessor, Senator Moynihan
was a leading voice on Federal legislation to control the
emissions that cause acid rain. The EPA has played a leadership
role in holding power plants accountable for the pollution they
create that they do not themselves suffer from. But we think
that we are going to have to go further and take a hard look at
trying to control sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon
dioxide, and mercury. It will certainly be up to the Federal
Government, because this is not something that the States can
do on their own, to play a leadership role in this.
I would like, first of all, for you to respond, if you yet
know, what role you would be willing to play to try to either
broker agreements or come up with legislation that could pass
that would hold domestic power plants responsible. And the
second part of the question, which really is entangled with our
trade policy, is how we negotiate with neighbors like Canada on
our northern border or Mexico on our southern border with
internationally caused pollution. And this is a particular
issue for northern New York because there is increasing
evidence of emissions that come from Canada that are not
obviously controllable because of the prevailing winds. But it
is one of the reasons why I think that labor and environmental
standards should be a part of trade policy and not be left out
when we negotiate compacts with our neighbors. In the absence
of that, then we may have to look at separate negotiations
regarding environmental issues that affect the United States
that are really originating in either Canada or Mexico. So with
respect to both of those issues, do you have any comment at
Governor Whitman. Senator, I will tell you that the acid
rain program that President Bush established in 1990 I think
has been one of the more successful programs of environmental
compliance that we have seen with the cap and trade that was
put in place. It has had a huge impact. EPA has been very
involved in that implementation and has done it with minimal,
amazingly, amount of staff because of what is required here.
But it really has improved air quality, and there is no
question about that.
I think it gives us some idea of where we should go as we
look toward the future. We are not finished with this problem,
we know that, in spite of all the steps that we have taken and
successes that we have achieved. But cap and trade and market-
based incentives have worked in this instance. That is
something that I believe we can continue to do as we address
now the more problematic areas that continue to provide our
challenges, as it were, with acid rain. I would look forward to
continuing that role and that relationship of the Environmental
Protection Agency, its responsibility in this area. But we do
at least have an example of a program that was innovative and
has actually worked, and that is the kind of thing that I would
hope that we would do more of. It is a market-based initiative,
cap in trade, and it has made a difference.
As far as the international negotiations are concerned, I
think we have seen at the last few international trade meetings
that NGO's are going to have a place at the table, that in fact
those considerations will be part of future deliberations. And
to the extent that we can work collegially with our neighbors
on the North and on the South, that we should be part of that.
That will not be, obviously, the primary responsibility of the
Environmental Protection Agency, but I certainly expect that we
would be partners in those kinds of efforts.
Senator Clinton. I would agree. I would just add though
that the 1990 legislation grandfathered in certain of those
midwestern plants. And that has been one of the sources of----
Governor Whitman. Which everyone assumed was going to
phaseout and they have not. I understand.
Senator Clinton. Exactly. And there has not been enough of
a stick to phaseout the pollution produced by those plants. And
the legislation did not cover all four of the major pollutants.
So that we do need to look at some legislative changes.
Governor Whitman. I would agree with you on that.
Senator Voinovich. Mr. Chairman.
Senator Reid. Senator Voinovich, did you have a comment?
Senator Voinovich. Yes. I would like to comment on that.
First of all, there is a regional difference of opinion on
this. I advocated once we could shut down all the power plants
in the Midwest and your States would still have a pollution
problem. I am proud of the fact, for example, that there is not
a county in Ohio that has not achieved the current ambient air
standards. When I became Governor none of them had and we have
reached the current standards.
I would like to say to this committee that the utilities in
the Midwest and in that area that we have been complaining
about for so long are willing to sit down and deal with mercury
and NOx and the other issues that are on the table and come up
with a reasonable program that will get them to do the job that
they need to do. But we just have not been able to sit down and
really talk about these things because everyone says you cannot
do this and you cannot do that. These people are willing. They
are spending billions of dollars. They spent actually a lot
more money than your utilities in the Northeast to comply with
acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act.
I think a real challenge would be to see if those of us
from different regions could sit down and work something out,
lay it out, say here is what we want you to do, get an
agreement, and say we are going to stay on your back in order
for you to get this done, and let them get to it. But too often
the EPA just, as I mentioned earlier in my remarks on the NOx
issue, they said it has got to be 85 percent. The Ohio
utilities admit that we are having a real impact on
Pennsylvania and some other places and they are willing to do
these things. But it seems that with the EPA it is just our way
or no way. I think it is time for us to sit together and figure
out how to get it done and get some consensus and compromise
and get on with it. We will be better off and so will your
region of the country. I would like to sit down with you,
Senator, and some of your colleagues and see if we cannot get
to the table and work on something.
Senator Clinton. Senator, I would be absolutely delighted
to do that. I think all of us want to see the results. I would
love to take you up to the Adirondacks, I will come visit some
of the plants, and we will see if we can bring people together
around this so that we can build on the success of the 1990
legislation and keep doing what we need to do to get the
cleanest possible air. So we will look forward to that.
Senator Reid. I look forward to joining in the Voinovich-
Clinton or Clinton-Voinovich bill that will be----
Senator Clinton. Voinovich-Clinton. I am well aware of
Senator Reid. Senator Corzine.
Senator Corzine. So am I.
Senator Corzine. I think that there is plenty of room for
us to make sure that we establish the facts with regard to this
situation. I think this committee may very well be a great
place for a full discussion so that it is understood in its
complete context so that when you get around to trying to build
a consensus there is an understanding of the basis on which the
issues are being debated.
Governor Whitman. Can I also say that you will have a
partner in the Administration, because during the campaign
President-elect Bush did talk about a multi-pollutant strategy
to address the issues of the aging energy facilities. And so we
will be happy to work together on that.
Senator Corzine. Governor, following on a question that
Senator Voinovich raised, I actually just want to clarify in my
own mind, did I hear you say that prioritization of how you
would look at regulatory factors or how you built regulation
would come from good science and science rationale in the first
instance, and then sort of cost-benefit analyses in the second?
Governor Whitman. Good science I believe is the absolute
foundation for decisions made by the Agency. There will be
times however, as we all know in having dealt with scientists,
that it may be difficult to reach an agreement as to what is
the absolute perfect science and the Agency will be required to
move ahead in any event. That is something we have to be
prepared to do. But without a level of confidence on the part
of the Congress and the people of this country that the Agency
makes decisions based on the very best science available, I do
not believe that we will have the moral authority, much less
the legal authority, to really make a difference.
Senator Corzine. I compliment that ordering. I think it
would be the desire of the public to make sure that we are
thinking about it in that kind of prioritization.
I wonder if you would mind commenting on another regional
issue, the so-called Gore Agreement with regard to ocean
dumping, and whether the EPA's evolution of standards is
something you embrace or have had a chance to look at in
detail. There are a whole series of issues on dredging in
various parts of the States and our region and I wonder if you
have thought about alternative disposal strategies other than
Governor Whitman. Senator, as I am sure you are familiar,
when I came into office I put a stop to ocean dumping off Sandy
Hook until we found other disposal alternatives. Fully
understanding the economic impact on our ports and the
necessity for dredging, we have been very advanced in the State
of New Jersey in developing de-watering plants, in finding
beneficial use for dredged spoils, and we continue that.
The new agreement that was made in 1997 I believe it was
between the Administration and the EPA and at that point some
of the environmental organizations in New Jersey was not one to
which I was party, but I did endorse the pledge that was made
that it would be sound science that would determine what was
category I versus II and III. Subsequent to that, I, in the
last year, wrote to the Department asking for an assurance
that, in fact, that was going to be the determinant factor. I
am not at this point familiar with what their final
determination is relative to the science. But I continue my
commitment to ensure that we do not dump hazardous spoils that
pose a threat to our environment at that site, or anywhere off
the United States that is not appropriate for that kind of use.
We have found alternative disposal sites, we have found
other uses for de-watered dredge spoil, and I believe there are
alternatives that we can find to ocean dumping. I will continue
to have an interest in how we address the very real economic
needs of our ports for increased dredging while protecting the
Senator Corzine. The science in this particular area is one
where we need to develop a consensus of view. It is one of the
more disputed elements of debate in our region.
Governor Whitman. It is, and at one point what was
originally agreed to in 1997 was deemed by all to be the best
science and what was called category I everyone was comfortable
with, and that changed and we were suddenly no longer
comfortable with that. I am not enough of a scientists nor have
I had the opportunity to go behind the scientific analysis that
was done to determine who is right in that one.
Senator Reid. The last questions will be asked by Senator
Senator Boxer. Thank you. Governor, I have three areas of
interest. I will never get to cover them. So I will go as far
as I can and then I will send the rest to you. One is energy
efficiency. I want to pick up on some of Tom Carpo's ideas that
he mentioned to you. Another one is children's health, that we
discussed. And the final one is the dumping of radioactive
waste in non-NRC disposal sites, these are the licensed sites,
and we have a problem in California there.
We are about to have a very huge national debate/argument
over the advisability of drilling in the Alaska Wildlife
Reserve. I think it is going to be a very rough debate and I
hope that the environmental side wins out on it. But it seems
to me there is a much larger question of course about our
energy policy. We know, for example, if SUVs had the same fuel
economy as regular cars, it would be a million barrels of oil a
day that we would save right there--right there. It would make
it unnecessary to do a lot of the things that we have to. That
is just one way.
On this committee, a gentleman on the other side of the
aisle, Senator Bennett, who just left, told me that he had
bought a hybrid vehicle and he was just saying how wonderful it
is. You fill your car up with gas and it kicks back and forth
between gas and electricity. It is very clean and it also gets
about 52 miles to the gallon average. Anyway, I bought one of
these cars and I think it an amazing thing. It is no sacrifice,
by the way, because it is the most comfortable thing and you do
not notice any difference. It is a great interim step before
people get more used to electric vehicles. I think it just says
that if we all started to do more of these things, I think it
would be good.
Senator Carpo mentioned to you this notion about changing
the kind of vehicles we use in our pool of automobiles. This is
not so much a question, but I am asking if you would take a
look at this, and EPA itself, what a good idea, take a look at
how we can save energy. I am sure that you are going to have
lots of other things on your plate. But would you be willing to
do that, take a real good look, maybe have an energy audit--I
am sure that Carol Browner did some of these things--and get
back to me. Because if you will undertake some of these things,
then maybe we can get other agencies to do it, and maybe even
here in the U.S. Senate.
Governor Whitman. Senator, if you will grant me some
flexibility in the timeframe, I pledge to get back to you on
Senator Boxer. Yes. You have got flexibility. Six months is
a long time.
Senator Boxer. That is pretty good. Usually, we want our
answers yesterday. So that is 6 months.
On children's health, in my work on this committee, from
Superfund to Safe Drinking Water Act, I have worked to ensure,
with a lot of my friends here, that our environmental laws are
kind to children. And when we talked about this yesterday, we
talked about when you make sure the standards are set to
protect children, they also protect pregnant women, the
elderly, the disabled, and those with autoimmune diseases. So
when you protect children, you are protecting the vulnerable
My first question is, and I think I know your answer to
this but I want to get it on the record, will you keep the
Office of Children's Health that Carol Browner put in place
over at the EPA?
Governor Whitman. Absolutely. President-elect Bush has
indicated his desire to see that office function in a very
strong advocacy role.
Senator Boxer. I am very happy to hear that. We know that
pound for pound children breath more air and drink more water
than adults do. So if that water or air is polluted, the
pollution will have a more harmful effect on a child's system
because the child is rapidly developing. Senator Clinton came
out to San Francisco when I introduced my Children's
Environmental Protection Act, and I was very grateful to her,
and I know she is particularly interested in this as are other
members. So I hope you will work with us.
We did amend the Safe Drinking Water Act right here in this
committee so that anything we do with safe drinking water has
to protect kids. I am going to ask you, will you support and
fully implement that particular law?
Governor Whitman. Again, Senator, I have to plead some
ignorance to the extent of that law. But given the predilection
of this Administration to protect our children and the most
vulnerable populations, I would presume that we would look with
a very favorable eye on that.
Senator Boxer. Well, it is the law, so I think you have to.
Governor Whitman. We always enforce the law.
Senator Boxer. I was just hoping that you would do it
Governor Whitman. We always enforce the law.
Senator Boxer. All right. I am glad. And I am sure we will
work together on this.
Before the red light goes on, let me quickly state what is
happening in California. Through the back door, and I am not
pointing any fingers because there is lots of blame to go
around, we got a shipment of radioactive material that set down
in a hazardous waste site that was not licensed to take
radioactive material. Well, that set up a big brouhaha and
everyone blamed everyone else--the feds blamed the State, and
the State blamed the feds, and I am in the middle of this
argument. The initial point that was made in this debate is
there is no room in our NRC licensed facilities. Well, again,
Senator Bennett of Utah lives in a State where there is lots of
room in these facilities.
I am just putting this on your horizon there as you look at
other issues because we will be holding hearings on this. I
hope that you will take a strong stand on that when you send
these nuclear materials out. In this case it came from the
Manhattan Project in New York. New York did not want them, I do
not blame them, so they sent them out to us at a place called
Button Willow and they go into this non-licensed facility. It
is very frightening to the communities. So I am putting it on
your radar screen and hope perhaps you will take a look at this
and let me know how you feel about sending radioactive
materials into non-Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed
Governor Whitman. Six months?
Senator Boxer. No, not 6 months. This is Monday.
Senator Boxer. So if you could do that.
Governor Whitman. OK.
Senator Boxer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, my fine new
colleagues, it is going to be great to work with all of you.
Senator Reid. I want to thank members of the committee,
especially our two new freshmen members, for your perseverance
and patience. I would say just from experience, there are all
kinds of things pulling you to do other things, but the more
time you spend on your committees the better off you will be.
You will just understand the issues better. On our side, we
have four great subcommittee chairs--we have Senator Boxer with
Superfund, we have Senator Baucus with transportation, we have
Senator Graham who is going to lead a committee on clean water,
and we have Senator Lieberman dealing with clean air and other
things. So you are going to have lots to do. We are going to do
much of our work on this committee in our subcommittees, not
full committee. So when a subcommittee announcement comes out,
I hope you will be as consistent, patient, and persistent as
you were today.
Senator Smith has indicated to me that he is going to try
to get you reported out next week. We have to wait until your
papers are in. We also have to wait until the Republicans fill
the other members of the committee. So we are going to try to
do that next week.
I also will ask to be admitted into the record some
questions submitted by William Orem Neil, Director of
Conservation, the New Jersey Audubon Society; also from Jeffrey
Rush, from the Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility from the State of New Jersey; also from Jeff
Title, New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club; also a letter of
support from James Sharp, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; a
letter of support from the City Hall, Hoboken, New Jersey, from
Mayor Anthony Russo. Unless there is objection, these will be
made part of the record.
To the final obligatory questions that I am required to
ask. Are you willing, at the request of any duly constituted
committee of the Congress, to appear as a witness?
Governor Whitman. Of course.
Senator Reid. Do you know of any matters which you may or
may not have thus far disclosed, or questions that were not
asked that might place you in any conflict of interest if you
are confirmed in this position?
Governor Whitman. No, I do not.
Senator Reid. Thank you all very much. Questions for the
record should be submitted by today at 5:00 p.m.
The committee stands in recess.
[Whereupon, at 1:20 p.m., the committee was adjourned, to
reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
[Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
Statement of Hon. Max Baucus, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana
Mr. Chairman, I would like to join my colleagues in extending a
warm welcome to Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the nominee for
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA administers and enforces a complex set of laws and
regulations protecting public health and the environment. Although I
understand you support cooperative efforts with industry to improve
compliance with pollution and similar regulations, it is critical that
EPA continue to enforce the law and hold violators responsible for
their actions. My state has several Superfund sites that continue to
require intensive monitoring and massive clean-up efforts. EPA must
play a prominent role in preventing these environmental disasters from
occurring again, either in my state or anywhere else in the country.
Effective and fair enforcement can be used as a powerful tool to
achieve this goal.
With that in mind, I think we all agree that the most important
tasks of the EPA are to ensure that already contaminated sites are
cleaned up and that public health is protected. I hope that you,
Governor Whitman, will support creative efforts to ensure that these
important priorities are achieved. Based upon your record as Governor
of New Jersey, especially your support of Brownfields legislation, I
believe that you will.
I look forward to working with you if you are confirmed on the many
issues that will come before the Committee in the future and those
issues that are unique to Montana. I also hope that you will accept my
invitation to visit Montana. We have a few good trout streams.
Statement of Hon. Jon S. Corzine, U.S. Senator from the State of New
Thank you, Chairman Reid. It is an honor to appear before you
today, and to have been selected for membership on this Committee. I am
excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of working with you, with
Chairman-to-be Smith, and with all the members of the Committee.
Today I am pleased to join my distinguished senior colleague from
New Jersey, Senator Torricelli, in introducing Governor Christine Todd
Whitman to the Committee. And let me begin by publicly congratulating
Governor Whitman on her nomination to head the Environmental Protection
Agency. It is a great honor and a truly vital role. The Garden State is
proud. As Senator Torricelli has explained, Governor Whitman has a long
and distinguished record of public service, and has made many important
contributions to our State.
As you will see, Mr. Chairman, Governor Whitman is highly
articulate and persuasive. She genuinely cares about the issues. And
she knows how to make an impact.
She has been a leader in protecting New Jersey's 127-mile shoreline
and in fighting for cleaner air - guarding against the kind of
pollution that knows no state boundaries. And as an individual and a
Governor, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to preserving open
space. Given the Governor's record on matters of conservation, I'm not
sure I would not have preferred to see her nominated for Secretary of
As you well know, Mr. Chairman, the Administrator of EPA has the
primary responsibility for ensuring that our air and water is clean,
our natural resources are preserved, and our public health protected.
It is a difficult job. It often requires a careful evaluation of highly
complex scientific data, and an ability to translate that data into
detailed policies. It needs someone who will fight internal battles to
make environmental protection a budget priority. It needs someone who
will work with local communities and businesses to find mutually
acceptable solutions to environmental problems. And it needs someone
who, when necessary, will be tough on polluters and force them to do
the right thing.
Mr. Chairman, I believe Governor Whitman has the background, the
experience and the skills necessary to do the job.
Of course, Mr. Chairman, these are not the only requirements for an
EPA Administrator. These qualities must be matched by a determination
to stand firm for the environment, to fully enforce our environmental
laws and to fight for justice and equity for all. I know that you and
other members of the Committee will want to ask the Governor for
details about her views on specific environmental policies. And, once I
get up on the other side of the dais, I will have questions of my own.
But having spoken privately with the Governor, I believe that she
will be able to effectively articulate her positions on specific issues
and establish a real commitment to environmental protection. And,
without rushing to a conclusion before the hearing even starts, I fully
expect that she will convince the Committee not only that she deserves
to be confirmed, but that she has the tools to be an effective
With that, Mr. Chairman, I would simply congratulate the Governor
on her nomination and thank you for the opportunity to introduce her.
Statement of Hon. Robert Torricelli, U.S. Senator from the State of New
I would first like to acknowledge Senator Jon Corzine and
Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, and thank them for joining me here
today to introduce Governor Whitman. I would also like to congratulate
our Governor - how proud her husband, John, and children, Kate and
Taylor must be. It is special honor for me to introduce her to the
committee. I have known her and her family for years, and we have
worked together on many issues. During her years as Governor we have
waged many fights together from open space preservation to ending ocean
President Bush has made a wise selection. The EPA and the country
will be getting an Administrator who is qualified, battle-tested and
ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead for this Agency.
With this nominee, there will be no learning curve.
There are few training grounds that could better prepare someone
for this position than the Governor of New Jersey. As Chief Executive
of the State, Gov Whitman has the managerial and administrative
experience of running an agency as large as the EPA. But more
importantly, no state has a better sampling of the issues facing the
incoming Administrator of the EPA than New Jersey.
With 127 miles of shoreline, Whitman has dealt extensively with
issues of clean water and non-point source pollution. She knows first-
hand the threats to the economy and the environment from ocean dumping.
Gov Whitman has increased funding for beach cleanups, and under her
watch, beach closings have dropped from 800 in 1989 to just 11 in 1999.
New Jersey has been praised by the Natural Resources Defense Council
for having the nation's most comprehensive beach monitoring system.
With more Superfund sites than any other state in the Union (111),
she knows what works and what doesn't in the Superfund program. She has
seen the value of a concerted effort to turn urban brownfields into
productive industrial and commercial sites. Sharpe James, the mayor of
New Jersey's largest city, has endorsed her because of her efforts on
During her tenure as Governor, Christie Whitman brought innovative
technologies to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
to improve efficiency within the Department's permitting processes.
This investment has paid off. For example, it has allowed for the
expedited remediation of brownfields sites in New Jersey's urban
With the many dense urban centers in New Jersey, she has dealt with
the complex funding and regulatory issues of upgrading dilapidated
sewer systems and controlling combined sewer overflow.
As Governor of our nation's most developed state, she initiated and
passed a landmark $1 billion bond measure to preserve open space. By
the time it is finished, we will preserve one million acres of
farmland, pristine forest and watersheds, and urban parkland. Few
elected officials in this nation, yet alone, this Cabinet, have a
better understanding of what is needed to curb sprawl and protect our
open spaces, than Christie Whitman.
But more than her record of environmental progress, what makes Gov
Whitman uniquely qualified for this position is her understanding that
economic and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive goals.
For example, travel and tourism generates $28 billion in revenue and
employs nearly 800,000 people in Central and Southern New Jersey. No
issue is more important to those jobs than ocean quality.
Yet the Port of NY/NJ is a vital component of economic growth and
employment in the northern part of NJ contributing $20 billion annually
to the economy and supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. I have worked with
Gov Whitman to balance these constituencies and develop a policy that
ended ocean dumping while still allowing for the continuation of the
dredging necessary for the Port's continued growth.
The job for which Governor Whitman comes before this committee is
by no means an easy one. The challenges faced by the next Administrator
are both numerous and difficult.
The Superfund and Clean Water and Clean Air Acts have not been re-
authorized in a decade and there are new challenges on the horizon,
especially in our urban areas.
Our urban centers have sewer systems that were built at the turn of
the 19th Century. They frequently back-up and endanger public health
and water quality because they are incapable of handling overflow.
Too often industries unwanted anywhere else find homes on city
blocks because of the jobs they offer and the taxes they pay. The next
Administrator must make a priority of closing the gap between available
funds and infrastructure needs and ensuring that environmental justice
is more than a think tank slogan.
I am confident that Governor Whitman will do this and more.
The challenges ahead are many. Protecting our drinking water and
purifying our air, preserving open space and reforming Superfund.
But President Bush could not have selected a nominee with more
experience and commitment than Governor Whitman.
I have the utmost confident that she will do this committee and her
home state very proud.
Statement of Hon. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, U.S. Representative from the
State of New Jersey
Mr. Chairman, As someone who has worked closely with President-
elect Bush's EPA Administrator-designate, as both a member of the House
Appropriations Committee and as a former New Jersey State Legislator, I
am honored to be here to support her nomination before you and your
President-elect Bush has made a wise choice in selecting Governor
Christine Todd Whitman to lead our nation in the development of
America's environmental policies for the 21st Century.
Governor Whitman is an extremely capable executive. Throughout her
tenure as New Jersey's governor, and as a county elected official, she
has championed clean air and clean water, and has been, without
question, the strongest proponent of open space in our state's history.
As New Jersey's Chief Executive, her leadership has left New
Jerseyans feeling proud of their state and its natural resources, which
I might add are cleaner, and more protected than ever.
Governor Whitman's effective stewardship of New Jersey's almost 130
miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline has left our beaches pristine, and
our waters among the cleanest in the nation.
And, as one might expect, in the most densely populated state in
the nation, the preservation of undeveloped land has been a top public
priority. Again, Governor Whitman rose to the challenge of combating
urban sprawl, and implemented a state initiative to protect one million
acres of open space.
She has also strengthened New Jersey's record in cleaning up
hazardous waste, and has partnered with the EPA to actually clean up
sites. She has made polluters pay whenever they could be identified and
worked to implement a Brownfields strategy. Drawing on that experience,
I am certain she will be an advocate for streamlining our nation's
Superfund program, ensuring more effective expenditures and more
accountability, and that there are more cleanups.
These are a few examples of her strong leadership. Through your
close examination of Governor Whitman's record, I am confident that she
will be dedicated to the health and safety of all our nation's
citizens, a true advocate for our environment.
Finally, I have known Governor Whitman for years. I have proudly
watched her as Governor handle every conceivable challenge. At every
turn she has balanced competing interests in order to make decisions
that have served New Jersey's best environmental and economic
interests. She will do likewise for our nation.
Mr. Chairman, I urge your support, and that of your colleagues, of
Statement of Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Nominee to be
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is an honor to come before this committee today as President-
elect Bush's nominee to be Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency. I am grateful for the opportunity the President-
elect has given me.
Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed sitting down with you,
the members of the committee, to talk about what we can do together to
preserve and protect our nation's environment.
I am especially looking forward to accepting your kind invitations
to come to your states--and perhaps even visit some trout streams. It
was on the banks of a little stream that ran through our farm that my
father first introduced me to the beauty of nature, and I have been
hooked ever since.
Mr. Chairman, we stand today at a place of enormous opportunity.
Over the past three decades, our nation has won so many important
victories in our common mission to preserve and protect America's
We have seen a significant transformation in the way we view our
air, water, and land. Today, there is universal agreement that our
natural resources are valuable, not just for the economic prosperity
they help create, but for what they add to our quality of life. No
longer do we debate about ``whether'' we need to act to protect our
environment. Instead, we discuss ``how'' we can keep America green
while keeping our economy growing.
Due to the progress we have made, both in our actions and our
attitudes, America is on the cusp of another major transformation. We
are ready to enter a new era of environmental policy--an era that
requires a new philosophy of public stewardship and personal
To discover what this new era will look like, one need only look to
the states. There's one state with which I'm particularly familiar, so
let me tell you a bit about what we've done in New Jersey over the past
In my home state, we are moving beyond the ``command and control''
model of mandates, regulations, and litigation. We are, instead,
working to forge strong partnerships among citizens, government, and
business that are built on trust, cooperation, and shared mutual goals.
Those partnerships are producing results--clear, measurable
results. I would like to share some of them with you.
Our air is cleaner. For example, the number of days New Jersey
violated the Federal 1-hour air quality standard for ground level ozone
has dropped from 45 in 1988 to just 4 last year. We're doing a better
job monitoring our air quality, and we're on target to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels through incentives to
encourage voluntary reductions, promote energy efficiency and renewable
technologies, and reduce landfill gas emissions.
Our water is clearer. The Delaware River is thriving again, with
the shad population up by more than 300 percent since the 1970's. New
Jersey leads the Nation in opening shellfish beds for harvesting.
Annual ocean beach closings have dropped from more than 800 in 1988 to
just 11 this past year.
Our land is cleaner. We have transformed our brownfields program
into a redevelopment tool, providing $15 million to help towns clean-up
sites and market them for re-use. Mine is the only state in America
with a reimbursement program for private parties that voluntarily
clean-up sites. In addition, in 1998, the voters of New Jersey
overwhelmingly approved my plan to preserve one million acres of open
space and farmland by 2010--and we are already 20 percent of the way
Only by measuring the quality of the environment--the purity of the
water, the cleanliness of the air, the protection afforded the land--
can we measure the success of our efforts. By those measures, New
Jersey is succeeding: our water and air are cleaner, and our land
better protected than it was 7 years ago.
At the same time, New Jersey's economy is stronger than ever--more
people have jobs in my state today than ever before in our history. As
President-elect Bush has emphasized--and as New Jersey has seen--
environmental protection and economic prosperity do go hand in hand.
The President-elect has articulated a set of clear principles that
I will work to implement at the EPA, should I be confirmed. I would
like to highlight several of them today.
First, we will launch a new era of cooperation among all
stakeholders in environmental protection. Only by including all
Americans can we meet the challenges we face. There is much government
can do, but government cannot do it alone.
Second, we will maintain a strong Federal role, but we will provide
flexibility to the states and to local communities. They need that
flexibility to craft solutions that meet their unique situations. We
will also respect state and local authority and rely on their
Third, we will continue to set high standards and will make clear
our expectations. To meet and exceed those goals, we will place greater
emphasis on market-based incentives.
Next, we will use strong science. Scientific analysis should drive
policy. Neither policy nor politics should drive scientific results.
Finally, we will work to promote effective compliance with
environmental standards without weakening our commitment to vigorous
enforcement of tough laws and regulations. We will offer the carrot
when appropriate, and always preserve the stick of enforcement.
Taken together, these reforms will transform the way the EPA meets
its mission. We will work in a bipartisan fashion to achieve them. They
will also produce real results--results to which we will be able to
look and know how far we have come--and how much further we need to go.
I am looking forward to the job ahead, should you honor me with
confirmation. The EPA is staffed with some of the finest environmental
professionals in the world. I know that they are eager, as I am, to
begin our work together.
I also know that the demands I will face as Administrator of the
EPA will not be the same I faced as Governor. The position I hope to
assume allows no room for regional favoritism. But I do expect to bring
to my job an understanding--and an empathy--for what it is like to be
on the receiving end of directives from Washington.
Mr. Chairman, one of the first things my father taught me, he
taught me at that trout stream I mentioned a few minutes ago. I
remember him telling me, ``Christie, always leave anyplace you go
cleaner than you found it.''
He didn't know it at the time, but that was awfully good advice for
someone who would someday be nominated to serve as head of the nation's
agency for environmental protection. I pledge to you, Mr. Chairman and
members of the committee, that if I am confirmed I will do everything I
can as EPA Administrator to leave America's environment cleaner than I
biographical sketch--governor christine todd whitman
Christine Todd Whitman, the 50th Governor of New Jersey, was
elected November 2, 1993, and re-elected November 4, 1997. She is the
first woman to be elected to the state's highest office. Her second
term runs until noon, January 15, 2002.
Thirty-eight times during her first 7 years in office, Governor
Whitman signed legislation to provide tax relief, most recently through
a state earned income credit to complement the Federal credit for low-
and moderate-income taxpayers. She fulfilled a campaign promise to cut
the state income tax by 30 percent for most taxpayers and signed
legislation to eliminate the tax completely for an estimated 700,000
low-income families. Governor Whitman proposed and enacted the New
Jersey SAVER program, the state's largest-ever direct property tax
relief program. When fully phased in, New Jersey SAVER will provide
households an average of $600 annually. She also signed bills to
reinstate a property tax deduction on the state income tax and to
freeze property taxes for low-income seniors and people with
Governor Whitman proposed and won voter approval for a stable
funding source to preserve 1 million more acres of open space and
farmland by the year 2010. Nearly as much land--over 250,000 acres--has
already been preserved during her administration as in the previous
three decades of the state's land preservation program.
Governor Whitman encouraged greater use of the revised State
Development and Redevelopment Plan as a tool for ``smart growth,'' and
encouraged redevelopment of cities through programs to streamline
cleanups of abandoned industrial ``brownfield'' sites. She also
established a new watershed management program and in 2000 proposed an
overhaul of the state's water regulations to direct future development
to areas already approved for sewer service.
During Governor Whitman's term, New Jersey significantly increased
state funding for shore protection, experienced steep declines in beach
closings, and earned recognition by the National Resource Defense
Council for the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the
nation. Governor Whitman won voter approval for a plan to break a
longstanding impasse over dredging the state's ports in an
environmentally acceptable and economically feasible way. The Governor
also supplied new funding for projects to clean New Jersey waterways
and for new efforts to monitor and improve air quality.
Governor Whitman initiated a $165 million plan in 2000 to encourage
the growth of high-technology industries in New Jersey. Her efforts to
spark private-sector job growth also include lowering corporate tax
rates for small businesses, creating a business expansion and
relocation incentive program, and reforming the state's civil justice
system. These initiatives have helped the private sector add more than
420,000 jobs to the state's economy since the beginning of the Whitman
In 2000, Governor Whitman approved an $8.6 billion school
construction bill, by far the largest statewide investment in school
infrastructure in the nation. During her tenure, Governor Whitman
established new, rigorous standards in seven key academic subject areas
for all public schools. She also approved legislation authorizing the
establishment of charter schools, which now number more than 50, and
creating a new college savings program for New Jersey families.
Governor Whitman approved legislation to reform the juvenile
justice system and signed ``Megan's Law,'' which requires community
notification when a convicted sex offender is released from prison. She
enacted legislation that mandates a life sentence for any violent
criminal convicted of a serious crime for a third time. She also signed
laws requiring violent criminals to serve at least 85 percent of their
sentences before being considered for parole and giving the state
Parole Board more discretion in denying parole to dangerous inmates.
Governor Whitman designed and enacted Work First New Jersey, a
welfare reform plan that requires most welfare recipients to work and
places a 5-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits. Since the program
began, New Jersey's welfare rolls have been cut by more than 50
percent. She also initiated efforts to expand and improve child care
and established a subsidized health insurance program for low-income
children and adults.
Governor Whitman appointed the first African American to serve on
the state Supreme Court and the first female Chief Justice of the
state's highest court. In 1995, she became the first Governor to
deliver the Republican response to a U.S. President's State of the
Governor Whitman was born in New York City on September 26, 1946,
and was raised in Oldwick Township in Hunterdon County. She attended
the Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills and the Chapin School in
New York City. She graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.,
with a bachelor's degree in government in 1968.
Upon completing college, Ms. Whitman worked for the U.S. Office of
Economic Opportunity and for the Republican National Committee. While
with the committee, she instituted a program to attract new party
members from groups not traditionally aligned with the Republican
In 1982, Ms. Whitman was elected to the Somerset County Board of
Chosen Freeholders. She was re-elected in 1985 and during her tenure on
the board served two terms as director and deputy director.
In 1988, Governor Thomas H. Kean appointed Ms. Whitman to fill an
unexpired term on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and
designated her to serve as its president. She was appointed to a full
6-year term on the board in June 1989, but resigned the following year
to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Although she lost to Senator Bill
Bradley, she defied pollsters by garnering 49 percent of the vote.
The Governor is married to John R. Whitman, a financial consultant.
They have two children: Kate, born in 1977, and Taylor, born in 1979.
Governor Whitman is the youngest daughter of the late Eleanor and
Webster Todd, both of whom held leadership positions in state and
county government and within the Republican Party. Mrs. Todd was a
president of the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women, a
Republican National Committee Woman, and a vice chairwoman of the New
Jersey Board of Higher Education; and the Governor's father served for
many years as state Republican chairman. Governor Whitman's two
brothers, Webster Todd, Jr. and the late John Todd, and her sister,
Kate Beach, have also served in various elected and appointed offices
at the local, state, and Federal levels.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Reid
Question 1. What priority will you place on reducing the EPA's
reliance on animal tests, on assuring that the animal protection
community is invited to participate in the development of testing
programs, and on devoting EPA resources to researching sophisticated
Response. I understand that EPA does use animal test data in some
of its research and risk assessments. It is important that such testing
be as humane as possible without compromising the underlying goals of
the research. I further understand that this is an issue that other
agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the
Department of Labor, also face. I look forward to learning more about
these issues from you and working with you, other Federal agencies and
others on these concerns.
Question 2. There are currently several in vitro test methods used
in other countries which have not been accepted for regulatory use in
the U.S. because the U.S. does not accept the European Union's
validation assessments. What plans do you have to facilitate the
acceptance in the U.S. of methods currently recommended by the European
Union and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development?
Response. This is an important issue for EPA and many other
agencies that conduct research regarding human health. I am not
familiar with the European recommendations but look forward to learning
more about them.
Question 3. What portion of the EPA's research budget will you
recommend using for test methods?
Response. I am not familiar with what portion of EPA's research
budget currently goes to test methods. Many test methods developed by
EPA are used to determine levels of contaminants in soil, water, and
other media and are constantly being refined. I will need to review
this and other budget matters more thoroughly before making any
Question 4. In your testimony, you indicate that, under your
leadership, EPA will use strong science. This suggests that EPA has
not, in your opinion, always relied upon strong science. Could you
please provide specific, preferably recent examples of instances in
which EPA has not relied upon strong science?
Response. My comment was based primarily on the conclusion of a
recent National Academy of Sciences study found that science at EPA
``is of uneven quality, and the agency's policies and regulations are
frequently perceived as lacking a strong scientific foundation.''
Question 5. Your testimony also noted that neither policy nor
politics should drive scientific results EPA relies upon. Again, this
suggests that EPA has allowed policy and politics to drive scientific
results. Could you please provide specific, preferably recent examples
of instances in which EPA allowed policy or politics to drive
Response. As stated above, my comment was based on the findings of
a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study found that science at
EPA ``is of uneven quality, and the agency's policies and regulations
are frequently perceived as lacking a strong scientific foundation.''
If confirmed, I will commit to working to make science the foundation
for EPA's policymaking.
Question 6. You noted in your testimony your eagerness to find
mutually agreeable solutions to environmental problems. You also noted
in response to questions that it is often difficult to reach agreement
on scientific issues. Given your commitment to have sound science drive
EPA's policy, how will you--to develop policies, or find mutually
agreeable solutions to issues, for the Agency, when agreement on the
science that underlies them cannot be reached?
Response. I first would seek to bring people together to determine
what science there is and what science can be agreed upon. If there is
disagreement, then I would rely on advice from the Agency's various
internal and external science advisors for their recommendations.
Question 7. Is disagreement among scientists over the ``science''
of an EPA policy or action necessarily indicative of unsound science?
Response. No. Many scientific questions have uncertain answers and
disagreement regarding the ``right `` answer often merely reflects this
Question 8. Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe
disagreement among scientists should cause an EPA policy or action to
be delayed until disagreement is resolved?
Response. Each situation would present unique challenges and would
have to be determined individually.
Question 9. Some scientists argue that the science of global
warming, and that the science behind the ozone and particulate matter
ambient air standards, is unsound. Given the position the State of New
Jersey has taken on both of these issues, how did you as Governor
determine that there was sufficient agreement on, or soundness of, the
science of these two issues?
Response. I sought the advice and recommendations of the State
agency's leading scientists, professionals and stakeholders.
Question 10. Given that uncertainty is inherent to managing natural
resources and that it is usually easier to prevent environmental damage
than to repair it, do you believe that the burden of proof should be
shifted away from those advocating protection toward those proposing an
action that may be harmful?
Response. The burden of proof needs to be considered in the context
of a scientific assessment of the consequences, magnitude, and
likelihood of potential harm. The brunt of the burden should be
proportionate to what the risk-based assessment concludes. Where the
potential consequences are severe, the magnitude is substantial, and
the likelihood of harm is high, those proposing harmful action should
bear a greater burden of justification. Where the opposite is true,
those opposing action should bear the greater burden. Policies and
decisions resulting from this give-and-take ultimately are a matter of
Question 11. The term ``sound science'' is used commonly,
particularly among those who disparage the policies or actions of EPA.
How would you define ``sound science''?
Response. EPA has adopted ``sound science'' as one of the 10 goals
in the Agency's Strategic Plan. The Agency has defined ``sound
science'' as developing and applying the best available science for
addressing specific environmental and health hazards. I support this
definition. Science must be credible in order for the Agency to be able
to continue to fulfill its mission of protecting human health and the
environment. To be credible, it needs to rely on the best data
available, represent a prevailing view among respected scientists, and
Question 12. What standard will you use to judge whether the
science underlying an EPA policy or action is sound?
Response. Consistent with the definition of ``sound science''
above, I will ask whether the policy or action is based on the best
Question 13. What standard should the Committee use to judge
whether the Agency, under your leadership, has used sound science in
its policies and actions?
Response. I would encourage the Committee to use the same standard
that I have outlined above.
Question 14. In listing your priorities as EPA Administrator, you
mentioned the importance of addressing nonpoint water pollution. Do you
believe that there are other sources of nonpoint source pollution,
besides the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) you mentioned at your
hearing, that should be addressed?
Question 15. What are these other sources?
Response. By its nature, nonpoint water pollution comes from
diverse sources. The specific sources often depend on the
characteristics of each watershed. For instance, in rural areas runoff
from agriculture operations can be major source of nonpoint source
pollution. In urban areas, runoff from parking lots and streets can be
a major source of pollution.
Question 16. If you believe there are other sources of nonpoint
source pollution beside that from CSOs, through what laws or programs
do you intend to use to address them?
Response. As a Governor, I have worked to improve our State's water
quality by addressing watersheds under current clean water laws,
cooperation with local communities and stakeholders, and through
voluntary best management practices. If confirmed as Administrator, I
would seek to work with states under their own water protection laws
and the TMDL program and with other Federal agencies, such as the
Department of Agriculture.
Question 17. Total Maximum Daily Loads, or ``TMDLs,'' are tools for
specifying the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can
receive and still meet water quality standards, and allocating
pollutant loads among both point and nonpoint sources. EPA's TMDL
program is considered by many as one of the most important tools for
achieving the nation's clean water goals. Do you agree that EPA's TMDL
program is one of the most important tools for achieving the nation's
clean water goals?
Response. Despite its long-standing presence in the Federal Clean
Water Act, TMDLs have not been used as a tool until recently. If
developed and implemented through a cooperative effort, TMDLs can
become important tools.
Question 18. Do you believe that, generally speaking, TMDLs are a
reasonable approach to addressing water pollution?
Response. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states,
territories, and authorized tribes to develop TMDLs for impaired
waters. If EPA works with these jurisdictions and other stakeholders,
TMDLs can be an important tool in achieving clean water goals.
Question 19. Will you commit to not rescinding EPA's recently
completed TMDL rule?
Response. If confirmed, I will review this recent rule and then
decide how to proceed.
Question 20. If you are unable to make such a commitment at this
time, will you commit to not delaying, past October of this year, the
implementation of this rule?
Response. Before making any decisions about the TMDL rule, I will
review the information that Congress has required be prepared,
including the study of costs to meet TMDLs that EPA is to prepare by
the end of February, as well as the National Academy of Sciences'
report to be prepared on the science underlying TMDLs.
Question 21. If you are unable to commit to either, what specific
circumstances or facts would cause you to rescind the rule?
Response. I would have to review the rule and the yet-to-be-
developed reports before making any decisions.
Question 22. What specific circumstances or facts would cause you
to delay the implementation of the rule?
Response. I would have to review the rule and the yet-to-be-
developed reports before making any decisions.
Question 23. There is an important gap in the Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund, namely that some small communities simply cannot afford
loans and are thus unable to use SRF funds to help them comply with
drinking water regulations. This gap has particularly serious
consequences for many states including Nevada, which is home to a large
number of small communities which will soon have to comply with new
drinking water standards for arsenic and radon. Would you support
legislation that fills the gap in the Drinking Water SRF by
establishing a program to provide grants to communities that cannot
afford these loans?
Response. I will need to learn more about the particulars of these
communities' needs, evaluate what options might exist for filling any
gap, and determine whether those options are cost effective. I look
forward to working with you to learn more about this issue.
Question 24. It seems to me that discharging dredge material into a
wetland, putting fill into it, or draining it can all have the same
effect--harming or destroying the wetland. As a general matter, do you
believe that it should be the Federal Government's policy, to protect
wetlands from being harmed or destroyed, regardless of whether the
cause is discharges of dredge material to wetlands, adding fill to
them, or draining them?
Response. As this is an area that continues to be litigated and
changed, as evidenced by last week's Supreme Court ruling and EPA's
newly revised Tulloch rule, I would need first to be sure of what
authority EPA has in this area. As I stated at the hearing, EPA has
significant knowledge and expertise in protecting wetlands, and I
would, if confirmed, look forward to working with states, communities
and stakeholders to develop effective wetland protection measures.
Question 25. The Clean Water Act (CWA) lies at the heart of EPA's
authority to the protect water resources of this country. In the Act,
``navigable waters'' are protected and these waters are defined as the
``waters of the United States.'' How would you personally define
``waters of the United States''?
Response. I recognize that these five words have been fought over
for decades, and I would hope to work with you and others to ensure
that EPA works to protect these waters consistent with Congress'
Question 26. Would your definition include wetlands?
Response. I understand that the courts have long held that this
phrase does cover wetlands.
Question 27. If your definition includes wetlands, do you believe
it is reasonable to conceive of ``waters of the United States'' as
applying to only those wetlands that are next to navigable waters? In
other words, do you believe that the CWA should afford protection to
only those wetlands adjacent to navigable waters?
Response. I would like to see the Federal Government provide the
necessary tools and resources to protect our nation's wetlands and
watersheds. I look forward, if confirmed, to ensuring that EPA works
with you and others to protect these waters consistent with Congress'
Question 28. You may be aware that last week EPA issued rules
affecting the permitting of discharges of dredged material and fill to
wetlands. This action partially closes a loophole in the so-called
``Tulloch'' rule created by the courts. It is expected to protect tens
of thousands of acres of wetlands from destruction each year. Will you
commit to not rescinding EPA's recent clarification of the Tulloch
Response. I will commit to reviewing this recent rule, if I am
confirmed as Administrator.
Question 29. If you cannot commit to this, what specific
circumstances or facts would cause you to rescind this rule?
Response. I would have to review the rule before making any
Question 30. If you were to decide to rescind EPA's recent
clarification of the Tulloch rule, how would you propose to replace the
thousands of acres of wetlands that will be lost due to the current
loophole and, at the same time, ensure that the nation's ``no net
loss'' of wetlands goal is achieved?
Response. I would have to review the rule before making any
Question 31. At various times in the past, scientists and
policymakers have ranked the risk to human health and natural resources
from environmental problems. One of the more comprehensive attempts was
entitled ``Reducing Risk,'' a project done by EPA with input from many
sources including the National Governors Association. During the
hearing, you mentioned that you would tackle the problems where there
is hope for consensus first, though I'm not sure these are the most
serious problems. What do you think are the environmental problems that
pose the gravest threat to human health and natural resources and the
ones most deserving of Agency attention?
Response. I am not familiar with that study. I believe that the
Agency's scientists, together with other scientists, should assist EPA
and Congress in defining the risks from various problems, so that we
all can be better prepared to identify which are the most deserving of
our attention. (see answers to the Sound Science questions above)
Question 32. As you mentioned during the hearing, the State of New
Jersey, under your leadership, has actively participated in the legal
defense of EPA's new national ambient air quality standards for ozone
and fine particles. You implied that this strong support may be diluted
by the needs of a national office. But, for the record, will you
continue to vigorously support and defend these new standards, both in
the courts and within the Administration, in your capacity as head of
the EPA? Will you do everything you can to see that they are
implemented in the same form as they were promulgated and as soon as
possible, assuming that the Supreme Court does not overturn them?
Response. I will support, defend and enforce the laws of this land.
I cannot speculate how the Supreme Court will rule.
Question 33. If your answer to the previous question is not a
resounding yes, please elaborate on why your previous support for the
ozone and particulate matter NAAQS would change in your role as EPA
Administrator. As you know, the NAAQS are to be set at a level of air
quality which, in the judgment of the Administrator, is requisite to
protect the public health, allowing for an adequate margin of safety.
That directive in the Clean Air Act and case law interpretation of it
prohibit the Agency from considering costs in setting the NAAQS. Do you
think that cost should be considered when the Agency sets a national
ambient air quality standard? If so, why?
Response. That is one of the questions at issue in the case pending
before the Supreme Court. I will wait to hear how they interpret the
Clean Air Act.
Question 34. In your testimony, you indicated that you saw no
reason not to keep to the schedule outlined by President Clinton for
EPA to make a determination by July 2002 as to whether to revise or
maintain the fine particulate matter. Will you follow that
determination up with the appropriate regulatory and enforcement
Response. I understand that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to
review each current air quality standard to every 5 years. I will
review the information and then make a decision.
Question 35. During President-elect Bush's campaign, he endorsed an
energy policy that included, to quote from the energy policy document
itself, ``legislation that will require electric utilities to reduce
emissions and significantly improve air quality'' by establishing
mandatory reduction targets for emissions of the four main pollutants
from power plants: nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, mercury and carbon
dioxide. How shall we go about determining what are the appropriate
levels of reductions? Should they be based primarily on public health?
Response. This is a complex issue, one to which the President is
committed, one on which this Committee already has begun work, and one
which will require great collaboration among Federal agencies and with
states, utilities, and concerned citizens. Public health should be the
primary concern, but others, particularly the impact on the
environment, also are important. I look forward to working with you and
others on this important matter.
Question 36. As you may know, the Administration has found,
pursuant to the Clean Air Act's direction, that it is necessary for
public health to control mercury emissions from coal- and oil-fired
power plants. The schedule set out in that recent determination
requires EPA to propose regulations by December 15, 2003, and issue
final regulations by December 15, 2004. Will you honor that schedule
and allocate the appropriate resources to ensure that it can be met?
Response. I will first review this recent determination and then
make a decision.
Question 37. As you may know, the 1999 regional haze rule set
regulations for visibility protection in the country's national parks
and other scenic areas. The Clean Air Act directs states to require
that certain older, larger facilities install the best emission
controls available as part of state strategies for meeting the regional
haze rule. On January 12, 2001, the Administration issued proposed
guidelines for states to use in determining what constitutes the best
emission controls, or the ``best available retrofit technology''
(BART), and which plants must apply them. You may not be familiar with
the details of this proposal, but will you commit to finalizing these
guidelines by the end of 2001? And, will you notify the Committee,
prior to promulgating the final guidelines, whether or not they will
depart significantly from the proposed guidelines?
Response. I am not familiar with the BART proposed guidelines but
will commit to reviewing them and to informing you if the final
guidelines will significantly depart from the proposal.
Question 38. You mentioned that we want to be sure that no
population bears a disproportionate burden from pollution because our
statutes fail to protect the most exposed. Recent studies suggest that
people living in urban corridors are exposed to significantly greater
amounts of toxic air pollutants than people living elsewhere. EPA has
begun, somewhat belatedly, to address urban air toxics with a
comprehensive strategy, including a focus on mobile source air toxics.
Will you make continuation of a focus on urban air toxics a priority,
if you are confirmed?
Response. I understand that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
require EPA to better study and, if warranted, regulate, air toxics,
many of which may adversely impact urban dwellers. I will review EPA's
current strategy and then determine how to proceed.
Question 39. During the hearing, you indicated general support for
the final diesel sulfur rule. Effectively implementing this rule will
take a fair amount of resources. Will you support, including allocating
sufficient resources, strongly enforce and vigorously defend this rule
to get rid of dirty diesels and significantly reduce sulfur in diesel
Response. I share with you the desire to improve the efficiency of
vehicle pollution control systems and to make cleaner burning engines.
I will review this recent rule and then determine how to proceed.
Question 40. As you know, EPA and the Department of Justice have
taken administrative and enforcement action against a variety of
electric power companies for violations of the New Source Review
requirements under the Clean Air Act. Will you encourage and work with
the Attorney General to continue the ongoing actions and prosecute any
matters still under consideration?
Response. As I stated in my hearing, I believe it is important to
first offer the carrot, but not to retire the stick. . Since these
proceedings started somtime ago, I will work with the Attorney General
as necessary and appropriate.
Question 41. Some sources have suggested that New Jersey and other
states have not structured their Clean Air Act Title V permitting
programs to collect the funds necessary, as is intended and provided by
the Act, to fund those programs in their entirety. What should EPA do
to ensure that states are collecting adequate permitting fees to run
their Title V programs?
Response. I have been intrigued by occasional sources that claim to
better understand New Jersey's programs than New Jersey. One of my
priorities, if confirmed, will be to establish better working
relationships with the states and hopefully improve the communication
and understanding, on both sides, of matters such as this. EPA should
afford states flexibility in how they find their programs and work with
States to ensure that program requirements and environmental goals are
Question 42. Several states do not appear to be making a full good
faith effort to comply with the terms and schedule outlined in the NOx
SIP call. Will you use the authority of the Administrator to implement
Federal Implementation Plans for these states if they do not comply
Response. If confirmed, I would do all I could to assist the states
in meeting the Federal air quality standards, and I would consider
whether it would be appropriate in this instance to adopt FIPs.
Question 43. During recent Air Subcommittee hearings, the Committee
was informed by Governor Bush's representative on the Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission that federally controlled off-road
sources are an increasing portion of state pollution inventories. EPA
has a number of initiatives under way to control off-road engines and
sources. What kind of emphasis will you place on continuing this work?
Response. Several states face challenges today in preparing state
implementation plans to meet various Federal air quality standards for
their communities. The states have particular measures they can take on
their own, and the Federal Government has several measures that are
more under the Federal Government's jurisdiction. I will work to meet
the Federal Government's obligations to provide states with the tools
they need to meet the Federal clean air standards.
Question 44. As you may know, the EPA has the statutory
responsibility for issuing final public health and safety standards for
the protection of the public from releases from radioactive materials
stored or disposed of in the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain in
Nevada. In August 1999, EPA proposed to limit annual radiation doses to
``reasonably maximally exposed individuals'' to 15 millirems and to 4
millirems for exposure from groundwater. What are your views on EPA's
responsibility to set strong and protective radiation standards for
Yucca Mountain and all sources? And, specifically, what will you do to
ensure that this rule will be finalized by the new Administration?
Response. President Bush has indicated that the best science should
determine where nuclear waste is permanently stored and in setting
regulatory standards that fully protect human health and the
environment. The Federal Energy Policy Act currently charges EPA with
setting environmental standards for disposal of high-level nuclear
waste, and I will ensure that EPA fulfills its obligation.
Question 45. For many years, the EPA has lost various battles with
DOE and NRC as it has tried to set strong radiation protection
standards, and the Agency has seen its budget dwindle on these matters.
What will you do to bring new life to EPA's radiation protection
program? What would you think about centralizing all radiation
standards setting authority in the EPA, so there would be no lingering
doubt on this matter and remove the existing duplicative and confusing
overlap between agencies?
Response. I am not familiar with those battles or with the programs
of the DOE and NRC. I look forward to learning more about this issue.
Question 46. You may be familiar with efforts by both NRC and DOE
to increase the amount of radioactively contaminated material that is
recycled and allowed to enter into public commerce. In an October
speech at the National Academy of Sciences, you said that
``policymakers need to take a precautionary approach to environmental
protection. . . .[and that] We must acknowledge that uncertainty is
inherent in managing natural resources, recognize it is usually easier
to prevent environmental damage than to repair it later, and shift the
burden of proof away from those advocating protection toward those
proposing an action that may be harmful.'' Does it make sense to you to
add to the amount of exposure to manmade radioactive materials that the
public is already experiencing?
Response. I do not know enough about the particulars of this issue,
including what amounts and concentrations the NRC and DOE may have
proposed, but I would be interested in learning more about this issue.
Question 47. At the hearing, you promised to work with me and the
Committee regarding the problem that northwest Nevadans, specifically
the Paiute Tribe of Pyramid Lake, have suffered from pollution blowing
over from the Sierra Army Depot in California, which is part of the
Department of Defense. You may also know that nearly 90 percent of
Nevada is Federal land. Do you think that Federal facilities should be
held to the same standards and treated the same way as private sector
sources? Does that apply for all our environmental statutes?
Response. President Bush has proposed to hold Federal facilities to
the same environmental standards that apply to private facilities. This
issue will be a priority for me, if confirmed, and will require
significant coordination among Federal agencies and with the states,
tribal governments and Congress.
Question 48. Assuming you are confirmed as EPA Administrator, will
you apply the ``precautionary principle,'' as you succinctly stated it
in October 2000, to other environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air
Act, FIFRA, TSCA, etc. and related Agency actions, which are focused on
public health and not as much on natural resource protection? If so,
please provide an example of how this would work. If not, please
indicate why not.
Response. Our nation's environmental policy and decisionmaking are
based on longstanding traditions of precaution, science-based risk
analysis, and sound risk management, including consideration of
benefit/cost. I would continue to support these traditions. Precaution
is an important component of risk management when making decisions in
the face of uncertainty. The extent to which precautionary
considerations are employed in risk management decisions is highly
context-specific. Precaution, however, should not be used to justify
Question 49. Relative to Agency actions, how should we apply the
``precautionary principle,'' as you have stated it, to the threat of
global climate change?
Response. As climate change science develops and we gain a better
understanding of the climate change threat, precaution will likely be
an important element of the overall risk management framework that we
employ in developing policy and considering any specific measures to
respond to the threat.
Question 50. Under your leadership, New Jersey has set a goal of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5 percent from 1990 levels by
the year 2005. New Jersey may be the first state to have set such a
specific reduction target. Why did you support and encourage the
setting of that goal? Can that goal be attained without harming New
Response. I recognized, as has President Bush, that climate change
is a serious issue and should be addressed. The states continue to be
laboratories of environmental innovation, and I am proud of New
Jersey's lead on this issue. We set the goal based on my environmental
agency's recommendations after extensive stakeholder involvement and
agreement and on the firm belief that the goal can be achieved and that
it will improve energy efficiency, possibly even saving money in the
Question 51. What more could be done at the Agency to ensure that
the U.S. moves closer to the voluntary goals set as part of the Senate-
ratified United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?
Response. The United States should continue to play a leading role
in both developing the science to help us better understand our climate
and the potential changes we face and in developing and exporting
cleaner, more efficient technologies. The EPA can assist these efforts
by offering the expertise of its scientists and professionals, and EPA
can work with the other appropriate Federal agencies, states,
businesses and interested citizens in identifying and implementing new,
Question 52. You indicated that President-elect Bush believes that
global climate change is a serious problem. That seems to conflict
slightly with the public remarks that he made on the topic. It does not
appear that he believes that global climate change and warming is a
serious enough matter to require swift and concerted government action
now to prevent long term impacts on the U.S. economy. What do you
believe is the appropriate Federal response to the accumulating
scientific evidence that global warming is occurring fairly rapidly and
could have a devastating impact on the domestic and global economy and
environment? How will you reconcile your position and his in your new
Response. The IPCC is expected to issue its latest findings soon,
and I look forward to reviewing them and deciding on an appropriate
response. President Bush is interested in addressing this issue, as am
I. I am committed to working with you, and with the many others who
will need to work together to address this important issue.
Question 53. You have talked about rewarding companies with reduced
regulatory burdens if they can show that they are able to meet
environmental performance standards through innovative or
unconventional means. How would you determine what performance criteria
actually improve environmental and public health protection on a
national, state or facility basis, given the general lack of
standardized environmental or public health data?
Response. The generation and use of accurate and useful
environmental data is key to achieving environmental results whether it
be done for existing regulatory standards or performance standards. For
that reason a review and assessment of EPA's environmental information
and data systems is a priority for me.
Question 54. You have an excellent record of working to preserve
open space and improve parks, and, in general, pursuing a smart growth
agenda. In your new capacity as Administrator, will you support the
existing programs and efforts of the Clinton Administration which are
targeted at building sustainable and livable communities? Will you
maintain your emphasis on this important policy matter and, from time
to time, provide recommendations to this Committee and others on how we
can encourage economic growth and improve long-term environmental
Response. I am proud of our work in New Jersey, and I would be
happy to share my experiences with you.
Question 55. This month, the Agency issued its first-ever report on
trends in protecting children's health, entitled ``America's Children
and the Environment: A First View of Available Measures.'' The report
provides an assessment of EPA's progress over the past decade in
protecting children's health, and was produced by EPA's Office of
Children's Health Protection and its National Center for Environmental
Economics. The report suggests some positive trends--such as fewer
children living in counties which exceed national air quality standards
for certain pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and ozone, and fewer
children living in areas served by public water systems that have had
violations of drinking water standards. However, some negative trends
are also noted, including, for instance, approximately 1.5 million
children showed elevated blood lead levels between 1992 and 1994--a
finding that clearly is disturbing. This report points to the need for
continuing Federal sources of data such as this. For instance, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for
Environmental Health (NCEH), is slated to release the first-ever
``National Exposure Report Card'' on specific blood levels of certain
toxic substances found in a sample of 500 children. Will you continue
the vital monitoring efforts that are the subject of the EPA report,
coordinate with the CDC NCEH and other Federal sources of valuable data
on children's health issues, and publish followup reports to the EPA
report on a timely basis?
Response. I am not familiar with all the different agencies'
particular monitoring, data collection and reporting obligations. If
confirmed, I will work with the appropriate agencies to improve the
health of our children.
Question 56. How important do you think it is to recover the
economic benefit that a business gains from violating the law? For
example, if a company saves $.5 million by delaying for 5 years the
purchase of a pollution control equipment, should a penalty be
collected that at least equals the amount the company saved from its
Response. If confirmed, I would review EPA's current policy and
other agencies' policies, including their comparative effectiveness,
before making a decision.
Question 57. A recent letter from the Environmental Council of the
States (ECOS) to Vice President-Elect Cheney emphasized the importance
of monitoring the environment and pollution sources, and the need to
devote resources toward that end. It strikes me that this is a common
sense request: without data from inspections and other monitoring, the
states and EPA will not have the information needed to enforce
environmental laws. Do you share the view expressed by ECOS that
compliance monitoring is a priority?
Response. As I stated in the question above on performance
standards, we do need to better monitor environmental conditions and
compliance. This will be priority for me, if confirmed, and I hope you
will support me in securing the needed resources.
Question 58. As Administrator of EPA, how would you see your role
in monitoring compliance with, and enforcing, environmental laws?
Response. I will encourage the EPA staff to work with the EPA
regional offices, the states, tribal and local governments, businesses
and interested citizens in finding and adopting the most effective ways
to ensure compliance with our laws and improvement in our environmental
conditions. As I have said earlier, I will offer the carrot, but will
not retire the stick.
Question 59. The ECOS letter also states that many ECOS members
would favor consolidation of EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance
Assistance with the program offices. As you may be aware, at the
beginning of the Reagan Administration, then EPA Administrator Anne
Gorsuch undertook a major reorganization of the enforcement office,
which was generally viewed as having a devastating effect on
enforcement. I understand that the Commissioner of the New Jersey Dept.
of Environmental Protection, Robert Shinn, was a signatory to that
letter: of course, it is not clear whether he was one of the members
that made this recommendation. Do you agree with this recommendation
and, if so, how would you ensure that the mistakes of the Gorsuch
Administration are not repeated?
Response. I know there were a number of reorganizations over the
last several years. Based on my experience, reorganizing can be
beneficial, but it also takes a lot of energy and resources out of an
Agency while the reorganization is taking place, and can disrupt the
normal operation of the Agency. If you confirm me, I will need to
evaluate what parts of EPA are working, what programs are effective,
and what parts need to improve. This may lead to reorganizing parts of
EPA. I welcome the Committee's views on what changes would make the
Agency work better.
Question 60. What is your view on right-to-know laws--what purposes
do they serve, and how important are they?
Response. The right-to-know laws--at the Federal, state and local
level--can improve the public's understanding of the chemicals in their
area and can assist emergency responders in better protecting the
public from harm. I would be interested in any thoughts you may have on
how to improve EPA's programs and better integrating and disseminating,
in a helpful and understandable manner, the vast amount of information
now being made available to the public.
Question 61. You testified regarding accomplishments under New
Jersey's brownfields cleanup program, and how those accomplishments
promote environmental justice. Yet, some have charged that changes made
during your tenure actually reduced the protectiveness of hazardous
waste cleanups, by eliminating the preference for treatment remedies
and reducing opportunities for public comment on proposed cleanup
plans. As Administrator of EPA, will you be committed to ensuring that
minority and low-income communities are protected over the long-term,
in the event that a site at which the remedy involved leaving waste in
place later poses a threat to human health in the community? What do
you see as the role of the EPA Administrator in ensuring that
communities are afforded meaningful opportunities to participate in
cleanup decisions that may affect their quality of life?
Response. New Jersey's law includes an important provision, that
allows the state to go back in and require further cleanup if a new or
additional danger is found. Communities should have the opportunity to
comment on the setting of cleanup standards, and we should find ways to
work with communities and businesses to encourage, not discourage and
Question 62. As I said I would at the hearing, I have attached a
newspaper article concerning objections to permitting of a cement plant
in a poor, minority community in Camden, New Jersey, that was already
impacted by an incinerator, sewage treatment plant, and a number of
hazardous waste sites. Please respond to the concerns and criticisms
discussed in the article, including: (1) that the plant would result in
the emission of 60 tons of particulate dust annually, in a community
with elevated incidences of asthma-like symptoms; (2) that the plant
was being built where it is ``because [it] is a poor minority
community. They thought that the neighborhood wouldn't stand up. . .
''; and (3) that the State failed to consult with the City or
community. In addition, please discuss application of the State
Environmental Equity policy to the decision to grant a permit at this
Response. I believe that no community should bear a
disproportionate risk of environmental pollution. For that reason, New
Jersey does not oppose EPA's acceptance of the complaint filed by South
Camden Citizens in Action. While the state believes its actions were
appropriate--we also recognize continued citizens concerns and will
continue an open dialog to resolve them.
Question 63. As you know, PCB contamination in the Hudson River has
been studied for more than 20 years, and EPA recently issued its
proposed cleanup plan for public comment. As Administrator of EPA, will
you do everything in your power to ensure that EPA keeps to its
schedule for issuing a final Record of Decision for the Hudson River by
Response. I will review and evaluate the comments submitted during
this important public comment time, and I will then determine how next
Question 64. Several Senators spoke in favor of giving EPA cabinet
level status. Would you favor a clean bill toward that end; that is, a
bill that did nothing other than elevating EPA to cabinet status?
Response. President Bush has stated that, if confirmed, I would
have Cabinet-level status. I do not have any particular views on
legislation making EPA a Department.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Smith
Question 1. One of President-Elect Bush's announced priorities is
passage of a Federal multi-pollutant utility bill, similar to the air
pollution reduction law enacted in Texas. What would be your main
priorities in addressing this issue in legislation?
Response. The President's proposal to reduce utilities' emissions
of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury and carbon dioxide is part
of his call for a national energy plan. I hope to work with you, other
important Federal agencies, states, businesses and interested citizens
in finding the most effective ways to reduce these chemicals, as part
of an overall strategy that meets our nation's short- and long-term
Question 2. One of the most critical environmental issues facing
the next Congress and Administration will be financing the cost of
building and maintaining the facilities needed to deliver safe drinking
water and to treat wastewater. Recent EPA ``needs surveys'' estimated
that the combined needs for drinking water and wastewater systems could
approach $280 billion over 20 years. Others say this number is actually
much higher. As a Governor I am sure you have dealt with this issue
first hand. Could you provide the Committee with your perspective on
the role the Federal and State governments should play in addressing
the financial needs our water infrastructure systems face over the next
Response. As I touched on during my testimony, I know that local
communities have significant needs but do not have the necessary
resources to meet those needs. I look forward to working with you to
identify the most effective Federal programs and resources to address
Question 3. Last Congress, a bipartisan effort was made to pass a
bill to enhance and guide the EPA Brownfield program. One key aspect of
the bill was to provide certainty to those who cleanup contaminated
sites in order to encourage more cleanups and ensure that sites do not
become future Superfund sites. The bill introduced last year created a
division of labor between the Federal Government and States as to which
sites should be cleaned up through the Superfund law and which should
be handled by the States. Based on the limited resources of the Federal
Government, there should be a greatly increased role of State
responsibility of those sites at which an HRS scoring package has not
been prepared or a decision that no further Federal action will be
taken or those that by regulation the President determines warrant
particular consideration. Do you agree that an increased State role is
key to the success of the Brownfields program?
Response. The states are leading the way today in cleaning up and
redeveloping brownfield sites. With additional assistance from the
Federal Government, I believe the states and local communities can
indeed do even more.
Question 4. After years of effort to comprehensively reform the
Superfund law, although it is important to keep working toward that
reform, it is also important to build more flexibility into the program
and to administratively improve the program. In addition to the
Brownfield initiative previously mentioned, the role that insurance
plays in the cleanup of Superfund sites is ever increasing. In many
cases, the stakeholders involved in the remediation of Superfund sites
can benefit from the use of appropriate insurance products to cap
cleanup costs and manage long-term risks. The past Administration has
made some strides in providing a more workable framework for Superfund
settlements through its reform packages, but more work is necessary.
Some settlement negotiations are significantly delayed or terminated
due to the costly premium payments required by EPA. Replacing such
premiums in some settlements with insurance products is consistent with
the Administration's goal to streamline Superfund settlements and speed
the pace of cleanup. Will the new Administration consider ``cost cap''
and related insurance products to replace, or significantly reduce,
those premiums in order to effectively remove this sometimes
insurmountable barrier to finalizing such settlements?
Response. Yes, I will consider the use of this innovative tool.
Question 5. EPA has in the past clearly embraced the concept that
there is often an inherent unfairness in the application of Superfund's
liability scheme to small volume contributors to sites. Various
statements and guidance documents issued by EPA articulate both the
necessity and the benefits of early de minimis settlements. EPA has
also encouraged other ideas, including the use of contribution waiver
provisions, to increase the benefits of early settlement to de minimis
settlers and decrease their transaction costs. Although the law has
been found to impose strict, joint, and retroactive liability in court
challenges, would you agree that reforms to better define who is
liable, and for what volume they are responsible, are needed to ensure
that small businesses are treated fairly in these proceedings. Do you
agree that more administrative reforms are needed to be make the
program more fair?
Response. The Superfund program has far to go before it is perfect,
and I look forward to working with you on any needed reforms.
Question 6. One of the largest-ever Superfund settlements with a
single potentially responsible party will be financed largely by finite
risk insurance arrangement that is unique in Superfund cases but one
that may become a popular pollution-liability financing tool. Under a
proposed settlement with the current site owner, finite risk insurance
would finance the $201 million estimated cost of hiring a professional
environmental contractor for 30 years to operate a water treatment
plant designed to purify some waterways heavily contaminated by acidic
drainage from the Iron Mountain Mine site near Redding, California. An
endorsement to the policy would provide a government agency in 30 years
with $514 million more to cover the cost of protecting the environment
from acidic drainage from the mine in perpetuity. The settlement will
ensure long-term control of more than 95 percent of the pollution
released from Iron Mountain, the largest source of toxic metals in the
United States and the source of the most acidic mine drainage in the
world, according to the EPA. Will the new Administration consider such
``finite risk insurance arrangements'' as an acceptable pollution
liability financing tool in order to expedite settlements?
Response. Yes, I will consider the use of this innovative tool.
Question 7. Last year, Senator Smith and Senator Chafee requested
that GAO conduct a study to: (1) identify the compliance status with
the December 22, 1998 [UST] deadline; (2) ascertain how EPA and the
states are enforcing these requirements; and (3) substantiate the
validity of claims that new tanks are leaking. Initial results indicate
that the problems do not come from the lack of equipment installation,
but the operation and maintenance of the equipment. Firstly, as
Administrator will you work to identify the scope of MTBE in
groundwater? To date there seems to be no national estimates of the
impact of MTBE on the nation's water supply.
Response. I will first need to assess the information already
available at EPA and in the states.
Question 8. Second, will you commit to work with the Committee to
look at this issue and remedy the situation. Do you have any thoughts
as to how we can get a handle on this issue?
Response. Yes, I will work with you to assess this situation.
Question 9. While I have served on this Committee, stakeholders
have consistently raised two concerns regarding the administration of
the EPA: the need for sound science to drive decisionmaking and the
lack of ``sunshine'' at the Agency. For more than 50 years, animal-
based toxicology has driven hazard identification and risk assessment
at the EPA. However, new non-animal test methods are rapid, predictive,
cost-effective in the long run for industry, and more humane. Can you
commit to making researching, developing and validating non-animal test
methods a priority for EPA?
Response. I certainly understand your concerns and I look forward
to learning more about these new methods.
Question 10. In addition, several EPA programs supported by the
previous Administration have been developed without input from all
interested stakeholders. In fact, the EPA has not published
announcements of public meetings in the Federal Register, included
qualified experts from all areas of interest on scientific committees
and seriously addressed concerns stakeholders have regarding programs
that are designed to use significant numbers of animals at great cost
to industry. Can you commit that under your leadership EPA will strive
to consistently abide by a policy of ``sunshine'' and inclusion for all
Response. As I stated in my testimony, I will seek to include
stakeholders in the Agency's policy discussions.
Question 11. The previous administration had moved forward with
various initiatives involving the collection of toxicity data resulting
from the HPV chemical testing program, the children's health
initiative, and the endocrine disruptor screening program. These
programs will soon start producing data that will be available to the
public. It is imperative to ensure that this data is not presented to
the public as raw data and that the numbers are put into context for a
layperson to understand, in terms of risk or at least with caveats or
explanations. The Agency needs to better coordinate these efforts to
ensure that the least number of animal lives are lost in collecting
toxicity data and that the results are put in context. As
Administrator, will you review these efforts to ensure that actual
results will come of this effort and that the loss of animal life will
be as few as possible?
Response. I will review this program and then decide how to
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Baucus
Question 1. Governor Whitman, I am sure you are aware of the price
discrepancies that exist between the United States and Canada on farm
pesticides, that the price charged to U.S. farmers is sometimes double
what a Canadian farmer pays, and that these pesticides are often
manufactured by the same company or related companies. Generally, the
pesticides marketed in Canada are identical to the pesticides approved
for sale in the U.S. by the EPA. Because of the laws governing the
importation of farm pesticides, the Environmental Protection Agency
last year was placed in the unenviable position of stopping U.S.
farmers from buying the less expensive Canadian pesticides. Legislation
was introduced last year to prevent EPA from being used in this manner
again and will likely be reintroduced this year. This legislation was
drafted with the technical help of the EPA. Governor Whitman, will you
work with those of in Congress who want to ensure that our farmers have
a level playing field, ensuring free but fair trade between the U.S.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Lieberman
Question 1. Under President Clinton, the EPA issued ground-breaking
new standards for the quantities of ozone and particulate matter--or
smog and soot--in the air. The Supreme Court is currently considering a
challenge to the standards. If they are upheld by the Supreme Court,
are you committed to ensuring that the rules are implemented?
Question 2. The EPA budget has been the subject of controversy in
the appropriations process over the last decade and has not been
increased in some time. Could you speak to your plans for requesting
funding for the agency?
Response. I am not yet sufficiently familiar with EPA or its budget
to speak about any funding requests at this time.
Question 3. Obviously, state governments vary in terms of the
resources and expertise they devote to environmental protection. New
Jersey, for example, has long been regarded as a leader among the
states, setting an example to be emulated by others. As you administer
EPA programs, how will you determine if individual states are ready to
assume more authority? What criteria will you use to determine if they
are adequately discharging their responsibility to implement state
Response. EPA has a long history of delegating programs to the
States--and I believe that this partnership has accomplished a great
deal. A new measuring stick already in place is the National
Environmental Performance Partnership System, or NEPPS. I look forward
to learning about other ways to measure progress and how existing
methods can be improved.
Question 4. In 1998, New Jersey awarded the contract to design a
new emissions testing program to Parson Infrastructure and Technology
Group. Emissions testing programs are a vital cog in our efforts to
protect our clean air, but unfortunately, Parsons was inexperienced
with such programs and produced a system that was ineffective and
resulted in long delays for motorists. A blue ribbon panel tasked with
looking into the cause of the problem concluded that the Governor's
office ``did not effectively monitor the progress'' of the project.
Could you speak to this incident and how you will avoid similar
occurrences at EPA?
Response. Since New Jersey is implementing one of the largest I&M
programs in the country, the challenges have been great. To avoid
similar situations as Administrator, I believe there is a need for
thorough planning, with clear direction to able managers at the outset
and throughout the project development and implementation. If anything
goes wrong along the way, swift corrective action must be taken. If
confirmed, I pledge to perform these functions.
Question 5. As you well know, the Northeast in general, and
Connecticut in particular, is very concerned about maintaining strict
air pollution controls. Could you speak your plans for the Office of
Air, including any particular initiatives affecting the office or what
criteria you would use for candidates for the Assistant Administrator?
Response. The Office of Air, like the other offices at EPA, is
important to fulfilling EPA's mission. I am not familiar enough with
EPA's structure to suggest any plans for any particular office. As for
job qualifications, I am looking for the best and the brightest, those
who know the substantive area well, are innovative leaders and
decisionmakers, and are willing to listen to others.
Question 6. In 1999, DOJ and EPA initiated a series of enforcement
actions against operators of fossil fuel-fired power plants in the
Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions for violations permitting
requirements under the Clean Air Act. These power plants were accused
of emitting nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter in
amounts exceeding permissible levels because of modifications and
upgrades made at the facilities over several decades. Many of these
actions were pursued in conjunction with the State of New York. Are you
committed to ensuring that the remaining enforcement actions are
vigorously pursued, to ensure that interstate transport of air
pollution, including ozone and sulfur dioxide, is reduced? And will you
take any actions that could reduce opportunities for States, such as
New York, to pursue such actions in the future?
Response. I first will need to review the ongoing enforcement
actions. I look forward to working with states to address air
pollution, particularly where interstate transport is an issue and
cross-boundary cooperation is needed.
Question 7. In 1999, EPA and DOJ entered into a series of ground-
breaking consent decrees with the seven largest manufacturers of diesel
engines. The companies had been designing engines operated in a manner
that met the emission standards while on the test, but operated in a
different manner--with greatly increased emissions--when not being
tested. The consent decree required the companies to produce engines
that never exceeded a certain margin of error above the emission
standard. Will you vigorously enforce the consent decrees as written?
If not, what changes would you make?
Response. I will review the consent decree and the recently issued
diesel/sulfur rule, which creates new requirements for engine
Question 8. Governor Whitman, you have stated that you would like
to move to the next generation of environmental protection, one that
seeks to forge partnerships between citizens, the government and
business. A number of similar programs initiated by the Clinton
Administration, however, were not permissible under the current legal
framework. What approach will you take to initiating this new era of
Response. I am optimistic that new partnerships can be created, and
I look forward to working with you and the other members of the
Committee on opportunities for ``next generation'' legislation.
Question 9. What are your plans for requesting funding for the Long
Island Sound office? The office was authorized to receive $40 million
per year in last year's Estuary Bill but has yet to be appropriated
funds under that authority.
Response. I do not know the particulars of the funding for that
office or why funds have not been appropriated, but I look forward to
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Boxer
Question 1. Would you please review Administrator Browner's
responses to the October 12, 2000, House Science Committee hearing on
the subject of discrimination at EPA. Please let me know whether you
will continue the review Ms. Browner began of EPA's Office of Civil
Rights. If not, please let me know what your approach would be to
ensuring that you are made personally aware of civil rights issues and
problems within the agency.
Response. I will do this and respond promptly, if I am confirmed.
Question 2. As a Governor, I'm sure you can imagine the outcry from
citizens that would result if the Federal Government was attempting to
site a low-level radioactive waste facility in your state. During the
Bush Administration, such an attempt was made to site such a facility
in California, but we defeated it. The effort failed, in large part,
because we discovered that the nuclear industry's arguments that a
storage crisis existed at radioactive waste facilities were a sham.
Today, there continues to be decades of capacity at such facilities.
Even though that's the case, the nuclear industry has been pushing
EPA to rewrite its rules to allow hazardous waste facilities to accept
radioactive waste. They argue that there isn't enough capacity at
existing radioactive waste disposal facilities to handle the waste. My
colleague from Utah, Senator Bennett, has one of these facilities in
his state. He would tell you that they want to take this waste. What
it's really all about is that we are decommissioning nuclear plants and
they don't want to pay to send the waste to a safe, NRC licensed site.
I can also tell you that I am currently locked in a struggle with
the Corps of Engineers because the agency itself dumped radioactive
waste in a hazardous waste facility in California not licensed to
receive such waste. In my view, Governor Whitman, allowing these
hazardous waste facilities to take radioactive waste amounts to siting
a radioactive waste facility in a state through the backdoor, which is
unfair to the state and unfair to the public. Hazardous waste
facilities are not sited with radioactive waste in mind and they lack
the special protections that attend the disposal of it. EPA decided not
to issue such a proposal ultimately.
Can I rely upon you to continue the current law and EPA policy that
radioactive waste--low-level or high level--should not be disposed of
at hazardous or solid waste facilities? At the very least, can I rely
upon you to inform my staff if you choose to revive this rulemaking
process so that my Subcommittee can hold oversight hearings over any
Response. I will review this important issue, I will uphold the
laws on the books, and I look forward to learning more from you about
how we can ensure the public is adequately protected from radioactive
waste, wherever it may be.
Question 3. In my work on this Committee--from Superfund to the
Safe Drinking Water Act--I have worked to ensure that our environmental
laws are improved to make sure that they protect children. When these
laws were originally written, we did not know that children are
especially vulnerable to the harms caused by pollution. Do you agree
that EPA should set pollution and public health standards at a level
that protects the health of pregnant women, infants, children and the
Response. EPA should set its standards to ensure that the health of
pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly is protected.
Question 4. The Safe Drinking Water Act contains a special
provision I authored requiring EPA to ensure that Federal drinking
water standards protect children. Will you support and fully implement
Question 5. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 contains a very
important provision requiring EPA to revise all pesticide standards and
to ensure that the new standards protect children. Can I rely upon you
to implement this provision?
Response. President Bush has committed to implementing the FQPA in
a manner that does not disrupt our farmers' access to safe crop
protections products. I will strive to implement this new public health
standard and make the needed pesticide reviews using the best science
and in a timely manner.
Question 6. I know you are well aware of the problem of MTBE
contamination from your own experience in New Jersey. If only we had
taken steps to stop its use after it was first discovered leaking from
an underground tank in Rockaway, New Jersey in 1980, we could have
spared the Nation what promises to be a costly cleanup problem. As you
know, a class action suit has been filed in Ocean County, New Jersey by
private well owners against oil companies. The well owners are suing to
get the companies to pay to cleanup MTBE contamination.
When this Committee marked-up S. 2962 last year, some advocated
letting oil companies off the hook for liability for MTBE cleanup. They
argued that this would be fair because oil companies didn't know that
MTBE would pose such a problem. They also argued that this would be
fair because Congress told oil companies to add MTBE to gas when we
passed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. We are learning through
California litigation that oil companies did know MTBE would pose
exactly the problems we are now discovering. Further, testimony
delivered by some oil companies before this Committee during the debate
over the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 shows that the companies
urged Congress to adopt the 2 percent requirement that gave rise to the
use of MTBE.
Do you agree that those who knowingly pollute bear the
responsibility to clean up that pollution--whether that responsibility
is imposed under our environmental laws or under common law tort
theories and/or product liability? While I don't think that there is a
question that oil companies knew that MTBE would pose a serious
drinking water problem, isn't it appropriate to let an impartial judge
weigh the evidence on that issue rather than adopting legislation that
would afford oil companies liability protection and effectively cutoff
that judicial inquiry?
Response. I do believe that polluters should pay. The second
question calls for a legislative or judicial decision.
Question 7. As you may know, we could save approximately 1 million
barrels of oil per day if we were to require sport utility vehicles to
meet the same corporate average fuel economy standards as those which
apply to passenger cars. USGS estimates that the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge has approximately 3.2 billion barrels economically
recoverable oil. If we were to raise CAFE standards for SUVs, in 8-9
years we could save the amount of oil that drilling ANWR would yield.
Wouldn't you agree that, given a choice between doing damage to an
irreplaceable natural resources and conservation, that we should choose
conservation? Shouldn't we at least study the effect of raising CAFE
standards for SUVs before opening ANWR?
Response. We should have a national energy policy that provides a
strategic course for this nation to ensure both our short- and long-
term energy needs. I look forward to working with you and the
appropriate Federal agencies on these issues.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Carper
Question 1. It was a pleasure to be with you this morning at your
confirmation hearing and to have a chance to hear from you about your
plans for the EPA. As I mentioned this morning, I am interested in your
thoughts regarding the Delaware River.
The Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to deepen the
Delaware River shipping channel from Philadelphia to the Atlantic. This
is of particular interest because as you well know, the land underneath
the river is considered Delaware property, and a major project taking
place within the state deserves particular attention. Last week the
Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will apply for necessary
environmental permits from the State of Delaware. I welcome their
application, and look forward to the permit review process.
Under your leadership, what will be the EPA's position regarding
the Army Corps' project to deepen the Delaware? Do you feel it is
appropriate for Federal agencies, when operating in a state, to abide
by that state's environmental standards?
Response. I will first need to review the Army Corps' proposed
project. I agree with President Bush's statement during the campaign
that Federal agencies should comply with the same environmental laws
that others must meet.
Question 2. Earlier this week, the EPA ordered an independent
economic analysis of the plans to deepen the Chesapeake & Delaware
Canal. I support this decision, and look forward to the results of this
analysis. As EPA Administrator, will you encourage economic analysis of
major environmental projects, such as the C&D canal, and the Delaware
River deepening projects?
Response. As I stated in my testimony, I believe we should know the
benefits and costs of projects.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Corzine
Question 1. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits recipients
of Federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of
race, color or national origin in their programs or activities. Under
EPA's Title VI implementing regulations, EPA-funded permitting agencies
are prohibited from issuing permits that have a discriminatory effect
based on race, color, or national origin. In 1998, the EPA issued
administrative rules to provide its staff with a framework to process
Title VI environmental civil rights complaints. These rules--known as
``guidance''--were issued on an interim basis. Revisions will be issued
What will you do to ensure that all revised EPA rules and
regulations, including the proposed Title VI guidance, ensure that all
Americans receive equal enforcement of protective environmental laws?
Response. I do not have any particular changes in mind for how EPA
can improve on how it currently meets this obligation, but I will
review EPA's process and determine how to proceed to ensure this law is
Question 2. What other steps will you take to ensure that no group
of people will have to bear a disproportionate share of the negative
environmental and health consequences that come from a decision to
issue a permit to pollute?
Response. I believe that groups should not have to bear a
disproportionate burden for pollution. I will review EPA's current
programs and determine how to proceed.
Question 3. The EPA has opposed the proposal by the Mills
Corporation to fill in the 206 acres of wetlands in the Hackensack
Meadowlands, in order to build a retail, hotel and business center. Do
you agree with the EPA's position?
Response. It is likely that I will be required to recuse myself
from decisions on this matter based upon my involvement in this issue
in my position as Governor of New Jersey. However, all matters
involving potential conflicts must be fully vetted with the EPA Ethics
Office before determining whether recusal is appropriate.
Question 4. In your testimony, you indicated that you might recuse
yourself from any further decisionmaking on this proposal. Please
indicate why you think you might need to be recused from further
Response. It is likely that I will be required to recuse myself
from decisions on this matter based upon my involvement in this issue
in my position as Governor of New Jersey. However, all matters
involving potential conflicts must be fully vetted with the EPA Ethics
Office before determining whether recusal is appropriate.
Question 5. There is a proposal to build a 6.7 mile east-west
highway between Route 1 and Interchange 8A on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Environmentalists oppose it because it could potentially destroy 14
acres of environmentally safe wetlands. While your administration
supports the project, the Environmental Protection Agency does not. As
EPA administrator, will you oppose this proposal as well?
Response. It is likely that I will be required to recuse myself
from decisions on this matter based upon my involvement in this issue
in my position as Governor of new Jersey. However, all matters
involving potential conflicts must be fully vetted with the EPA Ethics
Office before determining whether recusal is appropriate.
Question 6. New Jersey has 113 Federal Superfund sites, more than
any other state in the nation. Yet the tax on the oil and chemical
industry, which was used to help fund the cleanup of all Superfund
sites, has expired. While enough money has accumulated in the fund to
allow cleanup to continue through next year, there will not be enough
money to finish cleaning up all the sites around the country. Should
the tax on the oil and chemical industry be re-instated to help pay for
the cleanup of Superfund sites? If not, should the money to help pay
for the cleanup of these sites come from other taxpayers?
Response. As I stated during the hearing, it is critical that the
resources be available to the Federal and state governments for these
cleanups. I look forward to working with you as to how best to ensure
those resources are available.
Question 7. One of the problems facing New Jersey and other states
in the Northeast is the high level of air pollution from older power
plants in both the Midwest and South. As Governor of New Jersey, you
supported the EPA's lawsuits against those older power plants to force
them to comply with the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Many of those
lawsuits are still pending. Will you continue the EPA's Clean Air Act
litigation and enforcement strategy to force older power plants to
comply with the Clean Air Act?
Response. I will review the status of this litigation. Lawsuits can
sometimes be helpful, although I do not believe that a ``lawsuits
first'' approach is very effective. As I stated during the hearing, I
believe in offering the carrot first, but retaining the stick.
Question 8. The Environmental Protection Agency issued new
regulations which would further restrict the acceptable amounts of
ozone and soot in the air. It is estimated that New Jersey's air
pollution would drop by 20 percent if utility companies in the Midwest
and South comply with these new regulations. These regulations are
currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Court strikes
these regulations down, what will you do to replace them?
Response. I will wait to see how the Supreme Court rules before
deciding how to proceed.
Question 9. Do you believe that members of the public who live near
a business facility as well as the employees who work there have a
right to know what types of toxic chemicals are being stored at that
Response. The Federal Government and many states and local
governments have such right-to-know laws, which can provide people with
helpful information about the risks they may face in their community
and can give emergency responders needed information to protect the
Question 10. When is it appropriate for the Federal Government to
bring an enforcement action if a state is already involved in the
matter? At what point would you step in as an EPA administrator and
threaten a state that has failed to carry out the authority delegated
to it by the EPA?
Response. It would rarely, if ever, be appropriate for the Federal
Government to step in where a state already is aggressively pursuing
enforcement. If confirmed, I will work to provide states with the
resources they need to carry out environmental programs, and I will
work to establish performance standards to hold them accountable for
making environmental improvements.
Question 11. In your testimony before the committee, you emphasized
the need for the EPA to work cooperatively with businesses and state
and local governments in complying with environmental regulations. Sen.
Inhofe described your approach to environmental enforcement as
``compassionate compliance.'' But at what point do you believe the EPA
should put away the so-called carrot of voluntary compliance and
aggressively enforce the law?
Response. I have seen in New Jersey that most businesses are
working to comply with our laws, but that many do not have the time or
resources (or lawyers) to keep up with all the requirements. The
government should first seek to assist those businesses to comply--the
goal, of course, is environmental protection, not enforcement for
enforcement's sake. But where a business refuses to comply, then it is
appropriate to step in and fully enforce the laws.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Inhofe
Question 1. Governor Whitman, when your nomination was announced,
the President-elect stated that you and he shared ``a philosophy that
moves beyond the old central command-and-control mindset that believes
Washington has got all the answers to environmental issues.'' Your
predecessor at EPA, by contrast, was committed to a federally imposed
vision of the so-called ``Precautionary Principle.'' This ``one-size
fits all'' approach seemed to dictate that even the most inflexible
regulatory solutions were often preferable to appropriate, risk-based
outcomes. Can you comment on how the philosophy that you and the
President-elect share differs as regards to the Precautionary Principle
versus risk-based approaches?
Response. Our nation's environmental policy and decisionmaking are
based on longstanding traditions of precaution, science-based risk
analysis, and sound risk management, including consideration of
benefit/cost. Precaution is an important component of risk management
when making decisions in the face of uncertainty and the absence of
complete knowledge. Whether and the extent to which precautionary
considerations are employed in risk management decisions is highly
context-specific. Precaution, however, should not be used to justify
Question 2. One of the criticisms often leveled at EPA is that the
science supported in the Office of Research and Development is not
linked to or incorporated into the regulatory agendas of the Agency's
program offices. How do you plan to address this problem?
Response. As I stated during the hearing, I believe science is the
foundation on which all of EPA's policies should be built. I not only
will work to improve coordination between EPA and others outside EPA,
but also within EPA.
Question 3. In December the EPA determined that they would move
forward with a rulemaking to control emissions of mercury from power
plants. Unfortunately, the EPA did so using a more restrictive
``command and control'' facility-by-facility approach that limits the
flexibility of utilities and states to find the most cost-effective
means possible to control mercury. President-elect Bush, during the
campaign, said that emissions reductions, including mercury, should be
phased in ``over a reasonable time period,'' and that these controls
should include ``market-based incentives, such as emissions trading and
carbon credits, to help industry achieve the required reductions.'' My
question is whether you would consider a cap-and-trade program, with
the goal of regulating mercury emissions in a flexible manner that is
based upon adequate protection of public health?
Response. I am very interested in pursuing what works. We have seen
that a cap-and-trade program has worked very well to reduce emissions
of sulfur dioxide, under the Clean Air Act Amendments' Title IV acid
rain program. I would like to explore that for other chemicals as well.
I don't know if mercury should be included, but I will look into that
Question 4. Biotechnology is a growing field, not only for consumer
products but also for remediation techniques. Do you support innovative
pollution prevention programs that would foster the use of industrial
enzymes in manufacturing processes in order to reduce the amount of air
and water pollution and hazardous waste generation and are you aware
that the biotechnology industry is playing a key role in reducing the
amount of industrial pollution discharged annually by producing enzymes
that make manufacturing processes cleaner?
Response. I am not familiar with all the wonderful things that
enzymes can do, but I am willing to learn.
Question 5. On December 21, 2000, the EPA issued a final rule to
reduce the sulfur levels in highway diesel fuel by 97 percent.
Published reports indicate the new diesel sulfur rule could cause
supply shortfalls of more than 12 percent nationwide and up to 37
percent in the West. Major rules such as this typically undergo a
ninety-day review period by OMB to examine the impacts. The Clinton OMB
spent less than 2 weeks reviewing the final sulfur diesel package. Many
have suggested that the latest diesel rule should be reexamined and
perhaps rescinded. How do you intend to proceed with this rule?
Response. I will review this rule along with all the other recent
EPA rules, and then decide how to proceed.
Question 6. Under the New Source Review program of the Clean Air
Act, EPA is currently invoking its ``NSR Look Back'' program in which
selected sources are required to provide historical documentation of
any activity which may have triggered NSR permitting. In reviewing this
information, EPA is evaluating the applicability of NSR permitting
based upon its current interpretation of the program, which has changed
significantly over the last twenty-five years and is different than the
program interpretation at the time of the permitting activity. Will
this looking at the past through 2001 eyes continue?
Response. I believe it is important to be clear about your
expectations, especially about legal requirements. Generally, the rules
should not be changed in the middle of the game. I will review this NSR
Question 7. Will you commit to supporting in any upcoming
Superfund/brownfields bill language that will protect innocent small
businesses, who legally disposed of trash, and other protections, which
relieve innocent small businesses from Superfund liability? What other
Superfund reforms would you support?
Response. We need to employ the tools that get the work done the
most effectively. In some cases, Superfund's liability scheme may
assist in the cleanup, but for many sites, such as brownfields, the
Superfund liability scheme instead impedes cleanup. I would be happy to
work with you to see what Superfund reforms might be needed.
Question 8. Cost/benefit arguments are often used to shape
environmental regulations. Please describe how your approach might
differ from the approach taken by the last Administration.
Response. I am not familiar with the last Administration's
approach. I believe that we should know what the benefits and costs of
a new policy are.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Bond
Question 1. As you may know, the benefits of plant biotechnology
and the Federal regulatory regime which governs its application has
been endorsed by nearly every leading science organization in this
country. Most recently, the American Medical Association re-affirmed
its support for plant biotechnology and continues to oppose unnecessary
new labeling requirements which would threaten the viability of the
technology. The support of the AMA is shared by the American Dietetic
Association, American Society for Cell Biology (10,000 members),
American Society for Microbiology (40,000 members), Genetics Society of
America (4,000 members), Society of In Vitro Biology, American Society
of Plant Physiologists, American Phytopathological Society, American
Council on Science and Health, International Food Policy Research
Institute, Federation of Animal Science Societies, and others. Nobel
Laureates have joined other independent scientists in petitions
Those who stand the most to gain from this technology are the most
disadvantaged in the world, particularly children, the sick, the poor,
and the hungry in Africa and Asia. Notwithstanding the scientific
consensus, anti-technology zealots, competitor groups such as some in
the organic food industry, and trade protectionists in Europe have
endeavored to discredit this new technology. Where the technology holds
the most promise is in improved nutrition, medicinal uses, and
environmental protection. Ironically, it is some activists who profess
to represent the interests of environmental protection who oppose the
development of technology.
Our regulatory system exists to inform the public if products are
unsafe or safe and under what conditions. Public confidence in the U.S.
system food production system is founded on the principle that
regulatory decisions regarding food safety be based on science, not on
hysteria, politics or separate unrelated agendas. For our multi-agency
system of approval to do otherwise, would threaten new technologies as
well as the overall confidence in our food safety.
Do you agree that the scientific experts in the regulatory agencies
base their decisions on science and not politics?
Response. I believe that most government scientists base their
decisions on science, not politics.
Question 2. The issue of the application of the precautionary
principle to environmental and other matters has been very
controversial in recent years. The overriding U.S. regulatory scheme
incorporates the concept of precaution and acts protectively on the
side of safety when there are substantive uncertainties. Our regulators
have proven themselves willing and able to act to protect the public. I
support the concept of the precautionary principle included as
Principle 15 to the Rio Declaration. Principle 15 states that: ``Where
there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of scientific
certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective
measures to prevent environmental degradation.''
The U.S. regulatory system recognizes the difficulties of proving
the negative and that improper use of a precautionary principle can
stifle innovative activity that benefits the health and safety of the
public. U.S. regulatory policy reflects a careful balancing of the
responsibilities in the area of precaution. Therefore, I note that some
food groups have identified a statement attributed to you in an October
2000 speech at the National Academy of Sciences that:
``policymakers need to take a precautionary approach to
environmental protection. . . . We must acknowledge that uncertainty is
inherent in managing natural resources, recognize it is usually easier
to prevent environmental damage than to repair it later, and shift the
burden of proof away from those advocating protection toward those
proposing an action that may be harmful.''
Please confirm that this remark does not reflect a desire to shift
the carefully designed precautionary burdens currently established
within the U.S. regulatory system.
Response. My remarks were made in a specific context and were not
directed at any change in the U.S. regulatory system.
Question 3. One of the benefits of biotechnology is that its use
has already proven to lower the need for chemical pesticide
applications. There are a number of new applications of plant
biotechnology under development to create plant-based vaccines and
medicines. Additionally, there are a number of new applications of
plant biotechnology under development to create bio-degradable plastics
and enzymes that make manufacturing processes cleaner and even treat
toxins in soil and water. Are you aware of these applications and do
you agree that development of such technologies, subject to regulatory
approval, should be encouraged?
Response. I am not familiar with all the wonderful benefits of
these new applications, but I am happy to learn.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Voinovich
Question 1. The EPA's 1996 Clean Water Needs Survey estimated that
nearly $140 billion will be needed over the next 20 years to address
wastewater infrastructure problems in our communities. In March 1999,
the EPA revised their figures upwards whereas infrastructure needs are
not estimated at $200 billion. Other independent studies indicate that
the EPA has undershot the mark, estimating that these incredible unmet
needs exceed $300 billion over 20 years. In recent years, Congress has
only appropriated $1.35 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving
Loan (SRF) program. The past Administration requested even less in its
annual budgets. Do you believe the Bush Administration should include
more funding for the Clean Water SRF in its budget requests to help
communities cope with costly wastewater infrastructure problems?
Response. President Bush has recognized this need, and I look
forward to working with you on the specifics.
Question 2. What does the Bush Administration intend to do to
address water infrastructure needs nationwide?
Response. President Bush has recognized this need, and I look
forward to working with you on the specifics.
Question 3. Do you believe there should be more grant moneys
available to financially distressed communities to pay for water
Response. I am not familiar with all the details of the current
loan programs, but I would be willing to learn more and work with you
to determine if additional grant moneys would be the most effective way
of improving communities' water infrastructure.
Question 4. The Wet Weather Quality Act of 2000 was enacted as part
of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2001. The bill creates a
new 2-year, $1.5 billion grant program to states for combined sewer
overflow and sanitary sewer overflow projects. However, the money is
only triggered when Congress appropriates at least $1.35 billion for
the Clean Water SRF. Do you believe the Bush Administration should
request funding for this grant program?
Response. President Bush has recognized this need, and I look
forward to working with you on the specifics.
Question 5. Sometimes its seems that the intent of Congress and the
action of the EPA do not always coincide when it comes to meeting the
environmental goals of our nation. I would like to know your views on
how the Bush Administration will ensure that the intent of Congress is
consistent with the actions of the EPA.
Response. If confirmed, I will be committed to working with you and
the other members of this diverse Congress toward ensuring that EPA
acts consistent with our laws.
Question 6. I have worked to pass the Regulatory Improvement Act
(S. 746 in the 106th Congress). The bill would require all Federal
agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis when issuing major rules.
For instance, many Ohio communities are concerned that they are having
to undertake billions of dollars in improvements to address non-
existent or marginal water quality impacts. Will the Bush
Administration conduct cost-benefit analysis during the rulemaking
Response. I do not know yet what the Administration-wide rulemaking
process will look like, but President Bush has stated that regulators
generally should have this information before making new policy.
Question 7. No Question 7 was provided.
Response. Question 8. Currently, there are separate regulatory
programs for CSOs, SSOs, stormwater management, and total maximum daily
loads. Do you believe these separate regulatory programs should be
combined into a unified wet weather regulatory program?
Response. That's an interesting idea. I would be interested to know
more about this idea.
Question 9. Some Ohio communities are concerned that the EPA is not
very receptive to new technologies. For example, they would especially
like the EPA to look closely at new technologies that would provide
secondary treatment of wastewater at a lower cost than what the EPA
requires. What are your views on how the Bush Administration will
evaluate and approve new, cost-effective technologies?
Response. If confirmed, I would work to ensure that EPA reviewed
and acted on new, cost-effective technologies so that they could be put
Question 10. For SSOs, any discharge is currently illegal. CSOs are
to be totally eliminated. It seems that from a practical standpoint,
sewer deterioration will always take place and zero discharge for all
storm weather conditions is an impractical/impossible goal. What are
your views on finding the right balance between environmental benefit
and the high costs of preparing for the worst-case scenario?
Response. We need to seek a balance between the benefits and costs
of our laws and rules.
Question 11. I have been concerned that there is a lack of
consistency between EPA's national office and the regions, as well as
among the regions. Will you ensure that interpretations and policies
will be consistent and standardized among all regions?
Response. There is a delicate balance between the certainty that
consistency provides and the need for differences based on unique
regional situations. As a Governor, I have been conscious of that even
within my own state, and I will work to find that right balance.
Question 12. I believe that people you choose for your team should
represent a regional balance. Do you agree?
Question 13. Total drinking water needs have been estimated to be
in the $325 billion range over 20 years. At the same time, the current
authorization for the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund
program can only meet approximately $24 billion of the total needs.
What will the Bush Administration do to address our nation's drinking
Response. President Bush has recognized this need, and I look
forward to working with you on the specifics.
Question 14. Governor Whitman, you have prided your administration
in New Jersey on your efforts to clean up brownfields at the state
level and turn them into productive use. You have provided $15 million
to help towns clean-up waste sites and market them for re-use, and New
Jersey has a reimbursement program for private parties that conduct
voluntary clean-ups at brownfields sites.
However, many states are concerned that their efforts to get
parties to clean-up brownfield sites are stymied because of Federal
Superfund liability provisions. Parties that clean up non-Superfund
sites under state cleanup laws need certainty about the rules that
apply to them, particularly that their actions eliminate the risk of
future liability under the Federal Superfund program.
The bill that I introduced last year--and which I will be
reintroducing this year--allows states to release parties that have
cleaned up sites under state laws and programs from Federal liability.
I believe that states should have more options to clean up brownfields
sites, because in many respects, states are leading the way to cleaning
them up more efficiently and cost-effectively.
For instance, in some 20 years under the Federal Superfund program,
the U.S. EPA has only cleaned up 17 sites in my state of Ohio. In
contrast, 68 sites have been cleaned up under Ohio's voluntary cleanup
program in just its first 5 years. And many more cleanups are underway.
Ohio's actions are helping to recycle these wastelands, prevent urban
sprawl and preserve our farmland and greenspaces, and in the process,
they are making our cities more desirable places to live. I am
convinced that putting abandoned sites back into productive use can be
the spark that provides economic rebirth to many of our nation's urban
areas, and with it, good-paying jobs to local residents.
My question is: what will the EPA do to facilitate greater
flexibility under Superfund to give our states the ability to quickly,
and safely, return brownfields to productive use?
Response. The states are trying to move ahead on cleaning up and
redeveloping brownfields. As you know, President Bush has proposed
reforming the Federal legislation and offering other programs to remove
the threat of Federal liability, where the site is cleaned up, and to
offer additional incentives to spur cleanup and redevelopment. I look
forward to working with you on this important issue.
Question 15. As Governor of New Jersey you took some very
aggressive positions to represent your state on clean air issues,
especially as they relate to the northeast versus the Midwest on ozone
transport issues. As EPA Administrator, how are you going to reconcile
the positions you took as Governor with the need for an EPA
Administrator to take a broad, nationwide perspective on clean air
Response. My experience as Governor of New Jersey will always
inform my decisionmaking. I know that, if confirmed, I will need to
take the needs of the entire nation into account, not just one region.
Question 16. As the Congress proceeds with reauthorization with the
Clean Air Act, what changes to the Act would you be seeking? Do you
think that the Act needs a major re-write or a few discrete ``rifle
Response. I have not thought that far down the road about
particular approaches to reauthorizing the Clean Air Act, but I look
forward to working with you on that.
Question 17. Many people have talked about the need to do a better
job of harmonizing environmental policy and energy policy, which often
times seem to be in conflict. What are your views on how we can avoid
conflicts and make sure the two policies are complementary? How do you
see the Administrator's role in working with the Secretary of Energy to
promote rational environmental and energy policies?
Response. President Bush has told his nominees that he expects us
to work together, to seek out expertise and assistance from other
agencies, so that we can craft and implement the best policies for
America. This is particularly true with our need to harmonize
environmental and energy matters, and I am looking forward to working
with our new Secretary of Energy.
Question 18. As you may know, EPA ordered midwestern utilities to
reduce their NOx emissions by May 2003, and this deadline was delayed
by 1 year under Federal court order to May 2004. However, the so-called
``126 petitions'' still include the original 2003 deadline, resulting
in two different and inconsistent deadlines. Meeting the earlier
deadline might result in market disruptions and price spikes, as units
are taken out of service in order to complete the very large
construction projects that are necessary to meet the NOx reduction
target. I would also note that the ``126 petitions'' were intended to
be a backstop and supplemental to the state-driven SIP call process,
whereas we now have the 126 petition deadline superseding the state SIP
call deadline. Recognizing that this NOx reduction will occur, do you
think that these inconsistent deadlines are a problem? My question is
whether you will review this issue and consider recommending and
applying only the SIP call deadline in order to avoid any market
Response. I will review this issue.
Question 19. In December the EPA determined that they would move
forward with a rulemaking to control emissions of mercury from power
plants. Unfortunately, the EPA did so using a more restrictive
``command and control'' facility-by-facility approach that limits the
flexibility of utilities and states to find the most cost-effective
means possible to control mercury. President-elect Bush, during the
campaign, said that emissions reductions, including on mercury, should
be phased in ``over a reasonable time period,'' and that these controls
should include ``market-based'' incentives, such as emissions trading
and carbon credits, to help industry achieve the required reductions.
My question is whether you consider a cap-and-trade program, with the
goal of regulating mercury emissions in a flexible manner that is based
upon adequate protection of public health?
Response. I am very interested in pursuing what works. We have seen
that a cap-and-trade program has worked very well to reduce emissions
of sulfur dioxide, under the Clean Air Act Amendments' Title IV acid
rain program. I would like to explore that for other chemicals as well.
I don't know if mercury should be included, but I will look into that
Question 20. In the area of environmental protection, American
industry primarily seeks cost-effective rules that provide regulatory
certainty. President-elect Bush specifically referred to one such issue
during the campaign, when he called for our nation to, and I am quoting
here ``provide regulatory certainty to allow utilities to make
modifications to their plants without fear of litigation.'' President-
elect Bush was referring to New Source Review. The EPA has changed
their interpretation of NSR in recent years, and has now proposed a
rule under which routine maintenance could trigger a wide range of
environmental standards that are then enforced against the plant in
question. This may well result in plants being taken out of service due
to unmet maintenance requirements, at the very time that we need more
reliable and low cost generation of electricity. Will you examine this
proposed rule on NSR, and look at alternatives that will honor
President-elect Bush's pledge to ``provide regulatory certainty to
allow utilities to make modifications to their plants without fear of
Question 21. During your tenure in this appointed position, what
key performance goals do you want to accomplish, and how would this
Committee know whether you have accomplished them?
Response. If confirmed, I will set performance goals, and I will be
happy to work with you on those.
Question 22. Are you familiar with the strategic plan, annual
performance plans, annual accountability report, and financial
statements of your prospective agency? What do you consider to be the
most important priorities and challenges facing the agency as it
strives to achieve its goals? What changes, if any, do you feel might
be necessary in these plans?
Response. I am aware that the Agency prepares them, but I am not
familiar with their particulars. If confirmed, I will review those
documents and work to ensure that the Agency is setting measurable
performance standards to let us know whether we are in fact improving
environmental conditions and not just whether we can count beans.
Question 23. Virtually all the results that the Federal Government
attempts to achieve are accomplished only if the efforts of a vast
network of state and local government and private sector contractors
and partners are effectively coordinated. For example, much of the
Federal Government's domestic agenda--from mass transit to community
mental health--is accomplished in part by providing grants and other
technical assistance and support to state and local governments and
third parties. Federal agencies, by working closely with their state
and local partners, can instill performance-based approaches to
managing intergovernmental programs that seek to maximize both results
and state and local flexibility. Describe the skills and experience
that you have that will prove helpful in developing and leading
intergovernmental performance-based partnerships.
Response. My 7 years of service as Governor of New Jersey has
provided me with much practical, hands-on experience in promoting and
delivering on intergovernmental partnerships. New Jersey, with its
strong ``home rule'' tradition, literally could not work without such
partnerships. My administration's environmental, as well as urban and
education policies, have all been built around a commitment to working
in partnership with local and county governments. For example, my plan
for preserving one million acres of open space and farmland in New
Jersey and the re-development of brownfields is dependent on a close
working relationship between the state government and local and county
Question 24. What is your experience in working with Congress or
other legislative bodies responsible for the authorization, funding,
and oversight of government programs? Specifically, describe any
experience you have in working on a bipartisan basis to identify
statutory changes that can improve program efficiency and
effectiveness, as well as in fostering and responding to legislative
Response. Over the past 7 years, I have worked on a bipartisan
basis with New Jersey's congressional delegation and state legislature
on countless matters of concern to my state and its people.
Question 25. What are your views on the importance and role of
financial information in managing operations and holding managers
Response. Any good manager knows that financial information is an
important tool in managing operations and holding managers accountable.
When entrusted with taxpayer dollars, government must do all it can to
ensure that those resources are used efficiently, effectively, and
wisely. One must avoid the trap, however, of equating spending levels
with success in meetings one's mission. Too often, managers will
declare a problem solved if they succeed in securing more money to
address that problem. That is why managers must also include
performance standards and measures in managing operations and
Question 26. How would you address a situation in which you found
that reliable, useful, and timely financial information was not
routinely available for these purposes?
Response. If I found that reliable, useful, and timely financial
information was not routinely available, I would make whatever changes
were necessary to ensure that it was.
Question 27. The Government Performance and Results Act envisions
that agencies will link their human capital planning with their
strategic and annual plans. However, we found that most agency plans
did not sufficiently address how human capital will be used to achieve
results. Can you describe your experience in building and maintaining
the human capital needed to achieve results (getting the right
employees for the job and providing the training, structure,
incentives, and accountability to work effectively)? More generally,
describe your experience in integrating human capital considerations
and planning into programmatic planning.
Response. The skills, talent, and experience that an agency' work
force brings to the work of that agency are the most important factors
in determining the success with which the agency will meet its mission.
As the New Jersey Governor, I have worked hard to ensure that our
60,000 state employees have the training, structure, incentives, and
accountability needed to succeed. To better assess the state's work
force needs, my administration undertook a complete review of all civil
service job titles, classifications, and descriptions, initiated
reforms in our civil services structure to reward performance and
encourage training and workplace excellence, and we have instituted
procedures for the development of clear goals and measures for all
state employees. I also initiated the first ever Performance Assessment
Review system for non-civil service employees working in the Governor's
Question 28. Describe your experience in evaluating work forces
(factors such as age, attrition rates, diversity, and skills
imbalances) to identify the most challenging human capital issues, and
discuss how you propose dealing with these issues in your agency over
the next several years.
Response. My administration has led the way in developing work
force planning and a responsible comprehensive program. Even a cursory
examination of the composition of the Federal work force indicates that
the coming years will see significant attrition as experienced people
reach retirement age. Replacing those people--and the long experience
they have developed and the institutional memory they hold--is a very
real and pressing challenge. If confirmed, I intend to make this
challenge a top priority at EPA. We need to look for creative,
effective solutions to meeting this potential problem.
Question 29. If you have spoken with your predecessors--those who
have held the position you now seek--about their ``lessons learned'' on
how to manage the agency effectively, describe how their advice and
experience has influenced your thinking and plans.
Response. I am grateful that most of my predecessors have reached
out to me in the weeks since President-elect Bush nominated me for this
position. I look forward to continuing to meet and talk with them in
the immediate future. I know they have much good advice and wise
counsel to impart.
Question 30. High-performance organizations draw on the strengths
of employees at all levels and maintain honest two-way communications.
Based on your experience, how would you assess your agency's capability
for two-way communication, and what preliminary ideas do you have to
promote such communication in your agency?
Response. As I have not yet been confirmed, I have not yet met with
EPA employees. I believe that two-way communication is important, and I
will work to make sure EPA fosters that.
Question 31. The Federal Government's work force has undergone
significant downsizing in the past several years, and with the current
tight labor market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract
and retain talent. How would you work, within current rules, to attract
and retain individuals with the experience, education, and skills
needed by your agency?
Response. If confirmed, I will read the report on EPA's human
capital crisis and then speak with my Cabinet colleagues and others in
government about what may work well in their agencies. This is a very
important issue, and it will be a priority for me.
Question 32. Numerous GAO reports have highlighted the need for
agencies to expend more resources on effective training and
professional development programs to better equip Federal employees for
the workplaces of the future. Based on your experience, what priority
would you place on workplace development, and how would you emphasize
continuous learning in your agency?
Response. I am a strong believer in work force development. As
Governor, I significantly upgraded the stature and use of the state's
Human Resources Development Institute, a training center. We have
expanded its course offerings and its outreach to state employees.
Recognizing the importance of work force development, my administration
has also provided funds to help workers in the non-public sector
improve their skills and training. I would expect all EPA employees to
take full advantage of the opportunities offered for training and
development and would ensure that managers throughout the organization
encouraged such development. I will review EPA training courses and
professional development programs to ensure that they meet future work
Question 33. To become a high-performance organization, an agency
needs senior leaders who are drivers of continuous improvement. What is
the best approach for motivating career employees, or any employees for
that matter, to achieve excellence?
Response. I believe there are several important steps that a
manager must take to promote continuous improvement and excellence.
First, clear goals must be set. Second, clear measures for evaluating
success must be established. Third, employees must know their
performance will be evaluated against those goals and measures. In
addition, employees at every level must be made aware of their
importance to the agency's overall success and the things they can do
in their job to help achieve that success. Managers, at every level,
must also lead by example; their own commitment to excellence and
continuous improvement should be evident to all those with whom they
Question 34. Political appointees who create and maintain
constructive working relationships with civil servants, including
members of Federal unions, can improve employee morale, increase
performance, and lower costs. Describe your specific experience
involving ``front line'' employees in achieving results.
Response. As Governor of New Jersey, none of what I sought to
accomplish could have succeeded unless that state work force had been
sufficiently motivated and committed to turning policy ideas into
practical results. I have put a premium on the ability of all my
political appointees (cabinet and sub cabinet) to work with the career
employees and their unions to carry out my goals. I expect to have the
same relationship at EPA.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Crapo
Question 1. What role, if any, should the EPA have regarding urban
growth and development issues? If it should participate, how should the
EPA interact with all of the parties to the debate so that their
interests and concerns are addressed?
Response. As you know from your service on the Committee, EPA is in
the middle of most debates over growth and development, generally
because many activities today are regulated in some way by EPA. I
believe that EPA has a lot of expertise to help states and local
communities meet their needs, and so I would offer that expertise if
states or local communities requested it.
Question 2. Do you support the EPA awarding Federal grants to
organizations that engage in promoting anti-growth, anti-business
efforts? If not, what steps will you take to ensure that Federal funds
are not used for such activities?
Response. I will review this policy and then make a decision.
Question 3. The National Hazardous Waste Ombudsman and the Regional
Ombudsmen serve as advocates for communities that disagree with agency
actions involving activities managed by the EPA. Specifically, the
Ombudsman provides an independent analysis on current projects under
dispute. On January 3, 2001, the EPA published draft guidance for the
conduct of the Ombudsman that most impartial and stakeholders agree
would have the effect of undermining the independence and authority of
the Ombudsmen. Do you support the important public advocacy and
watchdog role provided by the Ombudsmen? What are your intentions with
regard to the draft guidance? Will it be implemented, will it be
implemented as written or significantly overhauled?
Response. I do support the Congressionally mandated ombudsmen role,
and I will review the draft guidance and then decide how to proceed.
Question 4. Presently, the Regional Ombudsmen report to the
Regional Administrators and the National Ombudsman reports to the OSWER
Assistant Administrator. Would you be in favor of having the Regional
Ombudsmen report to the National Ombudsman?
Response. I am not familiar enough with the situation to answer.
Question 5. At present, the National Ombudsman Office does not have
control of its budget or personnel. The personnel report to the OSWER
Assistant Administrator, not the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman must request
resources and approval for all expenditures. Would you support the
Ombudsman having control of his or her personnel and financial
Response. I am not familiar enough with the situation to answer.
Question 6. In your testimony, you suggested that so-called
Brownfields legislation will be a priority of yours if confirmed as
Administrator. In recent years, Congress has recognized that use of
funds for Brownfields programs undercuts resources for other important
Superfund initiatives. It has now been 14 years since the last
significant reform of the Superfund statute. How will you work with
Congress to enact needed comprehensive Superfund reform that includes
liability, remedy, and natural resource damages reform?
Response. I am interested in learning what reforms are do-able in
this Congress, and will work with you to get those done.
Question 7. Small and rural communities have a competitive
disadvantage in securing resources for compliance with environmental
regulations under traditional granting programs. In other areas, EPA
guidelines prohibit funding to communities for the purpose of
developing feasibility studies for environmental projects. Increasing
environmental regulations have the effect of strangling small
communities that have few resources from which to draw for compliance.
Do you support efforts to create special assistance programs, such as
the proposed Project SEARCH Act, to help small communities comply with
Response. Small communities, like small businesses, face special
problems in trying to meet environmental requirements and fund the
needed improvements. I would be interested in learning more about the
proposed Project SEARCH Act and other ways that EPA might be able to
assist small communities in improving their environmental conditions.
Question 8. Do you support efforts to increase the involvement of
small communities in EPA policy-development? Do you support the
proposed Small Communities Assistance Act?
Response. If confirmed, I would like to involve small communities
in EPA's policy development. I look forward to learning more about the
proposed Small Communities Assistance Act and other ways that EPA might
be able to assist small communities in improving their environmental
Question 9. Water and wastewater infrastructure needs are growing
for communities throughout the United States. Such initiatives are
costly and Federal resources are limited. Continuing and additional
regulations have the effect of exacerbating resource shortfalls in many
communities. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife,
and Water, I will be working on efforts to address many of these
concerns. Will the EPA under your direction work with Congress to help
identify solutions to the infrastructure gap?
Question 10. In 1997, the EPA adopted stricter air quality
standards for ozone and particulate matter, known popularly as the smog
and soot rule. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on
challenges to this rule on November 7, 2000. One of the key issues
argued before the Court was whether EPA's contention, that it can issue
environmental regulations without consideration of costs to affected
industries, is correct. If confirmed as Administrator, how would you
consider costs and benefits in the development of environmental
Response. I understand that this particular issue is one of the
questions before the Supreme Court. As I stated in my testimony, I
believe we should know the benefits and costs of new policies.
Question 11. What is the proper role of risk assessment, cost-
benefit analyses, and sound science in the development of environmental
Response. We should use these tools so that we can better
prioritize our efforts and the identify the best solutions.
Question 12. This year, the Clinton Administration promulgated
Clean Water Act TMDL rules that will be extremely burdensome to
businesses and states. These regulations lack a sound scientific basis.
At the direction of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences is
currently examining the science of TMDLs to provide a more solid
foundation and is due to complete its study in June. Would you consider
reexamining and revising the TMDL regulations based on the NAS study?
Response. I will review both EPA's own cost study, due out by the
end of February, and the NAS study, and then I will determine how to
Question 13. In August 1999, the EPA published in the Federal
Register a draft radiation release standard for the geologic repository
being investigated at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In promulgating the
standard, the EPA had been directed by Congress to follow the
recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. The American
Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department
of Energy have submitted technical comments critical of the proposed
standard. The American Nuclear Society has commented that the proposed
standard is not consistent with the recommendations of the National
Academy of Sciences. If confirmed, would you be willing to review these
comments and to review the draft standard against what was recommended
by the National Academy of Sciences?
Response. I understand that Administrator Browner signed that rule
on January 17. I will review this action, along with the other recent
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Chafee
Question 1. Billions of dollars will need to be spent in the near
future on water infrastructure. How will you seek to balance increased
infrastructure needs with constrained resources and smaller budgets?
Response. As I discussed in the hearing, as a Governor I know that
communities are facing a critical need for improved water
infrastructure but do not have sufficient resources. President Bush has
recognized this need, and I look forward to working with you and others
to seeing how we can best meet it.
Question 2. As Governor of New Jersey, you were a leader in
protecting open space in your state. What role do you believe EPA
should play in preventing urban sprawl and preserving the Nation's open
Response. I am very proud of our efforts in New Jersey, and I know
that states and communities can do great things if they pursue them.
EPA has a great deal of expertise that it can offer to states and
communities who are interested in EPA's assistance.
Question 3. As Administrator, how would you strive to improve
internal coordination and communication among the individual divisions
of the Agency?
Response. I have learned, from my experiences in New Jersey, that
communication in environmental agencies can be segmented into the silos
of air, water and land. I will work to open up communication within the
agency, to share innovative ideas and basic data.
Question 4. In the past year, EPA has taken a number of legal
actions against the nation's coal-fired power plants to encourage
industry compliance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990? Do you
believe this is a useful tool for improving the nation's air quality?
Response. As I stated during the hearing, I do not believe in an
``enforcement first'' practice. I would first work with businesses to
find the best ways to improve environmental performance. For those who
refused to comply, then enforcement would follow. I will offer the
carrot first, but I will not retire the stick. Lawsuits like these may
be helpful in some cases, but I generally do not intend to use them in
the first instance.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Clinton
Question 1. As you know, California is facing a serious energy
crisis. In New York, we understand the effects of price spikes all too
well. This past July, average bills for Con Ed's 3.1 million customers
in New York City and Westchester County increased by 43 percent more
than they were the previous July. Obviously, New York's utility costs
remain some of the biggest threats to economic growth. The state's
utility rates are the second highest in the country--60 percent higher
than the national average. This is bad for business--and a strain on
the budgets of too many of our hardest pressed New Yorkers. One of the
reasons behind these price spikes is the growing demand. Therefore,
conservation is a way to deal with this problem and lower pollution,
yet a number of conservation programs have not been fully funded in the
appropriations process. Will you advocate for increased investment in
conversation both for environmental, and energy-related reasons? What
is your strategy for promoting energy generation from renewable
Response. If confirmed, I will work with my colleagues in the
Administration to ensure that we have a sound national energy policy.
As part of President Bush's proposal for such a policy during the
campaign, he included various incentives to promote the use of
renewable resources, and I will support those efforts.
New York and New Jersey have led the fight to combat sprawl.
Particularly on Long Island, we have seen a tremendous effort to
protect open space. Since 1981, the Land and Water Conservation Fund
(LWCF) has each year received only a portion of its dedicated revenues
and the Fund now has an unexpected balance of over $12 billion. LWCF
grant funds may be used for state planning and for the acquisition and
development of state and local facilities that provide active and/or
passive recreation opportunities. Do you support providing the LWCF an
annual appropriation of $ 900 million and additional permanent funding
for wildlife, marine historic preservation and other conservation
Response. President Bush supports full funding of the Land and
Water Conservation Fund and returning a significant portion of that to
the states for their conservation efforts. Question 3. What will your
policy be on taking into account and determining on every issue the
specific health risk that pollutants pose to children in particular? I
believe children aren't ``little adults'' and I'm proud of the fact
that over the last several years, the EPA has taken into account health
effects on children when making determinations about pollutants. Do you
think that is the right course? Should we take into account effects on
children? Are there any areas you don't think that that should be the
Response. As I discussed at the hearing, I believe we should adopt
standards that are protective of sensitive populations, including
children and the elderly.
Responses of Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Additional Questions
from Senator Bennett
Question 1. What is your view of the new diesel sulfur reduction
rules? I am also interested to know your feelings on sulfur reduction
for off-road diesel fuels, homes heating oil, etc.
Response. I will review this recent rule and then make a
determination. I am not familiar with the details or impacts of
particular proposals for reducing sulfur in other fuels.
Question 2. When does the cost of a proposed regulation exceed its
benefits? How and who should determine the cost benefits?
Response. As I stated in the hearing, I believe it is important the
government determine what the benefits and costs of a particular new
policy might be before implementing that policy. I would work with the
cost/benefit experts in the government to make decisions about
Question 3. Should environmental policy be exercised at the expense
of energy policy?
Response. As I discussed in the hearing and as President Bush has
stated, it is critical to America that we have a strong national energy
policy. If confirmed, I will work closely with my colleagues in the
Administration, including the Secretary of Energy, to ensure that such
a policy meets our nation's energy needs and still protects the
Question 4. How will the forecasted energy shortages and rate
increases impact the construction permitting process?
Response. I am not familiar with the particular impacts but am
interested in learning more.
Question 5. How will you ensure that EPA will make all new
regulations by the approved rulemaking process involving adequate
notice and public comments rather than by guidance documents or
changing definitions at a later date?
Response. I believe government should seek input from the public
when making new policy and should inform the public about new policies.
Government should set the rules and not change them in the middle of
the game, without letting people know.
Question 6. EPA is currently invoking its ``New Source Review (NSR)
Look Back'' program in which selected sources are required to provide
historical documentation of any activity, which may have triggered NSR
permitting. In reviewing this information, EPA is evaluating the
applicability of NSR permitting based upon its current interpretation
of the program, which is different than the program interpretation at
the time of the permitting activity. Will this ``looking at the past''
through 2001 eyes continue?
Response. I will review this policy, if confirmed, and then make a
Question 7. If industry invests in greener processes as a result of
their development efforts, will you work with Congress to see that
those accomplishments are recognized by extending patent protection for
those products by 2-3 years?
Response. I am not familiar with the particulars of this patent
issue, but I will do all I can to work with Congress and others to
encourage businesses to develop and adopt cleaner processes.
Question 8. Some states running delegated programs operate in a
constant fear of the EPA finding fault with the work they are doing.
This makes it difficult for industry and state agencies to cooperate in
protecting the environment. What are some steps you envision taking
that will help build, rather than challenge, state/industry
Response. As a Governor, I know what it's like to be on the
receiving end of mandates from DC. I look forward, if confirmed, to
improving EPA's relationship with the states.
Question 9. What value will be placed on voluntary, collaborative
programs during your administration relative to the program areas
themselves and the enforcement division?
Response. As I stated at the hearing, I believe in offering the
carrot first, but not retiring the stick. I have seen in New Jersey
that we can make significant environmental improvements through
voluntary, collaborative approaches, and I would seek to continue to
identify those opportunities if I were confirmed as EPA Administrator.
Gale Warnings: Governor Whitman Nominated for U.S. EPA Administrator
comments of the new jersey audubon society
(By William R. Neil, Director of Conservation)
On Friday, December 22, 2000, President-Elect George Bush nominated
Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey to the nation's top
environmental job, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection
New Jersey Audubon feels compelled to speak out after participating
intensively for 7 years in many of the processes and proposals of her
administration. We believe that the Governor of New Jersey is, by
temperament, inclination, and management style, poorly suited for this
We give all due respect to the Governor's achievements as a
preserver of open space, the preservation of Sterling Forest in New
York, and her 1,000,000 acre program, the idea for which originated in
a policy memo drafted by New Jersey Audubon Society on March 4, 1996.
But saving open space in a roll-of-the-dice pattern is quite a
different thing than systematically controlling sprawl in New Jersey,
where the Governor is visibly failing. That's because she has been
quite content with a toothless, voluntary State Plan that lacks
standards, leaving zoning and building densities in the hands of
municipalities which won't zone to effectively protect even the most
sensitive of the Garden State's natural resources. Essentially,
Governor Whitman is turning her back on our own best land-use history.
In our Pinelands, which have been shielded since 1980 by one of the
nation's most innovative regulatory land-use systems, votes of the
Commission overseeing its regulations now go 2-1 to weaken those
protections, thanks to a spate of poor appointments by Governor
Whitman. Saving open space is not, however, central to the mission of
the USEPA, and it is the reluctance of Governor Whitman to build upon
New Jersey's good tradition of land use regulation, that offers us a
strong clue about what is to come and worries us the most about her
appointment to the USEPA.
We appreciate the views of New Jersey's Senators and some national
environmental groups who reason that, given President-Elect Bush's
environmental record and views, we should consider ourselves fortunate
to have a moderate on the environment--we could do much worse, they
say. While this certainly is a plausible position to take on the rather
grim prospects for the environment under President Bush, we
respectively disagree with this rather over-simplified fatalism.
Because of our first hand knowledge and experience under Governor
Whitman, we feel that we must issue ``gale warnings'' to our
representatives and the national environmental community. The primary
mission of the USEPA is to issue regulations and standards governing
the amount of pollutants that can be legally discharged to our air and
water and to protect human health from at least some of the myriad of
chemical products that appear in the marketplace. EPA also has
important oversight duties concerning the regulation of wetlands. Thus
regulatory concerns are at the heart of the matter. But it is on
regulatory issues that Governor Whitman has serious philosophical and
practical problems. It is her attempts to weaken wetlands and water
regulations that have caused the greatest uproar in New Jersey. She
herself set the stage for struggles in these areas by coming into
office with barely disguised hostility toward environmental
regulations. The code words used in the fall campaign by President
Elect Bush--``command and control''--were heard early and often in the
first years of the Whitman administration.
Her Administration spent a great deal of time promoting the Dutch
model of environmental regulation which, among much else, sets long
term goals and gives businesses the freedom to pick the methods. It
sounded so good, until one stopped gazing at the Dutch ``heavens'' and
focused on the ground-level attempts in Washington (the Contract with
America and Congressman Schuster's ``Dirty Water'' Bill) and Trenton to
weaken water pollution standards. We said it at the time and we worry
about it for the nation's sake now: while everyone sat around Whitman's
``stakeholder's'' tables pretending they had no big differences and
promising not to sue each other (at least that was the Governor's
hope), sophisticated lobbyists for industry were hellbent on ripping
out the floorboards of our national and State protective standards.
While the Governor held a soothing green umbrella over the processes,
reassuring the public of her commitment to environmental protection,
and stressing the need for efficiency and cutting red tape, water and
wetland protection standards were actually being weakened.
It was not as if clues were missing for what was about to unfold.
The water battles had been preceded by other policy initiatives that
should have given friends of the environment pause. As David Halbfinger
wrote in the New York Times on December, 26, 2000 (``Two Grades, One
Record,'' pps. 1 & 26.):
. . . she cut its budget (NJDEP) by 30 percent and laid off
hundreds of workers. She ordered that State regulations be no more
stringent than Federal rules. And she cut inspections, eliminated
penalties and introduced grace periods for violators, to the point
that collections of environmental fines plunged 80 percent.
Adopting the motto ``Open for Business,'' Governor Whitman
eliminated the environmental prosecutors Mr. Florio had introduced,
and replaced a public advocate's office, which had at times sued
the State on behalf of environmental groups, with a business
ombudsman's office to guide businesses through the permitting
process. And she sought to move away from punitive measures toward
voluntary compliance. (P.26)
There has been a predictable pattern in Governor Whitman's handling
of environmental regulations. It began in early 1996 with the
publication of a massive rewrite and weakening of water-related
regulations, running to hundreds of pages in the February 5, 1996 issue
of the New Jersey Register. The scope and sophistication of the
technical changes and weakenings placed comprehension of the proposal
out of the reach of most citizens. Thus began a long battle of official
denial of increased pollution, op-ed and letter-to-the-editor debates
and gradual retreat and withdrawal of the proposal for re-write under a
growing storm of public protest, as the technical and ``legal'' cover
for the weakenings was exposed. The same process, on a smaller scale,
happened with the December 2, 1996 publication in the New Jersey
Register of revisions to New Jersey's Fresh Water Wetlands Protection
Act rules, the nation's strongest. Again, a storm of public criticism
led to the rules withdrawal. They would re-emerge, 4 years later, in
the summer of 2000, in a massive re-write that stretched to hundreds of
pages, much larger than the original, and again have come under a hail
of criticism that they are poor revisions and loaded with new General
Permits that trouble conservationists.
Most recently, this year, as the culmination of a process that has
dragged out since 1996, Governor Whitman's wastewater and watershed
rule proposal, again running to hundreds of pages, was greeted with
nearly universal incomprehensibility this past summer. Builders, the
State Business and Industry Association, and municipal officials, all
asked for more time to understand a rule that they had had months to
digest. And with all the legal and technical help money can buy, they
were still not sure they understood how the rule worked--or didn't
work. This was for a rule that was supposed to help control sprawl and
lend itself to predictability and certainty in the crucial policy area
of wastewater infrastructure planning. Much of the environmental
community, while lauding the Governor's goals, found the rule much too
weak and lacking in the clarity and standards necessary to achieve this
goal. As we write in December, the New Jersey Legislature is on the
verge of declaring the proposal out of step with Legislative intent,
very broadly defined. Our view is that despite having had nearly 4
years to decide what she wants to do, Governor Whitman has once again
made nearly all parties dissatisfied and still has not made up her mind
on key policy calls that are necessary to end its utter confusion.
That was what led us to make our ``osprey'' comparison. The osprey
is a new Marine Corps hybrid aircraft that is both plane and
helicopter, but which seems to do neither one very well, and crashes
frequently. It looks like it has a design ``identity crisis.'' So does
Governor Whitman when it comes to environmental regulations. These are
not good omens for someone heading into the top job at EPA.
Neither is the fact that the Governor keeps quite a distant, hands-
off approach to these matters. In the 4 years of the watershed process,
involving scores of meetings with stakeholders, the Governor never set
foot in any of the meetings. In the first wetland regulations' revision
proposal, when it was withdrawn under withering criticism in 1997, the
press accounts made it sound like the terrible rule must have been
issued under some rogue administrator from a different administration,
not her very own at the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection. It was as if she was totally unaware that her own DEP
Commissioner was publishing gutting regulations that she would later
have to disown. There seemed to be no connection, no responsibility.
Indeed, throughout the numerous meetings we've attended through the
Whitman Administration's massive regulatory revision processes, we
don't ever recall seeing the Governor attend, sit down once and get her
hands dirty and share her thoughts and ideas with all the suffering
stakeholders. It may be one reason why these have been, despite her
soothing sounds and wishes, time after time, rather fruitless
stalemates that leave participants with a bitter aftertaste. And, we
should note, these have ended in stalemates after conservationists have
exhausted themselves in blunting the worst of the weakening provisions.
We have heard quite of few comments recently about how Governor
Whitman has protected New Jersey's coast. We think you should know that
her revisions of New Jersey coastal law (called CAFRA) started out
pretty well, weakened year by year as they dragged out between 1997-
1999, and have ended with both builders and environmentalists suing on
grounds so convoluted that they make the recent election issues in
Florida seem straightforward. And the Governor flatly refused to
campaign with us to get the Legislature to close an infamous coastal
law loophole, which greatly compromises the effectiveness of the
regulatory changes she proposed. Time after time on major environmental
issues, this Governor has refused to take up any issue that might give
her a difficult road in the Legislature.
Recently, in an interview with the Star-Ledger, (December 20, 2000,
``Terms of Triumph and of Frustration,'' page 32) the Governor spoke
some revealing and troubling words about her views of those that will
be competing before her at EPA, and have been competing in the policy
arena before her as Governor for the past 7 years. She said that
If you let it be seen that you can only have an either/or, we'll
lose to business, because they've got more gumption, more dollars
to put behind efforts, more power to sway things. We've got to show
that we can strike the balance, and we've done that and done that
successfully. (Our emphasis).
Now that's a marvelously revealing comment, and one that troubles
us for someone heading into EPA. We thank Governor Whitman for her
candor about who has more power and money, which is a frank and correct
observation about this political era, as advocates for campaign finance
reform never cease in telling us. But as for gumption, defined as
courageous or ambitious enterprise, as opposed to just shrewd common
sense (from the context it seems the Governor meant courage and
ambition), we can only note that based on the state of the
environmental community in New Jersey over the past 10 years, we might
forgive her for this observation. That was not always the case however,
because it took a lot of gumption to get the Pinelands legislation and
the nation's toughest wetlands protections passed, in 1979 and 1987,
respectively. Since then, on land-use regulatory tools, the State's
gone South and West with a vengeance.
But it also seems that this is a clear personal and philosophical
preference with a troubling implication: one can't oppose business
interests on major regulatory or legislative matters and it's futile to
try, we guess even when it's in the public interest to do so. And on
some matters of great importance at the EPA involving questions of
human and ecosystem health, it is often necessary to impose substantial
costs on business interests. Notice we didn't say always or in every
situation. But this Governor's preference is clear, and it can well
lead to a lack of necessary objectivity--objectivity which the EPA
Administrator post demands.
We think that the Governor's attitude translates all too easily
into two classes of citizenship and standing before the regulatory
bodies. We said as much in watching her Administration give the
cranberry growers of New Jersey the go-ahead to destroy 300 acres of
wetlands even though more than 90 percent of the written comments from
the public opposed her General Permit proposal and the industry was
facing a known supply glut. Not only has her stance on this permit
sanctioned the unnecessary destruction of wetlands, now taxpayers at
the State and Federal level now are kicking in some $73 million dollars
to aid price-stricken growers and landowners in the cranberry industry,
when it was the industry's own relentless pursuit of expansion which
caused their market to crash. Because of massive amounts of campaign
contributions and the fact that the heads of the regulatory agencies
are political appointees, we testified bluntly in 1999 that the
environmental community implicitly did not have equal standing before
the agencies considering the proposals.
We do think, however, that plenty of gumption was on display when
one of the State's largest political donors and cranberry growers, A.R.
DeMarco Enterprises, Inc. was accused of filling 22 acres of wetlands
without obtaining a permit so that he could expand his cranberry bog
operations. New Jersey's new Inspector General issued (November, 2000)
a very critical report on New Jersey's proposed settlement of this, the
largest freshwater fill in the law's history. And this under a DEP
Commissioner who was trying to do something very generous for a
industry to which he had very close ties. Governor Whitman had no
problem with this, and never replied to our letter asking her to
withdraw the permit because of Commissioner Shinn's conflicts of
interest. This also has some troubling implications for the role that
she will play at EPA.
Similarly, in the face of overwhelming citizen opposition, the
Governor has given her full support to the biggest proposed wetlands
fill in the Clean Water Act's history in the Northeast, more than 200
acres to be filled to allow a new massive new shopping mall to be build
in the Meadowlands (Meadowlands Mills), just outside New York City.
Here the common sense of citizens is on sounder ground than the Mills
Corporation's marketing experts: ``just what New Jersey needs,''
citizen after citizen sarcastically remarked at the public hearings,
``another shopping mall.'' The Governor just can't seem to see that the
EPA chief needs to bring a healthy skepticism to the table about some
of the business community's proposals. When we see how the cranberry
industry has wrecked its own market, driving small growers under, and
the trends in energy ``deregulation'' (where are those three
consecutive years of lower prices we were all promised when it was
being marketed in New Jersey?), we wonder whether the Governor knows
that the bloom is off the rose of the era of deregulation?
We would be unfair to the Governor and to environmental history in
New Jersey if we didn't mention and thank the Governor for her rapid
protection of the horseshoe crab from over-harvesting. Her actions
stand in stark contrast to the horrendous anti-environmental positions
of Virginia's Governor James Gilmore III, who stonewalled, year after
year, in limiting his State's harvest of the horseshoe crab, before he
finally relented this past year--the last holdout on the eastern
But the full context of Governor Whitman's action on the horseshoe
crab issue needs to be stated. The business interests supporting
continued massive harvesting were, by comparison to other issues, a
narrow segment of public opinion, truly a special, special interest. So
there was no huge political or financial fall-out to her decision.
Compared to the financial stakes linked to decisions she will have to
make at EPA, this was, as the saying goes, a ``piece of cake.''
We conclude with a plea to our Senators, to our delegation in
Congress: be forewarned on what the Whitman record, relevant to EPA's
regulatory mission, has been in New Jersey. We wonder aloud whether we
would not rather face someone going to EPA who was an upfront, open
regulatory ``gutter.'' Now we hope that we are wrong about what
Governor Whitman will do at EPA, but we think our officials and our
colleagues at the national environmental organizations are just a bit
rosy eyed if they think, based on the historical record we have laid
out, that this is a happy choice to head the Federal EPA. We sincerely
hope that Governor Whitman realizes the implications of her new role
and does an about face from her regulatory history in New Jersey. But
the record really cannot support that optimism.
So if you see that inviting green umbrella go up, or hear talk of
the Dutch model, our advice is to get your magnifying glass out and
legal funds ready, and brace yourselves for grand regulatory
revisions--with stealthy weakenings buried deep within. And all done,
mind you, with a gracious smile and long denials that anyone so
environmental friendly would even consider such actions. Gumption
Joint Letter from New Jersey Sierra Club and Audubon Society
Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter,
New Jersey Audubon Society,
Princeton, NJ, January 22, 2001.
Robert Smith, Chairman,
Harry Reid, Ranking Democrat,
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee,
Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Re: Whitman EPA Administrator Confirmation Hearing Record
Dear Chairman Smith and Senator Reid: Please accept this letter on
behalf of the over 20,000 members of the Sierra Club, New Jersey
Chapter. We request that this submission and attached Exhibits be
included in the formal hearing record in the Congressional Record.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in this
We would like to clarify the record with respect to the January 17,
2001 testimony of Governor Whitman, as well as express our overall
concerns with the confirmation process.
1. DEP Budget
Governor Whitman testified to the effect that her Administration
had increased the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP)
budget. The Governor did not offer a baseline and timeframe to support
this statement. We feel that this testimony is misleading.
Exhibit 1 provides a May 16, 1996 letter from seven Republican New
Jersey State Senators to Whitman opposing proposed cuts to the DEP
State fiscal year 1997 budget. This letter also raised concerns with
``historical erosion of staffing'' at DEP, an allusion to prior Whitman
DEP cuts made in her fiscal year 1995 and fiscal year 1996 budgets.
This letter was written in the context of widespread public opposition
to Whitman DEP budget cuts. We have dozens of New Jersey news accounts
that document this record. Exhibit 2 provides a Newark Star Ledger
January 14, 2001 news story that claims Whitman cut the DEP budget 30
percent. Governor Whitman diverted over $80 million in funds
established for environmental purposes to the General accounts that
document this record. Exhibit 2 provides a Newark Star Ledger January
14, 2001 news story that claims Whitman cut the DEP budget 30 percent.
Governor Whitman diverted over $80 million in funds established for
environmental purposes to the General Fund. Whitman DEP cuts resulted
in a mandatory workweek reduction at DEP from 40 to 35 hours/week. DEP
accounts for less than 2 percent of the New Jersey State budget.
Federal funds and regulatory fees and fines comprise about 50 percent
of DEP revenues. Despite this fiscal reality, DEP was targeted for
layoffs and budget cuts in the first 3 Whitman budgets (Fiscal Year
1995--Fiscal Year 1997). The DEP budget, as a percentage of the total
State budget, has declined under Whitman.
Given these, and other facts, it is misleading to suggest that
Whitman has increased the DEP budget.
2. Mills Corporation development
Governor Whitman testified to the effect that she had not taken a
position regarding the Mills' Corporation development. We feel that
this is misleading.
Governor Whitman herself may or may not have personally addressed
the Mills' Corporation Plan for its largest mall (nationwide) ever in
the Hackensack Meadowlands, but her Administration has certainly
supported the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commissions (HMDC)
Special Area Management Plan (SAMP). The HMDC has regional planning and
land use powers in the Hackensack Meadowlands. The SAMP is the formal
planning and regulatory framework that contains (and legally had to
contain) the development and wetland fill plans for the Mills' mall.
Whitman's Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs
(DCA), Jane M. Kenny, is the Chairman of the HMDC. According to a DCA
press release dated April 1, 1999, Kenny ``signed the SAMP Guidance
Letter that will be published in the Federal Register next week.''
Despite the fact that the Guidance Document signed off on the
destruction of 465 acres of wetlands, in best Orwellian fashion, the
press release headline claimed that ``Governor Whitman's Open Space
Goals Move Forward, More Meadowlands Wetlands Acreage Preserved, SAMP
Revisions to be Published in Federal Register.''
Of course, this specific press release never mentions the
Meadowlands Mills project. Instead, in trumpets the improvement over an
earlier 1995 draft SAMP that called for filling of 842 wetland acres.
Formal comments on the SAMP's July 20, 200 draft Environmental
Impact Statement were filed October 11, 2000 by Professor Ed Lloyd of
Columbia University School of Law, Jennifer Davis of NRDC, James Tripp
of Environmental Defense and Susan Kraham of the Rutgers Environmental
Law Clinic. These comments indicate that the size of the proposed
wetlands fill is now 134 acres, not the 90 portrayed in the 199 SAMP,
and that the Mills Corp's wetland ``enhancement'' plan ``will actually
cause significant adverse impacts to 221 additional acres of extant
wetlands, and will itself require Section 404 and Section 10 permits,
as well as mitigation.'' (page 21 of comments).
3. Voluntary Compliance
Governor Whitman testified to the effect that she supported a
voluntary compliance approach. We feel it important to document what
that approach has meant to New Jersey environmental programs. While the
concept may appear to be limited to traditional environmental
compliance and enforcement issues, Whitman has used it as a major
policy theme that has been applied across-the-board in regulatory
In 1991, New Jersey enacted a model Pollution Prevention
Act. The Act sought ``significant reductions'' in toxics use. Whitman's
DEP Commissioner wrote a letter to industrial facilities regulated by
the Act that the DEP would not enforce the first round of planning
requirements of the Act. As a result, about 25 percent of facilities
were late or did not file required plans, and toxics use reduction, the
cornerstone of the Act, has been completely ignored.
New Jersey has a national model known as the Clean Water
Enforcement Act. The Act imposes mandatory penalties for violation of
effluent limits in NPDES permits. This law is responsible for sharp
reductions in the number of significant violators of State water laws.
Under the ``voluntary approach'' Whitman did not oppose, and in fact
supported, certain efforts by the New Jersey Legislature to gut this
In developing State air pollution control regulations to
assume the Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program, DEP staff
recommended that the State adopt requirements to submit both air
quality modeling and risk assessment for Title V permits. Staff were
over-ruled, and the DEP adopted regulations that make modeling ends
risk assessment ``voluntary.'' We understand that not a single
industrial facility, including major facilities that emit tons of
hazardous air pollutants, has voluntarily done modeling and/or risk
Under Whitman, NJDEP abandoned its historic State
hazardous site cleanup program. Whitman signed legislation that: a)
eliminated the statutory preference for permanent remedies; b)
prohibited DEP from requiring alternatives analysis; c) vested the sole
authority to select a remedy in the hands of the responsible party or
developer; d) authorized large volumes of highly contaminated materials
to be left onsite and ``stabilized'' with inadequate caps and other
``institutional controls''; and provide only minimal notice to impacted
communities just 45 days prior to construction (after all DEP approvals
had been issued). Whitman abandoned the historic use of legally
enforceable Spill Act Directives and Administrative Consent Orders
(ACO) to control cleanups in favor of unenforceable ``voluntary
agreements.'' Whitman refunded prior ACO mandated financial assurance
to responsible parties and eliminated stipulated penalties for failure
to comply with an ACO or Directive.
Whitman abandoned the 1993 Statewide Solid Waste
Management Plan, including that plan's source reduction, toxics use
reduction, and packaging and materials management policies. We are
unaware of any industry that has voluntarily come forward to comply
with the policies of the 1993 Plan.
Whitman issued an Executive Order 27 (1994) that mandated
that State regulations that are more stringent than Federal
requirements be justified by cost benefit analysis. This Order resulted
in the across-the-board weakening of, among other things, State
regulation for air, water and waste permits, deregulated used oil as
hazardous waste and eroded chemical plant safety requirements addressed
under the provisions of Section 112 (r) of the Clean Air Act Amendments
Exhibit 3 documents that in a memorandum of July 29, 1994, State
DEP Assistant Commissioner Nagy found that the USEPA Federal 112 (r)
requirements were ``technically unjustifiable'' and would ``correlate
with a a significant increase in the number of potential fatalities''
(Nagy, p. 2).
We know of no chemical facilities that have agreed with this
finding and voluntarily agreed to comply with more protective State
Similarly, EO 27 resulted in weakening of water quality study
requirements for NPDES discharge permits proposed by the DEP on
February 5, 1996 and in the above mentioned Title V operating Permit
program. We are similarly not aware of any industrial facilities that
have voluntarily complied with more protective State standards.
We find these facts particularly troubling in light of the Whitman
testimony regarding the need to retain Federal EPA flexibility to
account for unique local and State concerns. If Whitman supports such
flexibility, then why did she issue EO 27, which eliminated New Jersey
flexibility to address local concerns for purposes of Federal
4. No Further Action letters
Governor Whitman testified that New Jersey had issued ``7,000'' No
Further Action (NFAs) in the New Jersey State hazardous site
remediation program. We strongly believe that the Governor misspoke,
perhaps by inadvertently equating the universe of know contaminated
sites with the issuance of NFAs. Because a NFA letter releases a
polluter from liability under the State program, it is a critically
important regulatory document. Accordingly, we request that the
committee ask the Governor to clarify her testimony regarding NFAs.
5. MTBE liability
Governor Whitman testified to the effect that Congress lacked the
authority to address liability for MTBE cleanup. We believe she
misspoke. Given the importance of this issue, we request that the
committee ask the Governor to clarify her testimony regarding MTBE
6. Sound Science
Governor Whitman touted ``sound science'' as the backbone of
regulatory policy. However, in New Jersey, Whitman adopted an
``affirmative action'' policy for environmental science, whereby DEP
research funds must be used at New Jersey institutions, not necessarily
on the most advanced science.
Exhibit 4 documents what has become a troubling pattern, whereby
the Governor makes press remarks that contradict the undisputed facts
and recommendations of her Agency scientists.
In closing, we wish to note that we were disappointed that neither
the Whitman testimony nor the committee's questions were able to
document and hold Whitman accountable for her record in New Jersey.
We again appreciate the opportunity to participate in the process
and again thank your for your generous assistance in this important
Bill Wolfe, Policy Director
Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter.
Bill Neil, Director of Conservation,
New Jersey Audubon Society.
list of exhibits
Exhibit 1--New Jersey Senate--letter to Whitman opposing DEP budget
cuts (May 16, 1996)
Exhibit 2--``Questions for the New Environmental Chief''--Newark
Star Ledger (Tom Johnson, January 14, 2001)
Exhibit 3--memorandum of DEP Assistant Commissioner Nagy (July 29,
Exhibit 4--confidential memorandum of DEP Division of Science and
Research regarding factual errors made to press by Whitman (March 28,
1994)--Note--sworn testimony of DEP officials supporting conclusions
that Whitman and DEP Commissioner Shinn conspired to suppress and
downplay the significance of environmental mercury and fish tissue
research is available upon request.
Exhibit 5--Questions for Whitman, Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter.
New Jersey Senate,
Trenton, NJ, May 16, 1996.
The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, Governor,
State of New Jersey
State House CN-001
Trenton, NJ 08625-0001.
Dear Governor Whitman: Among all the responsibilities of government,
there are few of greater importance, or of more concern to the public
than the protection of New Jersey's environment and the quality of
public health. We know that protecting these important concerns, and
carrying out these responsibilities through appropriate State actions
and support is a priority you share with the Legislature and the
general public. It is in recognition of that shared commitment to
protecting New Jersey's environment and public health that we write to
We are greatly concerned that your proposed budget for fiscal year
1997 does not adequately provide the necessary resources to State
government to meet the environmental challenges facing the State. This
is especially true in the proposed funding for the Department of
The proposed budget would require dramatic reductions in
scientific, technical and human resources critical to the mission of
the Department. In a State facing the environmental issues New Jersey
does, we need to respond aggressively to the challenges of insuring
that our air is safe to breath, the water safe to drink or the empty
lot next door safe to play in. It is highly questionable as to whether
the Department will maintain the requisite expertise and resources
under the fiscal year 1997 budget proposal to answer these questions
and respond in a way protective of public health and the environment.
We are also concerned that the proposed reduction in resources will
not fulfill the new approaches to environmental protection. The
successful implementation of the initiatives under discussion will
require additional resources above and beyond those currently available
to the DEP. Many of the ``reengineering'' initiatives being undertaken
by the Department will be fundamentally handicapped by the proposed
reductions in resources contained in the current budget proposal.
Due to these concerns we feel that it is important that you be
aware we may not be able to support this budget proposal, should it
come before the Senate in its current form The historical erosion of
staffing at the Department experienced over past budget cycles cannot
be continued because the environmental goals we have outlined above
will not be attainable.
We feel strongly that the proposed layoffs of DEP personnel will
negatively impact the Department's ability to effectively safeguard the
environment and protect public health. Therefore, we cannot support a
final DEP budget which contains employee layoffs.
We are, of course, committed to working with you to restore the
resources we feel are necessary to carry out the critical functions of
the Department of Environmental Protection We feel that it is very
possible to identity appropriate resources, sources of funding and
approaches to achieve this, and we ask for the opportunity to explore
these with you and your staff.
John O. Bennett,
Senate Majority Leader.
Andrew R. Ciesia,
Joseph M. Kyrillos,
Henry P. McNamara,
Joseph A. Palaia,
President Pro Tempore.
Jack G. Sinagra,
Robert W. Singer,
[From the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger, Wednesday, January 3, 2001]
Bush-Whitman Agenda Will Hurt Environment
(By Bill Wolfe)
President-elect George W. Bush has nominated Governor Christie
Whitman as Administrator of the Federal Environmental Protection
Agency. In the nomination speech, Bush revealed his environmental
agenda by declaring that it's time to move beyond ``the old central
command and control mindset.'' Whitman, who has presided over her own
``open for business'' environmental policy, agreed, adding, ``I know
what it's like to be on the receiving end of mandates from
Bush attempted to present this agenda as mainstream, citing what he
claimed was ``a growing consensus to this country about environmental
We strongly disagree that any such consensus exists. The Bush-
Whitman rhetoric reflects a dangerous combination of free-market and
states'-rights conservative ideology. This agenda would severely weaken
historic protections for the nation's air and water--protections that
the overwhelming majority of Americans support and have come to expect
from the EPA.
Under Federal law, the EPA has three primary functions: to set
protective regulatory standards, to enforce these standards against
regulated industries and to oversee and hold States accountable for
implementing programs to achieve these standards.
For the past 30 years, States have had a poor record in protecting
the environment. The progress that has been made has been the result of
strong Federal standards, vigorous enforcement against polluting
industries and the EPA's willingness to sanction poorly performing
Bush and Whitman reject this history and equate it with a failed
Soviet-style ``command and control'' model They believe that business
and industry are already overregulated, that industry can set its own
standards and that industry voluntarily complies with current
standards. As Governors, Bush and Whitman have assailed EPA oversight,
sanctions and ``mandates from Washington.''
These radical beliefs have consequences. A Bush-Whitman agenda
would bar the EPA from developing necessary new standards and likely
lead to a rollback of existing protections. These standards include
protections concerning how much cancer-causing material can be
discharged into our air and drinking water. Especially vulnerable to
rollback are the EPA's recently adopted ozone, fine particulate and
diesel standards, which protect our lungs.
As Texas Governor, Bush had an abysmal environmental record and was
unable to convince the American public otherwise. Whitman has a
similarly poor record, gutting enforcement and systematically weakening
environmental standards. The truly dangerous distinction is that
Whitman has effectively marketed her support for ``open space'' and her
outdoors image to mask strongly anti-environmental policies.
As they say, wherever the Nation is going, New Jersey gets there
first. I can see it now--Whitman doing an Alaskan photo-op canoe trip
as the oil rigs drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Bill Wolfe is policy director for the Sierra Club's New Jersey
chapter. He served as a policy planner at the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection from 1985 to 1995.
[From the Trenton (NJ) Times, January 1, 2001]
Whitman Appointment is a Cause for Concern
(By Bill Wolfe)
On December 22, 2000, President-elect Bush nominated Governor
Christine Whitman as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator. In his nomination speech, Bush revealed his
environmental policy agenda by declaring that it's time to move beyond
``the old central command and control mindset.'' Whitman, who has
presided over her own ``open for business'' environmental policy
agreed, adding, ``I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of
mandates from Washington.''
Bush attempted to present this agenda as mainstream, by citing what
he claimed was ``a growing consensus in this country about
I strenuously disagree that any such consensus exists.
The Bush/ Whitman rhetoric reflects a dangerous combination of free
market and State's rights conservative ideology. If allowed to go
forward, this agenda would severely weaken historic protections for the
nation's clean air and clean water protections that the overwhelming
majority of Americans support and have come to expect from the EPA.
What's at stake are crucial decisions made by the EPA, essentially,
whether Americans can continue to rely on a national environmental
protection program and whether the EPA can continue to function as an
institution that enforces the nation's laws and holds the States' feet
to the fire to implement the nation's dean air, clean water and toxic
Under the various Federal environmental laws, the EPA has three
primary functions: 1) to set protective regulatory standards; 2) to
enforce these standards against regulated industries; and 3) to oversee
and hold the States accountable for implementing programs that achieve
For the past 30 years, States have had a poor track record in
protecting the environment. The progress that has been made has been
the result of strong Federal standards, vigorous enforcement against
polluting industries--and the EPA's willingness to sanction poorly
Bush/Whitman reject this history and equate it with a failed Soviet
style ``command and control'' model. They believe that business and
industry are already overregulated, that industry can set its own
standards and that industry voluntarily complies with current
standards. As Governors, both Bush and Whitman have assailed EPA
oversight, EPA sanctions and EPA ``mandates from Washington.''
These radical beliefs have consequences. A Bush/Whitman agenda
would bar the EPA from developing necessary new standards and will
likely lead to a rollback of existing protections. These standards
include protections concerning how much cancer-causing substances are
allowed to be discharged into our air and drinking water. especially
vulnerable to rollback are the EPA's recently adopted ozone, fine
particulate and diesel standards that protect the lungs of our
How can a Whitman-led EPA effectively enforce laws and oversee
State programs when she and Bush believe in ``voluntary compliance''
and have opposed EPA oversight?
As Governor of Texas, Bush had an abysmal environmental record, but
he was inept at selling it to the American public. Here in New Jersey,
Whitman had a similarly poor record by gutting enforcement and
systematically weakening environmental standards. The truly dangerous
distinction is that Whitman has effectively marketed her support for
``open space'' and outdoors image to mask strong anti-environmental
As they say, wherever the Nation is going, New Jersey gets there
fast. I can see it now--Whitman doing an Alaskan photo-op canoe trip as
the oil rigs drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
State of New Jersey,
Department of Environmental Protection,
Trenton, NJ, July 29, 1994.
MEMORANDUM TO: Robert C. Shinn, Jr., Commissioner.
FROM: Lewis J. Nagy, Acting Assistant Commissioner Policy and Planning.
SUBJECT: TCPA--Proposed Rule Amendment to Add USEPA Regulated
Substances to its List.
Section 112(r) of Federal Clean Air Act requires EPA to create an
Accidental Release Prevention Program (ARP) that will be a nation-wide
version of the Department's Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA)
program. EPA is developing their rules in two separate rulemaking
processes. On January 14, 1994 they adopted the list of chemicals to be
regulated and the triggering threshold quantity for each chemical. The
remainder of the rule that actually defines risk management programs
was proposed on October 20, 1993, and is not expected to be adopted
until late 1994 (the earliest) or sometime during 1995 with compliance
required 3 years from adoption. Recent court cases upholding the Clean
Air Act implementation dates could require facilities to be in
compliance by December 1996 instead of 1997 or 1998.
As part of this Department's Air Operating Permit rule submittal to
USEPA, a demonstration is required that the Department can enforce the
ARP rule as part of the operating permit conditions. The attached rule
proposal is the first step to meet that requirement. When EPA adopts
the remainder of the ARP rule, a second TCPA rule revision Will
probably be necessary to reconcile technical requirements, document
submittal, submittal dates, etc.
This proposal adds substances from the EPA list to the TCPA list,
namely, 28 toxics, 52 flammables and 64 explosives. With three
exceptions, the corresponding triggering threshold for existing TCPA
substances, that are also on the EPA list, was set at the lower
threshold of the two rules. In most cases, this was the TCPA threshold.
The existing TCPA list contains 11 substances mandated in the TCPA
statute and their thresholds given in the statute, and 94 substances
added to the list by using a mathematical criteria based on toxicity
and volatility with thresholds set by modeling criteria. The modeling
criteria were based on the definition of an extraordinarily hazardous
substance (EHS) given in the Act; that is, one which if released at
sufficient quantity could result in death or permanent disability
beyond the property line. The model considered an average population
density of the 25 cities located near New Jersey's northeast to
southwest (I-95--Turnpike--I-295) corridor of high EHS usage. The
thresholds correlate with one fatality beyond a property line that is
assumed 100 meters from the potential accidental release point.
This proposal raises the threshold given in the Act for three of
the original chemicals based on using the Department's criteria:
chlorine from 500 to 1,000 lbs.; bromine from 100 to 1,000 lbs.; and
toluene-diisocyanate from 100 to 10,000 lbs. EPA's adopted thresholds
for these substances are 2,500, 10,000 and 10,000 [sic] lbs..,
respectively. On adoption, EPA significantly raised the thresholds on
71 of its 77 toxic substances. Industry (e.g., CIC and NJBIA) would
obviously prefer backing off to the EPA thresholds. If EPA had adopted
its thresholds as proposed, that would have been the preferred option,
since the proposed thresholds were in general agreement with TCPA
criteria. (The original USEPA thresholds averaged 4.7 times the TCPA
values with 18 of the 60 substances common to both lists assigned from
5 to 40 times corresponding TCPA values.) However, the increases made
by EPA on adoption were so large (averaging some 18 times the TCPA
values with 33 of the 60 substances common to both lists assigned from
5 to 167 times corresponding TCPA values) that they are not technically
Justifiable in an area as densely populated as New Jersey where
substances are generally handled on small sites, and would correlate
with a significant increase in the number of potential fatalities.
This proposal requires an initial registration of regulated
facilities within a short period time. This early registration will
provide the Department with the information on the identity and number
of new registrants coming into the program. It is anticipated that some
558 new registrants will be added to the existing 123 registrants that
would remain (after an anticipated seven of the current 130 would be
exempted from the program). The early registration will allow the
Department to begin working With the new registrants in an outreach
mode to help them prepare the required risk management plans, etc. The
Department would offer counseling to small business. Results of its
current cooperation helping USEPA develop model risk management
programs would be shared with small business for whom those models
would be appropriate. Some three hundred new registrants will bF LEG or
propane facilities that will require significant help in complying with
TCPA is a fee funded program. Early registrations will have two key
impacts related to fees. By substantially increasing the size of the
regulated community, but maintaining the Bureau's budget at-or-near its
current level, fees for existing registrants will drop significantly.
The second impact of the early registration (the new registrants added
will be charged fees during January 1996) will be a decrease in the
number of registrants after the first billing. In 1988, the initial
program saw several hundred facilities reduce their inventories of
regulated substances to below the triggering thresholds upon receipt of
their first TCPA bill. This immediately reduced the potential risk at
these facilities while at the same time exempting these facilities from
the fees and rule requirements. The early registration will narrow the
field of registrants quickly so that the Bureau's resources can be
devoted to those facilities that will remain in the program.
It is anticipated that this proposal will be on the agenda at the
August 16, 1994 legal meeting so that it can be forwarded to the Office
of Administrative Law by August 19, 1994 (alternative September 2,
State of New Jersey,
Department of Environmental Protection and Energy,
March 28, 1994.
MEMORANDUM TO: Commissioner Robert Shinn.
THROUGH: Robert Tucker, Ph.D., Director.
FROM: Leslie McGeorge, Assistant Director.
SUBJECT: Information on Mercury in Fish.
Over the past several weeks, it has been observed that information
attributed by the press to the Governor's Office on the issue of
mercury in fish has contained some technical inaccuracies. We offer the
information in this memorandum for your consideration in providing the
Governor's Office with further clarification of this issue.
As was stated by the Governor's Office, there are three forms of
Elemental Mercury (metallic mercury). This is the type of mercury
used in thermometers.
Inorganic Mercury (mercury salts). An example is mercuric chloride.
Organic Mercury. Methylmercury is the most important organic
mercury compound in terms of environmental exposure.
Contrary to the statements reported in the press, all three forms
of mercury are toxic to humans. Elemental mercury is volatile, and it
is toxic when breathed from the air; exposure to elemental mercury can
cause effects on the central nervous system. The toxicity of the other
two types of mercury (inorganic and organic) can occur through
ingestion, which is the exposure route relevant to mercury in fish.
Inorganic mercury is toxic to the kidney. Methylmercury, the organic
mercury of primary concern, is toxic to the central nervous system. The
most sensitive toxic effect of Methylmercury in non-pregnant adults is
paresthesia (abnormal sensations in the skin). Methylmercury is also
toxic to the developing fetus, and causes defects in the development of
the nervous system. This developmental toxicity is the most sensitive
effect of exposure to methylmercury.
Of the different forms of mercury, all scientific data indicate
that essentially all of the mercury in fish is methylmercury. The most
recent and reliable investigation into the occurrence of methylmercury
in fish conducted under ultraclean laboratory conditions (Bloom, 1992)
showed that almost all of the mercury in the edible portion of fish and
shellfish (muscle tissue) is in the form of methylmercury. This study
included multiple samples (at least 3) of 15 species. For all species,
the average percentage of methylmercury was at least 91 percent of
total mercury, and for all freshwater fish species, methylmercury was
96 percent or more of total mercury. These results are generalizable to
all marine and freshwater fish.
Information attributed to the Governor by the press indicated that
there may be a marked difference in the ease of metabolism of different
forms of mercury, and that the toxicity of mercury is-dependent on
whether it is released naturally or by man-made processes. Actually,
the time required for the body to rid itself of a dose of mercury is
generally similar for all three forms of mercury. Additionally, the
toxicity of a given form of mercury is not dependent on whether it
originated from natural or man-made processes. Any type of mercury
released may undergo changes from one form to the other in the
environment. The mercury in fish may have come from either source, but
the origin of the mercury in the tissue is not relevant to the
potential for toxicity to humans.
In summary, there are three forms of mercury. For all intents and
purposes the only form of mercury found in fish is methylmercury.
Exposure to methylmercury through fish ingestion can pose a significant
potential for adverse human health effects. Mercury in fish may
originate from human or natural processes, but this distinction is not
relevant from a human health perspective.
The Division of Science and Research has additional information on
all of the points mentioned above. We would be happy to discuss these
issues further with you at your convenience if you so desire. \1\
\1\ Reference: Bloom, N.S. (1992). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 49,
Questions on the Whitman Environmental Record
(From the Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter, Bill Wolfe, Policy Director)
Governor Whitman has had some positive accomplishments in New Jersey. A
key question is whether Whitman will pursue these policies at a
National level as EPA Administrator.
Statement: As Governor, you joined fellow northeastern States and
EPA in litigation to enforce the Clean Air Act on coal burning power
plants in the Ohio Valley. As a member of the National Governor's
Association, you lobbied your fellow Governor's to support EPA's
efforts to implement the Clean Air Act, especially regarding reduction
of emissions from Midwest coal power plants. As Governor of New Jersey,
you supported EPA's recently adopted ambient ozone, fine particulate,
mercury and diesel standards under the Clean Air Act.
Question: As EPA Administrator, will you vigorously defend each of
these EPA regulatory standards against industry legal challenges and
against attacks from Congressional oversight?
Will you continue EPA's Clean Air Act litigation strategy and
enforcement efforts to force individual plants and State's to reduce
emissions from Midwestern coal power plants?
Statement: Under your leadership as Governor, former New Jersey
Attorney General Poritz signed on to a letter written by the National
Association of Attorney's General strongly opposing efforts in the
104th Congress to pass ``takings'' legislation. As you know, some
conservative legal scholars argue that many EPA environmental
protection standards, such as wetlands restrictions under the Clean
Water Act, constitute compensable ``regulatory takings.''
Question: What are your views on property rights and ``regulatory
takings,'' and will you continue to implement former New Jersey AG
Poritz' views in EPA regulatory programs?
II) Whitman has had a poor environmental record in New Jersey--will it
carry forward at EPA?
Statement: Given New Jersey's unique challenges, New Jersey has had
a long history of developing model environmental protection programs
and in adopting protective air, water, waste and soil standards. These
standards have been backed up by strong and well funded environmental
and public health regulatory programs. New Jersey was first State to
adopt laws addressing national issues such as Superfund hazardous waste
cleanup, Worker and Community Right-to-Know; Clean Water Enforcement;
chemical accident release prevention, Pollution Prevention; recycling
and solid waste planning/management (addressed under Subtitle D of
Federal RCRA), et al.
Reversing this trend, in 1994, as Governor, you issued Executive
Order No. 27.
EO 27 seeks to make Federal and State requirements consistent. EO
27 requires that any State regulation that exceeds in scope or is more
technically stringent than its Federal counterpart be justified by
cost-benefit analysis. Under EO 27, if the State standard is not
justified by cost-benefit analysis, it is to be rolled back and made
consistent with the minimum Federal requirement.
For example, Section 112 of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments
established a chemical Accidental Release Prevention Program (ARP).
This program overlaps and was modeled on New Jersey's 1984 ``Toxic
Catastrophe Prevention Act.'' In an attempt to implement EO 27 in
developing State regulations pursuant to TCPA, DEP Assistant
Commissioner Nagy warned DEP Commissioner Shinn in a July 29, 194
`` [EPA's Federal thresholds to trigger ``extraordinarily hazardous
substance'' requirements] are not technically justifiable in an area as
densely populated as New Jersey where substances are generally handled
on small sites, and would correlate with a significant increase in the
number potential fatalities'' (Nagy, 1994--attached)
Despite this dire warning, the more stringent State TCPA
regulations recommended by Assistant Commissioner Nagy were never
adopted by NJDEP.
(Note: the Whitman EO 27 policy was also a justification for
cutting New Jersey's Right to know list by about 2,000 chemicals and
adopting the Federal RTK reporting thresholds; for rolling back New
Jersey's water pollution and air discharge permit program requirements;
Question 1. Do you still support the Federal consistency policy of
EO 27 (and your cuts to New Jersey RTK list), in light of the above
The Clean Water Act expressly prohibits EPA or States from
considering economic costs in developing surface water quality
standards. Such water quality standards must be based solely on science
and designed to protect aquatic and human health. Yet, in February
1996, despite prior written opposition in 1995 by USEPA Region II, your
Administration proposed regulations to weaken New Jersey's surface
water quality standards via an entirely new category of variance to
allow industry to consider costs and technological achievability.
Question 2. Is the underlying cost-benefit justification approach
to EO 27 relevant or appropriate to EPA regulation under the Clean
Water Act, including EPA's development of national water quality
standards and in EPA's review and approval of State standards? If so,
Question 3. Industry litigation now before the U.S. Supreme Court
challenges EPA's recently adopted Clean Air Act standards on the basis
of failure to pass cost-benefit analysis tests.
Question 4. How will you address the issue of the role of costs in
developing EPA national ambient air quality standards under the Clean
Air Act; in defending the legal challenge now before the court; and in
implementing and enforcing EPA's recently adopted air quality
Statement: USEPA Region II, in October 2000, imposed sanctions on
New Jersey under the Clean Water Act and withheld $2.2 million in
Section 106 Federal grants. In July 1999, the USEPA Office of Inspector
General issued an Audit Report of New Jersey's water monitoring and
clean water act programs. The Report found key deficiencies, including:
t New Jersey failed to adopt water quality standards for 33 of 126 EPA
priority pollutants; New Jersey lacked a strategy to monitor all State
waters as required by the Act; that recent budget cuts had further
reduced the States ability to monitor water quality; and that New
Jersey had ``dropped the ball'' in implementing the provisions of
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Environmental groups have filed
litigation now in Federal court to force USEPA to direct New Jersey to
comply with the requirements of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.
Nationally, there are 36 lawsuits filed by enviro groups to force EPA
to force States to comply with Section 303(d). Section 303(d) of the
Act requires that States list all rivers and stream that fail to meet
water quality standards and develop cleanup plans. Cleanup plans are
know as ``total maximum daily loads'' or ``TMDLs.'' New Jersey has over
1,000 sections of rivers/streams that require TMDLs, but the NJDEP has
developed only a handful.
USEPA adopted national TOOL rules in July 2000. These rules were
opposed by forestry, mining, and agricultural ``dirty water''
interests. The TMDL rules were adopted by the Clinton EPA essentially
in defiance of a rider passed by Congress. Some Members of Congress
have expressed an interest in legislatively vetoing EPA's new TMDL
Question: As Governor, you supported a National Governor
Association's policy opposed to the TMDL program. AS Governor, you have
a weak record in implementing the TMDL program. Given opposition in
Congress, will you support aggressive implementation of the TMDL
program at EPA and the States?
Statement: We understand that you support a ``voluntary
compliance'' enforcement policy. The NJDEP cut fines and penalties
against regulated industries and developers by 80 percent over the
first 4 years of your administration. Air inspections were reduced by
44 percent, compared to the last years of the Florio Administration.
You abolished the Office of Environmental Prosecutor. You signed a
``Grace Period'' bill which prohibits the State DEP from issuing
enforcement penalties for ``minor'' violations. The State DEP never
proposed regulations to define ``minor violation.'' The NJDEP
established an Office of Dispute Resolution in lieu of the traditional
enforcement approach to settle enforcement matters.
Question: What will your enforcement policy be at USEPA? How will
you assure that the nation's environmental laws are enforced? How will
you assure that States are enforcing Federal laws in State delegated
national environmental programs?
Statement: As Governor, you abolished the Offices of Environmental
Prosecutor and Public Advocate. You also created an Office of Business
Question: Will you support and retain the EPA's Office of
Statement: As Governor, you publicly advocated ``regulatory
reform.'' However, your July 1995 ``Strategy to Advance Regulatory
Reform'' (STARR Report) explicitly seeks to provide ``regulatory
relief', not ``regulatory reform'' (Source: STARR, page 1117).
Specific ``regulatory relief'' strategies identified in the DEP
environmental section of your STARR Report include:
Cutting New Jersey's RTK list from 3,000 to 800
Increasing the thresholds for DEP environmental reviews
of local sewer plans;
Reduction/elimination of compliance monitoring at major
Allowing industry lobbyists to rewrite State air permit
Rollback of New Jersey's model Clean Water Enforcement
Easing solid water industry economic regulation;
Rolling back New Jersey's hazardous waste management
regulations to Federal minimums deregulating used oil as a hazardous
Relaxing standards for hazardous waste site cleanup;
Reducing enforcement penalties;
Providing grace periods;
Polluter immunity for self disclosed violations;
Alternate dispute resolution;
Emission trading and privatization of permit reviews and
hazardous site cleanups;
Budget and staff reductions at DEP.
Question: Will you pursue similar regulatory relief policies at
Examples of upcoming key Whitman EPA oversight issues.
I. Key policy issues/themes:
Question 1. Can Whitman oversee and enforce the Federal
environmental law on the States, given both Bush and Whitman State's
rights and federalism/devolution philosophy (e.g. Whitman has opposed
EPA oversight as ``mandates from Washington'') ?
Question 2. Can Whitman enforce the Federal environmental laws
against polluters, given her ``open for business'' ``voluntary
compliance'' philosophy, and the ``free market'' philosophy she shares
with Bush?. These views are extremely hostile to environmental
Question 3. Can a Whitman lead EPA invest in and develop the
science and air/water monitoring data necessary to support new
environmental standards, given her New Jersey record where she: a)
slashed the NJDEP's budget by 30 percent; b) severely cut back NJDEP
science; c) reduced air/water quality monitoring networks; and d)
actually issued Executive Order No. 27 that rolled back New Jersey's
stringent environmental standard to minimum Federal requirements.
EPA oversight of State's is pervasive. EPA has oversight of
virtually everything a State agency does, such as issuing environmental
permits, enforcement actions, adoption of regulations and standards,
siting of dangerous facilities such as hazardous waste incinerators and
landfills, and settlement of litigation. EPA oversees hundreds of
millions of dollars of Federal aid to States to assure that it is spent
to protect the environment, as intended by Congress.
II) Some specific examples (past and present)
A) Clean Water Act
Whitman touts ``open space'' as her legacy, including a
major new Whitman regulation called the ``watershed and water quality
management planning rules.'' These rules are strongly opposed by the
New Jersey enviro community. The rules are subject to review and
approval by USEPA under Sections 303 and 208 of the Clean Water Act.
Will Whitman EPA objectively and critically review and oppose these
October 2000, EPA Region II imposed sanctions on New
Jersey by withholding $2.2 million in Federal grant money because the
NJDEP was 9 months late in submitting a critical bi-annual water
quality inventory Report. The Report was submitted to EPA by DEP in
November and is now pending EPA review. Because the Report shows
significant continuing deficiencies in water quality monitoring,
restoration and water quality standards, we are urging EPA to withhold
the money until NJDEP makes improvements.
In July 1999, USEPA Region I (Boston) Inspector General
issued an audit report that was critical of NJDEP's Clean Water Act
programs under Whitman. NJDEP has not resolved the deficiencies and has
flouted the Report.
In 1995 and 1996, USEPA Region II opposed efforts by the
Whitman DEP to weaken the New Jersey surface water quality standards
and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water
pollution control permit program. The proposals were withdrawn. After 5
years of stall, in December 2000, NJDEP proposed new State water
quality standards. This proposal is subject to USEPA review and
approval under the Clean Water Act.
Environmental groups have pending litigation in Federal
District court to force USEPA to force New Jersey to clean up over
1,000 polluted waters that do not meet Federal water quality standards
and are not fishable and swimmable. Cleanup plans are known as
``TMDLs'' (for ``total maximum daily loads''). NJDEP estimates that
cleanup could cost over $7 billion. NJDEP and USEPA have dragged their
feet in implementing the TMDL program under Section 303(d) of the Clean
Water Act, which was required to be implemented in 1978 by the 1972
Clean Water Act. NJDEP and USEPA have a Memorandum of Agreement to
implement the TMDL program over the next 13 years. The TMDL agreement
and each and every TMDL are subject to EPA review and approval.
USEPA finalized controversial national TMDL regulations
in July 2000. Clinton ordered EPA to adopt them in defiance of a rider
passed by Congress. What will Whitman EPA do in the face of this strong
opposition by timber, farming, mining, industrial and municipal sewage
treatment plants to these regulations?
In 2000, USEPA opposed an NJDEP sweetheart enforcement
deal with a politically connected major republican campaign contributor
for the largest illegal wetlands destruction in New Jersey State
history. A new settlement is under negotiation.
EPA opposed versions of a ``general permit'' intended to
weaken wetlands protections for cranberry growers in the Pinelands.
New Jersey recently propped but has yet to adopt major
new statewide wetlands regulations that are subject to review and
approval by USEPA.
Construction of a Route 92, a major new central jersey
highway connecting Route 1 with the New Jersey Turnpike, hinges on EPA
approval of wetlands permit.
Hackensack Meadowlands Special Area Management Plan
(SAMP) would allow massive destruction of wetlands in the meadowlands.
The SAMP is subject to USEPA review and approval.
Meadowlands Mills mall development hinges on EPA approval
of wetlands permit.
South Jersey/Philly port dredging for the ``Delaware
deepening'' hinges on EPA approvals?
New Jersey is unique nationally in that we discharge
large amounts of industrial and sewage treatment wastewaters into
rivers UPSTREAM of public drinking water supply intakes. These
conditions warrant special attention (e.g strict monitoring and tight
discharge standards). NJ DEP under Whitman has NOT considered these
factors and has actually weakened discharge limits for sewage treatment
plants on the Passaic River above drinking water intakes. What will
Whitman EPA do?
B) Clean Air Act
Clean air standards for ozone, fine particulates,
mercury, and diesel fuel (truck) emissions were recently adopted by the
Clinton EPA. Some air standards are before the Federal courts due to
industry lawsuits. What will Whitman EPA or Bush Justice Department and
Last year, an EPA national study known as the
``Cumulative Exposure Project'' suggested that New Jersey has excessive
levels of air toxics and that these levels may cause high caner risks.
NJDEP has only one air toxics monitoring station (in Camden) and a poor
record on air toxics. What will a Whitman EPA do?
New Jersey has the most Superfund hazardous waste sites
in the country (about 109, I think). There are also over 7,000 sites
that are being ``cleaned up'' under State law, but that are within EPA
purview. Whitman presided over changes in law that weakened cleanup
requirements, such as allowing toxic contamination to be left onsite or
inadequately ``capped,'' and excluded community groups from
participating in the selection of the cleanup plan. Major themes, such
as environmental justice, are raised by these cleanups, where sites are
often in minority or disadvantaged neighborhoods. The contamination
that is excavated from these sites is typically disposed of in
landfills, transfer stations and incinerators which also are
predominantly located in poor, disadvantaged or minority neighborhoods
(same as garbage management facilities regulated by Subtitle D of
Federal RCRA). Whitman has done ZERO on environmental justice. Where
will Whitman EPA be?
D) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (hazardous and
solid waste management)
Whitman weakened New Jersey hazardous waste management
Safe Drinking Water Act
Right to Know/Emergency Planning
Chemical Plant Safety (TCPA)
Responses of Governor Whitman, State of New Jersey, to Joint New Jersey
Sierra Club and Audubon Society Letter of January 22, 2001
The following responses address the points raised by the New Jersey
Chapter of the Sierra Club and the New Jersey Audubon Society in their
joint letter to Chairman Robert Smith and Senator Harry Reid of the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee dated January 22,2001.
1. Statement On DEP Budget: ``Governor Whitman testified the effect
that her Administration had increased the Department of Environmental
Protection's (DEP) budget. The Governor did not offer a baseline and
timeframe to support this statement. We feel that this testimony is
misleading. . .''
Response On DEP Budget: Over the course of Governor Whitman's
Administration, the operating budget of the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection has, in fact, increased when compared to the
last base operating budget of the prior administration. Since Fiscal
1997, the budget proposed for DEP has grown from $166.4 million to a
current Fiscal Year (2001) level of $197.1 million. This represents an
increase of $30.7 million or 18.5 percent. This does not take into
account the Governor's budget recommendation for fiscal year 2002,
which is $218.2 million, representing an increase in DEP funding of
$7.8 million over the current fiscal years adjusted budget of $210.4
As for staffing, the Department, as of January 2001, is down some
10 percent versus when Governor Whitman took office. Here, again,
claims have been made that staffing reductions on the magnitude of 25
percent were initiated during the Governor's first 3 years of office.
This is clearly not the case. As with the budget, staffing within the
Department has been increasing to address such strategic initiatives as
watershed management, greenhouse gas planning, air toxics, water
monitoring and for maintenance of State parks and natural areas.
Finally, more than $15 million has been invested in the Department
for the design and development of the Nation's first totally integrated
environmental management information system, a system that is aimed at
assisting the Department in making the most informed environmental
2. Statement On Mills Corporation Development: ``Governor Whitman
testified to the effect that she had not taken a position regarding the
Mills' Corporation development. We feel that this is misleading . . .
Response: The Governor testified that she personally had not taken
a public position on the proposed Meadowlands Mills proposal in the
Hackensack Meadowlands District. In addition, she stated that she would
seek the advice of EPA counsel on being recused from future
decisionmaking at the EPA. This was largely because of State agency
involvement with the proposed project while Governor Whitman was in
It is true that two of the Governor's Cabinet Officers,
Commissioner Jane Kenny (Community Affairs and Chair of the Hackensack
Meadowlands Development Commission) and Commissioner Robert C. Shinn,
Jr. (Environmental Protection) signed a Federal Register Notice
spelling out proposed changes to the Special Area Management Plan for
the Hackensack Meadowlands. The Federal Register Notice dated April 22,
1999 was also signed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and even the
President's Council on Environmental Quality. The Federal Register
Notice announced the intent of the agencies to proceed to the Final
Environmental Impact Statement (prepared pursuant to the National
Environmental Policy Act) on a Meadowlands district-wide land use and
environmental restoration plan. The District is 32 square miles in size
and contains approximately 8500 acres of wetlands.
The ``Special Area Management Plan'' (SAMP) concept was authorized
in the 1980 Amendments to the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act. SAMP
was employed by the Corps, USEPA, and NOAA to reconcile conflicts
between a regional agency with powers to zone and make land use
decisions (the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission) and
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act that regulates the filling of
wetlands. Under the Meadowlands Commission's Master Plan, which dates
back to 1972, over 2,000 acres of wetlands are zoned for development.
The goals of the Special Area Management Plan, as articulated in a five
party Memorandum of Agreement, were to provide for reasonable economic
growth in the Meadowlands District while achieving no net loss in
wetlands values and greater protection to the environment. The
Memorandum of Agreement was signed in 1988 and has been carried forward
through three Gubernatorial administrations in New Jersey.
The 1999 changes in the Special Area Management Plan focused
primarily on reductions in the fill of wetland acreage previously
proposed in the 1995 Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In the
Federal Register Notice, Commissioners Kenny and Shinn signed off on a
45 percent reduction of wetland fill, now capped at a maximum of 465
acres for the entire region. This figure is much less that could be
achieved under the 404 Federal process.
The Hackensack Meadowlands Special Area Management Plan has not
been finalized. The Mills Corporation has chosen to pursue an
individual Section 404 permit for its proposed development. In July of
2000, the Corps of Engineers issued a Draft EIS on the free standing
Mills proposal. Both the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection and the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission issued
extensive comments critical of the Mills project and the level of
analysis in the Draft EIS. Neither agency has endorsed the Mills
proposal. The Corps of Engineers must issue a Final EIS before
proceeding to a permit decision. Region 2 of EPA has gone on record
3. Statement On Voluntary Compliance: ``Governor Whitman testified
to the effect that she supported a voluntary compliance approach. We
feel it important to document what that approach has meant to New
Jersey environmental programs. While the concept may appear to be
limited to traditional environmental compliance and enforcement issues,
Whitman has used it as a major policy theme that has been applied
across-the-board in regulatory affairs. Examples:
Statement 3a: In 1991, New Jersey enacted a model Pollution
Prevention Act. The Act sought ``significant reductions'' in toxics
use. Whitman's DEP Commissioner wrote a letter to industrial
facilifies regulated by the Act that the DEP would no' enforce the
first round of planning requirements of the Act. As a result, about
25 percent of facilities were late or did not file required plans,
and toxics-use reduction, the cornerstone of the Act has been
Response On Pollution Prevention Act: On June 17, 1994,
Commissioner Shinn sent a letter to approximately 550 New Jersey
facilities which were required to prepare Pollution Prevention Plans
and submit Plan Summaries to the department by July 1, 1994. As a
result of the considerable public debate about the new law, the
Legislature was considering amendments to the law, which could have had
an impact on which facilities were ultimately required to prepare
Plans. In his letter, Commissioner Shinn stressed that the department's
philosophy in implementing the Pollution Prevention Planning component
of the Act was to rely on outreach and incentives to achieve the goals
of the program, and he directed that ``no penalties were to be assessed
against any company under the Act until the department and the
Legislature have the opportunity to review the program as statutorily
required in 1996.'' Facilities covered by the Act were still required
to complete a Pollution Prevention Plan and to submit a Plan Summary to
the department. By December, 1994, 97 percent of the covered universe
did comply with the planning requirements. An original public policy
goal of the Act, to reduce production-related waste, or non-product
output by 50 percent below 1987 baseline amounts, was achieved in 1994.
New Jersey continues to show a downward trend for non-product output,
independent of changes in the State's economy, while national non-
product output numbers are increasing. We have also increased our
reduction goal from the original 50 percent target already achieved in
1994 to a full 75 percent reduction from the original 1987 baseline.
Statement 3b. ``New Jersey has a national model known as the Clean
Water Enforcement Act. The Act imposes mandatory penalties for
violation of effluent limits in NJPDES permits. This law is
responsible for sharp reductions in the number of significant
violators of State water laws. Under the ``voluntary approach,''
Whitman did not oppose, and in fact supported, certain efforts by
the New Jersey Legislature to gut this law.''
Response On Clean Water Enforcement Act: DEP has been consistently
enforcing the provisions of the Clean Water Enforcement Act since its
inception. Further, the Whitman Administration's message has been the
same for the past 7 years. We want to work with those members of the
regulated community that understand their obligations and are willing
to go beyond compliance. For those who have minor violations, we'll
work with them to achieve compliance within a short timeframe before we
assess a penalty. But for major or recurrent violators, traditional
enforcement must be utilized. A strong baseline enforcement program is
needed to provide a credible deterrent for the portion of the regulated
community that does not understand this message.
DEP continues to take strong enforcement action against those
violators who repeatedly violate environmental laws or whose violations
are not of a minor nature. Compliance is still the bottom line and this
approach has not changed: if a violation is of a minor nature, the
facility receives notice of that violation consistent with the State's
Grace Period Law and is not assessed a penalty if the violation is
fixed in the required timeframe. However, if a violation is not minor,
DEP assesses a penalty for that violation.
Statement 3c: In developing State air pollution control regulations
to assume the Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program, DEP
staff recommended that the State adopt requirements to submit both
air quality modeling and risk assessment for Title V permits. Staff
were overruled, and the DEP adopted regulations that make modeling
and risk assessment ``voluntary.'' We understand that not a single
industrial facility, including major facilities that emit tons of
hazardous air pollutants, has voluntarily done modeling and or risk
Response On Title V Operating Permits: The use of modeling and risk
assessments is not required as part of the Clear Air Act Title V
Operating Permit Program. No State in the country requires them either.
Although no company has voluntarily conducted modeling or risk
assessments, the Department does utilize risk assessment in reviewing
permit applications for the construction or modification of major
sources of air pollution emissions. Each year DEP staff reviews
hundreds of air pollution permit applications, applying risk screening
tools. If determined to be necessary as a result of the screening, the
permittee is then required to conduct modeling and risk assessment for
the proposed equipment changes.
Statement 3d: ``Under Whitman, NJDEP abandoned its historic State
hazardous site cleanup program. Whitman signed legislation that: a)
eliminated the statutory preference for permanent' remedies; b)
prohibited DEP from requiring alternatives analysis; c) vested the
sole authority to select a remedy in the hands of the responsible
party or developer; d) authorized large volumes of highly
contaminated materials to be left onsite and ``stabilized'' with
inadequate caps and other ``institutional controls'' and provide
only minimal notice to impacted communities just 45 days prior to
construction (after all DEP approvals had been issued). Whitman
abandoned the historic use of legally enforceable Spill Act
Directives and Administrative Consent Orders (ACO) to control
cleanups in favor of unenforceable ``voluntary agreements.''
Whitman refunded prior ACO-mandated Financial assurance to
responsible parties and eliminated stipulated penalties for failure
to comply with ACO or Directive.''
Response On Hazardous Waste Clean-ups: The New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) voluntary cleanup program for
contaminated sites actually has resulted in private investment of the
remediation of many more contaminated sites than would have been
accomplished by the NJDEP with public funds alone. The primary purpose
of the program was to accelerate work at thousands of lesser
contaminated sites that would not have become a priority for NJDEP's
publicly funded program for some years, and were not being worked on by
private parties. All remedial activities at contaminated sites in New
Jersey must follow the State's Technical Requirements for Site
Remediation, regardless of whether they are being conducted under an
Administrative Consent Order, Memorandum of Agreement or with public
funds. These requirements guide investigations and cleanups in New
Jersey along with the State's conservative public health risk standard
that is very protective. It requires that contamination be addressed if
a person's exposure to a hazardous substance results in a cancer risk
exceeding one in a million and a non-cancer risk exceeding a hazard
quotient of one. These benchmark human health standards were not
changed during my administration, and remain more stringent than
USEPA's risk guidance. Also, the statutory preference for permanent
remedies was again embodied in the Brownfield and Contaminated Site
Remediation Act in 1998; it has not been eliminated. The State
continues to approve on a site specific basis remedial measures that
incorporate engineering and institutional controls allowing
contamination to be left in place at certain levels if such controls
prevent exposure to the public and are maintained properly. Such
locations require a deed notice and biennial certification reports
documenting the controls remain protective of the State's strict public
health standards and the environment. Caps and other engineering and
institutional controls are used and must be reported on by the party
responsible for maintenance of the control. In addition, an inspection
of the site is conducted by DEP personnel; to date, no failures
resulting in environmental consequence have been documented. New Jersey
is the only State in the United States that has a full time control
inspector. Spill Act directives (50 issued since 1995) and
Administrative Consent Orders (85 signed since 1992) have been used,
are used, and will continue to be used for priority sites for which the
State is prepared to spend public funds if the responsible parties do
not comply with the directive.
Statement 3e: ``Whitman abandoned the 1993 Statewide Solid Waste
Management Plan, including that plan's source reduction, toxics use
reduction, and packaging and materials management' policies. We are
unaware of any industry that has voluntarily come forward to comply
with the policies of the 1993 plan.''
Response On Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan: New Jersey has
established one of the most comprehensive solid waste management
programs in the United States premised upon reducing solid waste
generation to the extent possible, mandatory recycling, toxicity
reduction and ``self-sufficiency'' in taking care of our own long-term
disposal needs through a county/state planning process and construction
of 31 major facilities which make up our transfer and disposal
infrastructure. A centerpiece to the system was the ability of local
governments to impose ``flow control'' to direct solid waste to
specific disposal facilities. In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
the case of Carbone v. Clarkstown, and invalidated the flow control
system in Clarkstown, New York. In 1997, the State was dealt a crushing
blow when our historic system of ``flow control'' was struck down in
the case of Atlantic Coast Demolition and Recycling vs. Board of Chosen
Freeholders of Atlantic County et al. 112F. 3d 652 (3rd. Cir. 1997)
This decision thrust the State into nearly an immediate mode of
deregulation with a historic debt figure amassed by our counties and
solid waste authorities of over $2 billion in the development of our
long-term disposal infrastructure. As a result, the entire fabric of
New Jersey's solid waste system has been in a state of transition since
nearly the time Governor Whitman took office with the uncertainties of
the Carbone decision in 1994. The State has also been struggling to
address the outstanding debt situation since the 1997 Atlantic Coast
Notwithstanding the serious situation the State has been forced to
address, NJDEP has continued to advance New Jersey's commitment to
recycling and toxicity reduction. Governor Whitman raised the statewide
total waste stream recycling goal from 60 percent to 65 percent. All 21
of our counties now operate permanent or periodic systems for the
collection and proper disposal of household hazardous waste. DEP has
advanced ``Universal Waste'' management to collect fluorescent bulbs,
thermostats, switches, consumer electronics and other products which
contain heavy metals, including mercury. We continue to implement our
``Toxic Packaging Reduction Act'' and ``Dry Cell Battery Management
Act'' to reduce toxics in packaging and collect batteries which contain
mercury and other heavy metals. Finally, New Jersey has the most
stringent standards in the country for mercury emissions control at the
five energy recovery incinerators which operate in the State and we
have nearly completed our second assessment of mercury in the
environment through a Mercury Task Force stakeholder process.
Despite a complete upset of the historic solid waste system by the
courts, DEP has retained New Jersey's focus on comprehensive solid
waste management which includes source reduction, virtually
unprecedented levels of materials recycling, household hazardous waste
management, toxicity reduction, public education and disposal at state-
of-the art landfills and incinerators.
Statement 3f: ``Whitman issued an Executive Order 27 (1994) that
mandated that State regulations that are more stringent than
Federal requirements be justified by cost benefit analysis. This
Order resulted in the across-the-board weakening of, among other
things, State regulation for air, water and waste permits,
deregulated used oil as hazardous waste and eroded chemical plant
safely requirements addressed under the provisions of Section 112r
of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.''
Response On Executive Order 27: Executive Order 27 (EO 27) stated
that State agencies should consider applicable Federal standards when
adopting regulations that have Federal counterparts and should analyze
whether existing Federal standards sufficiently protect the health of
New Jersey's citizens. When DEP determines that New Jersey needs more
stringent standards, EO 27 simply requires us to explain that decision.
Therefore, the Order does not prohibit DEP from adopting standards or
regulations that are more stringent than their Federal counterpart and
did not force DEP to weaken all existing standards in order to comply
with the Order; New Jersey still has the flexibility to promulgate more
stringent standards where necessary. In fact, after careful analyses,
NJDEP has adopted numerous environmental standards or rules that are
more stringent than EPA's. Some examples include:
1. New Jersey's standards for mercury emissions from municipal
solid waste incinerators are more stringent than EPA's. EPA standard is
80 ug/m3 or 85 percent control and New Jersey is 28 ug/m3 or 80 percent
control. New Jersey's standards were effective 1/1/96 whereas EPA's
just came into effect in 12/00.
2. New Jersey's air toxics program is more comprehensive than
EPA's. New Jersey requires facilities to list air toxic emissions on
their permits if they exceed a predefined threshold value. This would
then potentially trigger a risk assessment by DEP or the application of
a state-of-the-art standard for those air toxics. EPA on the other hand
only requires air toxics to be listed on a permit if EPA has
promulgated an emission standard for the particular source operation
3. EPA does not have NOx RACT rules per se, but the NOx standards
in their acid rain rules are less stringent than the NOx standards in
our NOx RACT rules.
4. The stringent NOx standards for power plants in our NOx budget
rules (.15 lbs/mwh) set the stage for EPA's subsequent SIP call to 22
5. Our preconstruction permitting program (Subchapter 8) for new
and modified non--mayor sources is more comprehensive than EPA's. EPA's
permitting trigger is between 25-100 tons per year of a given pollutant
whereas New Jersey's trigger (although it's equipment based) equates to
as low as approximately one ton per year.
1. New Jersey's ``10 day'' transfer facility requirement is more
stringent than EPA's. We have standards for how waste must be managed
during the 10 day holding period and we prohibit the mixing of unlike
materials. Also, transporters must tell us that they're operating a 10-
day facility and must keep logs of material entering and exiting the
facility. EPA does not have these requirements.
2. New Jersey requires hazardous waste generators to submit
hazardous waste manifests (shipping papers), whereas EPA does not.
3. New Jersey requires hazardous waste transporters to be licensed,
whereas EPA does not.
4. New Jersey requires entities to submit plans to us for approval
before they can process used oil. EPA does not. Also, our standards for
halogens in used oil fuel (1000 ppm) are more stringent than EPA's
1. We regulate transfer stations, transporters, and recycling
facilities whereas EPA does not.
2. The Solid Waste Utility Control Act requires that people engaged
in the solid waste business be regulated as a utility. New Jersey's
rules therefore set forth business practices, transaction standards,
competition requirements and billing practices. There is no Federal
counterpart to this.
3. The Comprehensive Regulated Medical Waste Management Act sets
forth registration, transportation and waste handling requirements that
are in addition to the solid waste requirements. This Act was based on
a Federal version which has since lapsed. We are not aware of a Federal
counterpart at this time.
4. The A-901 Disclosure Review Act sets forth standard that must be
met in order for an entity to engage in the business of solid waste
transportation or processing/disposal. There is no Federal counterpart
to this Act.
1. When determining whether a site is sufficiently remediated, in
most cases we are more stringent than EPA. New Jersey applies a risk
factor of 1x106 (increased lifetime cancer risk)to
individual contaminants whereas EPA applies a risk range of
1x104 to 1x106 and it is based on the cumulative
impact of all contaminants.
2. We regulate large non-residential heating oil underground
storage tanks (greater than 2,000 gallons), whereas EPA does not.
3. New Jersey requires that only New Jersey licensed individuals
perform work on Federal and state-regulated underground storage tanks.
There is no corresponding Federal requirement.
4. New Jersey's Industrial Site Recovery Act prohibits certain
types of industrial properties from being sold or transferred unless
they are remediated first. EPA does not have this requirement.
1. New Jersey's freshwater wetlands program includes buffers in the
definition of transition areas whereas EPA does not.
safe drinking water
1. New Jersey has 15 chemicals for which we either have more
stringent standards than EPA or we have a standard whereas EPA does
not. For example, for MTBE, we have a standard whereas EPA does not.
Also, for trichlorethylene, New Jersey's standard is 1 ppb, but the
Federal standard is 5 ppb.
2. New Jersey has 13 drinking water standards that are more
protective than Federal standards, and standards for 5 additional
contaminants beyond those regulated at the Federal level.
1. New Jersey has regulations governing the construction of
wastewater treatment and conveyance systems whereas EPA does not.
2. New Jersey permits all discharges to groundwater whereas EPA
only permits underground injection and discharges at RCRA facilities.
3. The State law commonly known as the Clean Water Enforcement act
(CWEA) has a number of provisions which are more stringent than the
Federal Clean Water Act. In particular, the CWEA requires the
Department or Delegated Local Agency to impose mandatory penalties for
monitoring omissions or effluent violations that are serious violations
or that cause the violator to become a significant non-complier.
The following pesticide initiatives/rules go beyond EPA programs
and requirements Requirements for notification of the public prior to
applications of pesticides so the public may take precautions to
minimize exposure if deemed necessary.
1. Require commercial applicators to be licensed and certified
(take exams) prior to using any pesticides, not just the more hazardous
``restricted use'' pesticides, as an additional protective measure.
Require annual refresher training for agricultural workers.
2. Rules on applications conducted in schools in order to be
protective of children, who are a vulnerable population.
3. Extensive regulations to prevent contamination, risk and
exposure in homes and public buildings during structural pest control
4. Regulate an additional industry sector of dealers of restricted
use pesticides through licensing and record keeping requirements.
5. Require permits for aquatic pesticide applications and mosquito
control applications to prevent pesticide misapplications and
contamination in bodies of water and hazardous exposure during large-
scale community spray programs.
1. New Jersey's discharge prevention program is more stringent than
the Federal requirements in that the State program covers a vast array
of chemicals as well as petroleum and petroleum products. IN addition,
all plans required to be developed under New Jersey rules must be
submitted to NJDEP for approval, while Federal plans are only required
to be submitted for facilities with over one million gallons of storage
or facilities that have a discharge. The State program inspects all
regulated facilities once a year, and also inspects some non-regulated
facilities whereas the Federal program inspects only a fraction of the
2. New Jersey's TCPA (Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act) program is
more stringent than the Federal program as follows: more covered
chemicals; lower thresholds for some chemicals; more reporting
requirements; and more inspections per year. Also, the State program
requires a risk reduction effort after a hazard analysis is performed.
3. New Jersey's RTK chemical inventory reporting program is more
stringent than the Federal program in that employers must report
regulated chemicals at a 500 pound threshold rather than the 10,000
pound Federal threshold. The State's environmental release reporting
program requires reporting at 10,000 pounds rather than the Federal
25,000 pounds. Also, the State program includes materials accounting
where the Federal program does not.
Statement 4: ``No Further Action Letters: Governor Whitman
testified that New Jersey had issued ``7,000'' No Further Action
(NFAs) in the New Jersey State hazardous site remediation program.
We strongly believe that the Governor misspoke, perhaps by
inadvertently equating the universe of known contaminated sites
with the issuance of NFAs. Because a NFA letter releases a polluter
from liability under the State program, it is a critically
important regulatory document. Accordingly, we request that the
committee ask the Governor to clarify her testimony regarding
Response On No Further Action Letters: 7,000 No Further Action
letters have been issued since the Brownfields law was enacted. No
Further Actions are issued for full site cleanups, partial site (known
as ``Areas of Concern'') cleanups, cleanups of homeowner tanks, and
sites that require no further work after a review of initial documents.
All of these sites are included in the number. The Brownfields Act is
clear that liability protection (the ``covenant not to sue'' contained
in No Further Actions) never extends to parties who are responsible for
the discharge. They remain liable under the Spill Act. ``The covenant
not to sue shall not provide relief from any liability, either under
statutory or common law, to any person who is liable for cleanup and
removal costs pursuant to subsection c. of section 8 of P.L. 1976,
c.141 (C.58:10-123.11g), and who does not have a defense to liability
pursuant to subsection d. of that section.'' See N.J.S.A. 58:10B-13.le.
Statement 5: ``MTBE Liability: Governor Whitman testified to the
effect that Congress lacked the authority to address liability for
MTBE cleanup. We believe she misspoke. Given the importance of this
issue, we request that the committee ask the Governor to clarify
her testimony regarding MTBE liability.''
Response On MTBE Liability: The New Jersey Underground Storage Tank
Statute (N.J.S.A. 58:10A-210 effective September 8, 1986) was modeled
after Subtitle I of the 1984 Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste
Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Both laws and
subsequent implementing New Jersey and Federal regulations give full
authority to respond to discharges from regulated underground storage
tanks. This ability clearly extends to all regulated underground
storage tank contents, including MTBE.
In New Jersey, the Spill Compensation Control Act of 1976, the
Underground Storage Tank Act and others are used to compel remediation
of underground storage tank discharges, which may include MTBE. These
laws, which include strict, joint, and several liability, give the
State adequate authority to compel known responsible parties to conduct
remediation including situations involving co-mingled contaminant
plumes. All responsible parties with regulated underground storage tank
discharges that are conducting ground water sampling have been required
since 1990 to analyze for MTBE.
Statement 6: ``Sound Science: Governor Whitman touted ``sound
science'' as the backbone of regulatory policy. However, in New
Jersey, Whitman adopted an ``affirmative action'' policy for
environmental science, whereby DEP research funds must be used at
New Jersey institutions, not necessarily on the most advanced
science. Exhibit 4 documents what has become a troubling pattern,
whereby the Governor makes press remarks that contradict the
undisputed facts and recommendations of her Agency scientists.''
Response On Sound Science: Through the establishment of its unique
multi-media environmental science and research program in the late
1970's, DEP has had a long history of developing and applying sound
science to its regulatory, enforcement and planning activities. With
the agency's transition to a Results-Based Management System in the
last 6 years, the use of current and accurate scientific information in
decisionmaking has been given even greater emphasis. Environmental
research, specific to New Jersey's needs, has been a primary means by
which this information is obtained. Consistent with State procurement
laws, DEP has employed a competitive process to identify, select and
fund those research proposals best designed to meet its technical
information needs. This competitive process invites proposals from
academic institutions (as well as appropriate non-academic
organizations) both within and external to New Jersey. All proposals
are evaluated based on two paramount criteria: value of the proposed
study to environmental decisionmaking in New Jersey, and scientific
merit; these criteria are applied regardless of the applicant's
location. DEP first seeks qualified in-state researchers to perform
environmental research; however, if this search in unsuccessful, the
agency looks outside of New Jersey.
Exhibit 4 from the New Jersey Sierra Club/Audubon Society, a 1994
DEP memorandum providing scientific information on the issue of the
health effects of exposure to mercury in fish, is an example of the
high quality scientific advice used in New Jersey's environmental
decisionmaking. All of the State's mercury fish advisories developed in
the last 6 years were based on the principles described in this
memorandum. The basis for New Jersey's approach to mercury fish
advisories was recently supported in a report of the National Academy
of Sciences, (``Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury,'' NAS, 2000).
(By Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club)
Governor Whitman has had some important environmental achievements,
setting aside moneys for open space, support of Sterling Forest and
banning the horseshoe crab harvesting. However in areas of
environmental enforcement and regulation, Governor Whitman's legacy is
The Governor's environmental agenda has been the systematic
dismantling of 40 years of New Jersey environmental policies, programs
Eliminated the Environmental Prosecutor on the State and
Eliminated the Office of Public Advocate whose job was to
help citizens and citizen groups deal with government bureaucracy and
even sued the State on behalf of environmental groups.
The Governor opened the Office of Business Ombudsman
whose job was to push through permits for businesses and to help
facilitate permitting problems for industry.
The Governor then took all fees, penalties and other
funds that were dedicated to the DEP and brought them into the budget
to underwrite her tax cut; then took an additional $21 million dollars
that had been dedicated for Combined Sewer Overflows; brought them into
the budget and then eliminated that program.
The Governor's environmental policy was called ``Open for
Business'' where the Administration dismantled important regulatory
enforcement functions, opened the Office of Resolution Disputes,
allowed for grace periods on enforcement, risk assessments on
regulations, and flexible permitting and eliminated penalties based on
Passed an Executive Order that the State shall have no
standards stricter than Federal regulations without a cost benefit
analysis and special reasons.
Since the DEP cuts and Open for Business, there has been
an 80 percent drop in the moneys collected for fines in the State of
New Jersey and an 80 percent decline in the number of cases under
Eliminated the DEP lab, the only lab in New Jersey that
was certified to test in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Proposed to eliminated the New Jersey Geological Survey.
Eliminated oversight of pesticide use.
Privatized the voluntary Site Remediation Clean-up
Eliminated the DEP's mercury reduction program.
Eliminated the mandatory Employee Trip Reduction Program.
Cut the Right to Know Act's list of chemicals by 2,000.
Eliminated the Solid Waste Plan.
Tried to eliminate the Clean Water Enforcement Act.
Tried to eliminate the Pollution Prevention Act and the
Administration is at it again with new proposed regulations.
Dismantled the Hazardous Waste Program.
Cut the Radiation Protection Program.
Changed the regulations to allow waste oil to be burned
in space heaters in garages.
The DEP has waited 5 years past its mandatory deadline to
propose new rules for Coastal Zone Management. The rule was at best
ineffective and has been pulled.
Cut funding and maintenance for State parks. New Jersey
has the lowest per capita spending for State parks in the nation.
Appointed property rights advocates to the Pinelands
Commission where they now have a majority.
Tried to eliminate the New Jersey Office of State
There has been no implementation of the State Plan. The
rewrite of the Plan is weakening it even more.
Supported budget language that provides that the New
Jersey State Plan cannot be used to stop discretionary money to
While the Governor supports open space, the Governor has
stated ``We need to build highways to the open space so that people can
The DOT is supporting 40 new highways or highway
expansions, mostly through rural areas.
The Governor supports Rt. 92 a sprawl highway through the
largest stretch of environmentally sensitive planning area designated
in Middlesex County wit a 14 acre wetland fill. EPA opposes this
The Governor supports the extension of Rt. 29, a
waterfront highway through a park along the Delaware River, filling in
part of the river. Used a loophole to avoid a NEPA review.
The Governor supported the Casino Tunnel, a new highway
through a middle income African American neighborhood that will be a
private driveway for a casino developer.
The Governor supported taxpayers building a private road
from the New Jersey Turnpike to a toxic waste incinerator that the
Governor was supporting in Linden.
The Governor supports Bergen Arches which is to turn an
existing freight tunnel into a highway.
The Governor supports the extension of Rt. 18 through the
Rutgers Nature Preserve and along the riverfront.
The Governor supports spending $270 million dollars of
public money for Merrill Lynch to build a corporate office part in a
farm field in Hopewell, including running a sewer line 9 miles from the
City of Trenton.
The Governor supported the filling in of 200 acres of
wetlands in the New Jersey Meadowlands for the Meadowland Mills mall.
Opposed by the EPA.
The Governor also supports the filling in of up to 500
acres for the new Meadowlands Plan (SAMP).
The DEP proposes to allow cranberry growers to destroy up
to 300 acres of pristine wetlands in the Pinelands for the creation of
cranberry bogs. EPA had opposed.
The EPA rejected the settlement agreement on a major
wetland violation in the Pinelands by DeMarco Enterprises, a
politically connected cranberry grower. The proposed settlement was
also criticized by New Jersey's Inspector General.
The Sierra Club had to go to court to prevent the
adoption of the ``mega rule'' NJDEPES which would have allowed for
substantial increases in the discharges of pollutants into New Jersey
waterways. The EPA intervened to stop the adoption.
The DEP is currently proposing to change permitted flows
form using the 7Q10 standard to harmonic mean flows. This would allow
dischargers to increase their flows by a 500 percent increase.
The DEP is currently proposing 15 new general permits on
wetlands that would allow special interests to be able to do everything
from build fences through wetlands to animal waste lagoon.
The DEP has refused to upgrade the Wallkill River to an
appropriate Category I designation to protect the water quality in the
Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge.
Supported funding for a new sewer plant on the Wallkill
River, as well as a sewer line through a Natural Heritage site.
The DEP is proposing to allow a 700' television tower to
be locate don top of Weldon Mountain in the Weldon Mountain Wildlife
The DEP has refused to enforce its own permit levels on
phosphorous discharges from sewer plants.
New Jersey has the highest percentage (85 percent) of
streams and rivers rated impaired for pollution in the country.
Governor Whitman supported the Mercer County incinerator
and financial bail-out for other incinerators.
The DEP eliminated the siting criteria for garbage
transfer stations and Class II recycling centers which included
The State has abandoned its long standing position on the
taking issue and has now sided with the property rights advocates.
The Governor's energy deregulation legislation allows for
a $9 billion dollar bail-out of stranded assets of electrical
utilities, cuts funding in half for energy conservation programs, as
well as for alternative and renewable energy programs, categorizes
garbage incinerators as renewable energy, lists nuclear power plants as
non-acid rain producing and eliminates siting criteria for power
The Governor supports the dredging of the Delaware River
and the dumping of contaminated dredge spoils in environmentally
The DEP has refused to use its own million to one
standard for public health on radium levels in drinking water.
One-third of fines on pollution violations go
There has been a 44 percent reduction in air monitoring
Eliminated the Highlands Task Force.
Eliminated third party appeals on permits which removed a
useful tool by community and environmental groups to appeal permits
granted to polluters and developers.
Adopted regulations that removed water quality standards
for stormwater discharges for quarries.
Weakened brownfield programs. Eliminated community
involvement in cleanup plans as well as allowed for voluntary cleanup
plans which includes capping and walking away without liability.
Supported self-audit legislation for pollution permits. Defeated by New
Jersey Legislature. Supported weakening of New Jersey Air Pollution
law. Defeated by New Jersey Legislature. Supported allowing polluters
to have 10 year interim permits. Stopped by EPA. Whitman cut water
monitoring facilities from 200 down to 76.
EPA Inspector General Report July 1999 said that New
Jersey violated the Clean Water Act in its water monitoring program.
Cited failures to monitor for 33 toxic chemicals as well as the lack of
monitoring stations and New Jersey's failure to have any TMDLs.
Sanctions imposed by EPA in September 2000 for New
Jersey's failure to do proper water monitoring.
New Jersey Assembly unanimously passed an oversight
resolution in September 2000 that said the proposed watershed rules did
not meet legislative intent to clean up and protect New Jersey's
waters. The bill was up for a vote in the State Senate on the day
Governor Whitman was nominated to the EPA and was pulled.
CAFRA coastal rules are under litigation by every major
New Jersey environmental group for allowing too much growth along the
The Whitman Administration has deliberately avoided
implementing any environmental justice programs.
Supported the Cape May sewer deal which will allow for
sprawl development to pave over some of New Jersey's most
environmentally sensitive lands and allowing for salt water intrusion
to pollute the aquifer.
As head of the Board of Public Utilities, Governor
Whitman allowed for the selling off of watershed lands to real estate
companies. The New Jersey legislature had to step in a pass the
Watershed Moratorium Act.
Cut funding for recycling and eliminated the mandatory 60
percent reduction in solid waste.
Supported the building of Tabernacle High School in the
Pinelands Preservation Area.
Supported the firing of Terry Moore who was an advocate
of growth management as Director of the Pinelands Commission.
Supported ``The Sanctuary'' development in Evesham in the
middle of endangered species habitat.
Supported the reopening of the South Ocean County
landfill. Vetoed funding dam repairs which was followed by flooding
that destroyed some of the dams that were targeted for repairs.
Line item vetoed budget language that would have
prevented polluters from writing watershed cleanup plans.
Governor Whitman's open space program actually cut the
funding for urban parks, park development and matching grants to
counties and municipalities. The farmland program has been criticized
for failure to have an ethics code and for buying development rights on
the lands of the politically well connected, lands that can't be
developed, and on estates and gentleman farms, not family farms.
The loss of open space to development has more then
doubled under Governor Whitman and New Jersey leads the Nation in the
loss of open space as a percentage of land area.
Response by the Governor Whitman, State of New Jersey, to ``Whitman
Sampler'' from New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club
Statement 1: ``The Governor's Environmental agenda has been the
systematic dismantling of 40 years of New Jersey environmental
policies, programs and enforcement.''
Response. Under Governor Whitman's leadership, New Jersey has a
clear Strategic Plan for environmental protection being implemented
that is predicated on a belief that environmental protection and a
vital economy are inextricably linked; that strong environmental
policies, when properly administered, can enhance rather than hinder
the State's economy. While renewing its 25-year commitment to ensuring
a safe and healthy environment for New Jersey's 8 million residents to
enjoy, we have pledged to eliminate unreasonable and unnecessary
regulations and policies that do not help fulfill that commitment and
to shift our focus from a ``command and control'' mentality, to one of
results based management.
Some of our notable accomplishments over the past 7 years while I
have been in office.
. Passage of a statewide ballot measure to constitutionally
dedicate $98 million annually for the purpose of preserving open space,
farmland and historic resources;
. Moving forward to implement my commitment to have world class
parks throughout our State so our citizens have access to high quality
parks and other recreation and wildlife areas.
Significantly increasing dollars dedicated to preserving New
Jersey's beaches. These funds help to protect lives and property
through the construction of shore protection projects like, placement
of revetments, groins, bulkheads, and sand for beach nourishment.
Signing legislation in 1997 to implement our comprehensive
Watershed Management Program and, of critical importance, to fund it
through a portion of the Corporate Business Tax.
Providing a stable funding source that led to an
unprecedented number of hazardous waste clean-ups through more than
$118 million from the Corporate Business Tax revenue dedicated for this
Further enhancing hazardous waste site clean-up by New Jersey being
the only State in the Nation with a reimbursement program for non-
responsible private parties conducting voluntary cleanups at brownfield
Successfully negotiating the Atlantic Compact for low-
level radioactive waste disposal with our sister States of South
Carolina and Connecticut to provide our State with low-level
radioactive waste disposal capacity for about the next 50 years;
Statement 2: ``As Governor, she has eliminated the State's
Response. Dissolution of the Office of the Environmental Prosecutor
has had no impact on the Department's enforcement program and its
protection of the environment. While that office served as a as a
coordinator for major environmental cases during its years of
existence, the underlying functions of investigating noncompliance with
environmental laws and taking appropriate enforcement action in
response to noncompliance by the Department continued unabated. Since
that office DEP continues to investigate and handle civil
administrative enforcement cases; the Division of Law continues to
provide advice and court representation in support of those cases; and
the Division of Criminal Justice, Environmental Crimes Bureau handles
any environmental matters that either DEP refers to them for criminal
investigation/prosecution or that they determine from review of DEP
case files that they will investigate/prosecute.
Statement 3: ``As Governor, she has eliminated the Office of Public
Advocate, whose job was to help citizens and citizen groups deal with
government bureaucracy and even sued on behalf of environmental
Response. The Department of the Public Advocate was abolished to
eliminate inefficient bureaucracy resulting from one State agency suing
other agencies and towns. In eliminating this bureaucracy, the Governor
ensured that the vital core functions of the Office of the Public
Advocate were preserved. For example, mental health and criminal
matters previously handled by the Public Advocate were transferred to
the Office of the Public Defender; the Public Advocate's functions
concerning environmental protection and insurance matters were
transferred to and assumed by the Departments of Environmental
Protection and Banking, respectively; and the Ratepayer Advocate was
established to represent consumer interests in proceedings before the
Board of Public Utilities. Moreover, the Attorney General with the
support of Governor Whitman, recently established the Office of the
Inspector General to serve as an independent watchdog and protect
against waste in State government on behalf of the public interest.
Statement 4: ``As Governor, she has taken all fees, penalties and
other funds that were dedicated to the Department of Environmental
Protection and brought them into the General Budget to underwrite her
Response. Upon taking office, it was evident that the DEP was too
heavily reliant on resources generated from fees and fines and other
non-state sources in order to fund its operating budget, which made up
over 50 percent of its revenue. It was determined that, without
substantial increases in fees and fines, the Department would be faced
with a reduction in various environmental programs, since their costs
were well beyond DEP's ability to fully fund those individual programs.
It was also clear that dependence upon fees and fines represented a
negative position from which to revitalize New Jersey's economy.
At the request of the Department, consensus was reached on placing
DEP ``On Budget.'' By doing so, individual programs no longer had to
generate 100 percent of the revenue required to fund their programs;
the General Fund absorbed the cost of the fringe benefits and indirect
costs; the Treasury began picking up negotiated cost of living
increases for employees and programs, that were facing certain
reductions, now had the ability to operate in a fiscal climate where
achieving results could be their focus versus how they were going to
fund their very existence.
Other tangible benefits of the ``On Budget'' initiative were: that
it allowed a more effective Executive and Legislative oversight process
in crafting DEP's budget and further it afforded the Department the
opportunity to shift funds out of previously dedicated financial silos
to priority areas identified in each budget planning cycle.
Statement 5: ``She took an additional $21 million dollars that had
been dedicated for combined sewer overflows into the budget and then
eliminated that program.''
Response. Under Governor Whitman's leadership, New Jersey has
developed a comprehensive CSO Control Strategy and has undertaken
regulatory actions to implement the same. The Strategy is in
conformance with the National CSO Control Policy and has been approved
by USEPA. New Jersey is aggressively pursuing the Strategy to control
the discharge of Solids/Floatables and elimination of Dry Weather
Overflows. Some of the notable accomplishments in this regard include:
Planning activities have been completed for all known CSO Points.
Design activities are ongoing or have been completed for 84 percent of
CSO Points. Twenty-five (25 percent) percent of the CSO Points are
under construction. Construction for ten (10 percent) percent of the
CSO Solids/Floatables Control Facilities have been completed and
operating. The Department has awarded over $21 million in planning and
design grants and over $122 million in construction loans through the
State Revolving Fund to address the Phase I Solids/Floatables Control
Measures needs. All CSO Points have been identified and are regulated
by a NJPDES permit. The Department has incorporated all of the
applicable Nine Minimum Controls of the Nations CSO Control Policy into
the appropriate NJPDES permits and has taken appropriate enforcement
actions. Development of CSO Long-term Control Plans (LTCPs) is being
coordinated in concert with the Statewide Watershed Management Process.
The total cost required to implement CSO Long-term Control Plans is
estimated at $3.1 billion.
Statement 6: ``The Whitman administration dismantled important
regulatory enforcement functions.''
Response. The Department's regulatory enforcement program is one of
the largest and most extensive in the country. The Department performs
an average of over 21,000 inspections a year supplemented by county
environmental health agencies who, with the oversight of DEP, perform
an additional 8,000 (average) inspections per year. This strong field
enforcement presence is achieved with a team of approximately 200
inspectors in the program areas of: air, water, hazardous waste, solid
waste, pesticides, Right to Know, Release Prevention and Coastal and
Land Use. In addition to field inspections, the Department's
enforcement personnel perform in-depth reviews of annual facility
compliance certifications, excess emission reports, and other documents
and submissions that are important to gauging facility compliance with
the extensive body of State and Federal environmental laws. The State's
improved environmental quality is assisted by the Department's
enforcement program by encouraging compliance, by taking appropriate
enforcement action in response to violations and by sending a message
of deterrence to potential violators.
Statement 7: ``She opened the Office of Resolution Disputes.''
Response. The Office of Alternate Dispute Resolution was created to
provide for an opportunity to better resolve conflicts between
departmental programs and the entities they regulate because issues and
responsibilities can be thoroughly discussed and more parties affected
can participate. During this process, all statutes and regulations are
followed. If successful, the violation is corrected more quickly than
waiting for the resolution of a lengthy court proceeding. Any cases
that cannot be settled go to litigation. We note that the Air Pollution
Control Act amendments of 1995 required the Department to establish
procedures for alternate dispute resolution of air contested cases. The
ADR process is designed to be more interactive, providing a forum for
all interested parties to discuss a particular issue or problem related
to a facility in detail, provide an opportunity to communicate the
Department's position regarding a particular issue or permit, and to
identify options for resolution. Not every enforcement case goes
through ADR. Many requests for ADR are denied, especially when the
issue under dispute is simply the size of the penalty.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has had its own
successful Alternative Dispute Resolution Program since 1987. Federal
statutes and executives orders require all Federal enforcement agencies
and Federal courts to offer ADR in appropriate cases.
Statement 8: The Whitman administration ``allowed for grace periods
Response. In 1995 the Legislature passed the Grace Period Law.
Providing grace periods for minor infractions, as defined by statute,
helps obtain compliance since violators are given the opportunity to
correct the problem before monetary penalties are cited. Compliance is
the end result DEP is seeking.
The Fast Track Compliance Act for minor violations allows programs
to focus resources on more environmentally significant violations,
including emission violations. This is so because facilities contested
formal enforcement actions with small penalty assessments to preserve
the right to small penalty reductions in settlement. By requiring
compliance only and providing a ``grace period,'' this entire case
management process was avoided, allowing reallocation of resources to
significant cases. In the case of the air program penalty amounts
actually increased as a result, but the more important matter is the
positive environmental results of the enforcement effort.
Statement 9: The Administration allowed ``risk assessments on
regulations and flexible permitting and eliminated penalties based on
Response. Based on a model developed in cooperation with USEPA, New
Jersey has developed a voluntary, tiered regulatory option know as
Silver and Gold Track. The program is a prime example of moving away
from ``command-and-control'' regulation and rewarding high performers
for going beyond the boundaries of traditional compliance through
voluntary covenants. Only applicants with good compliance track records
are eligible. The program provides operational flexibility while
offering incentives and public recognition in return for a facility's
commitment to improved environmental performance. Participation in the
program also requires applicants to have aggressive local community
Penalties are not eliminated based upon a violator's ability to
pay. If DEP conducts an ability-to-pay analysis and it is determined
that the violator does not have the financial or other resources to pay
a penalty, a payment schedule may be put in place. The manner in which
the department assesses penalties is published in each program's
portion of the New Jersey Administrative Code. These regulations
identify violation citations, a summary description of the citation and
the base penalty that will be assessed and how a base penalty can be
modified based upon the specifics of the violation. These regulations,
however, do not provide for an opportunity to eliminate penalties
simply because of the financial condition of a company.
Statement 10: ``Since the DEP cuts, there has been an 80-percent
drop in the money collected from fines in the State and an 80-percent
decline in the number of cases under administrative appeal.''
Response. The amount of penalties collected is not a good
indication of either facilities compliance with environmental laws and
regulations or the environmental benefit that comes from a strong and
effective enforcement program, such as DEP's. Generally, the
Department's rate of penalty collection is good and new efforts are
underway to use the services of a collection agency to collect
Since the compliance rates are up, assessments are down and
therefore collections are down and decreasing from prior years. It
should be noted however, that one, or a few large penalties in any one
year can cause a spike that may appear to alter trends when that is not
To the extent that the Grace Period law has eliminated a number of
penalty cases that would have previously been contested, it follows
that less cases are under appeal. However, DEP makes an effort to
settle cases with settlement agreements since they are a much more
efficient way to handle cases from a resource stand point. Successful
settlements would also result in less appeals of penalty actions. Where
cases do not settle, DEP is always prepared to follow through with
formal enforcement action.
Statement 11: Governor Whitman ``eliminated the DEP lab, the only
one in New Jersey certified to test in accordance with the Safe
Drinking Water Act.''
Response. In 1994, DEP initiated a laboratory consolidation
program. Under this program, the DEP's radiological laboratory was
merged with the DHSS laboratory and DHSS acquired the analytical
equipment for specific additional pesticide methods. DEP routinely uses
the DHSS laboratory's capabilities for surveillance and verification
monitoring. DHSS laboratories are currently certified by EPA, which
fulfills the State's laboratory requirements under the Federal Safe
Drinking Water Act.
Statement 12: ``She eliminated oversight on pesticide use.''
Response. The Department has a robust pesticide control program
that covers a wide range of important regulatory activities that affect
the health of New Jersey residents as well as the environment in which
they live: licensing of commercial pesticide applicators; requiring and
assisting in providing training to pesticide applicators; a food
monitoring program for the detection of pesticides in food products;
outreach to migrant farm workers who handle or tend to be exposed to
pesticides in agricultural settings; outreach through the Urban
Initiative to educate consumers in urban settings about proper use of
pesticides; establishment and strong advocacy of Integrated Pest
Management as a preferred choice before pesticide use; and a program of
enforcement to assure that pesticides are labeled, sold and applied in
accordance with law. In addition, the Department's rules also require
that pesticide applicators give notice to the public when making
applications to help minimize the public's exposure to pesticides. The
Department has just filed a rule proposal which will make extensive
amendments to the pesticides regulations including: requiring the
licensing of private applicators (farmers); increased or improved
public notification requirements; increased training requirements for
pesticide applicators. All of the above demonstrates that New Jersey
has a top notch pesticide program and that oversight and involvement in
the pesticide field has not been eliminated but has been expanded.
Statement 13: ``She privatized the voluntary Site Remediation
Response. Since 1993, the voluntary cleanup program has facilitated
contaminated site cleanups by private parties and municipalities under
DEP oversight. The program was never been privatized. The cornerstone
of the DEP program is a Memorandum of Agreement that allows a party to
voluntarily approach the Department with the intent to investigate and
clean up a contaminated site for redevelopment or to allow a property
transaction to occur. Each year a portion of these voluntary cleanup
agreements the Department approves includes a new group of brownfield
projects. DEP issued No Further Action letters for 16,128 sites from
June 30, 1993 to June 30, 2000, the majority of which were conducted
under the voluntary cleanup program. DEP now issues more than 2,000 No
Further Action letters each year after investigations and cleanups are
completed to keep real estate and business transactions moving while
providing safeguards for the environment. In terms of moneys spent on
remedial work conducted under the voluntary cleanup program, NJDEP
provided oversight at cleanups worth $51.6 million in State fiscal year
1999 and $40.4 million State fiscal year 1998.
DEP and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority have approved
more than $73.8 million in grants and loans for brownfield site
projects and other remedial actions conducted under the voluntary
cleanup program since funds became available in 1994. Grants and loans
to municipalities and private parties who want to conduct remedial
actions voluntarily have increased the number of site cleanups in the
Statement 14: ``She eliminated the DEP's mercury reduction
Response. This administration adopted the most stringent mercury
limits in the world for municipal solid waste incinerators and
implemented those standards in 1996, 5 years before the Federal EPA's
compliance date for national standards. A1SO7 waste management of
medical waste was successful at reducing mercury from medical waste
incinerators by over 95 percent.
New Jersey implemented the most comprehensive municipal solid waste
(MSW) incinerator standards in the country (28 Og/dry standard cubic
meter (dscm) or an 80 percent reduction, vs. the Federal standards of
80 Dg/dscm or 85 percent reduction). New Jersey also implemented a
significant medical waste incinerator emissions reduction program.
These actions have resulted in a greater than 90 percent reduction in
incinerator mercury emissions since 1993 making New Jersey a national
model for progress in mercury emissions reductions. DEP has also
piloted and managed innovative mercury battery, mercury switch and
mercury containing fluorescent lamp collection and recycling programs.
Statement 15: ``She cut the list of chemicals covered by the Right
to Know Act by 2,000.''
Response. In 1984, DEP required employers to report to DEP the
entire U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) list of hazardous
materials on a survey form that DEP used at that time called the
Emergency Services Information Survey (ESIS). The Department included
the USDOT list reporting requirement in order to gather information
about the extent of use of the USDOT substances in New Jersey. This
information would then be used to determine whether any of the USDOT
substances should be considered Environmental Hazardous Substances
(EMS) under the Right To Know law and be listed as EMS's in DEP's rule.
The USDOT list was developed by the Federal agency for the purpose of
identifying those substances which potentially posed a hazard during
transportation and which an emergency responder to a transportation
accident would thus want to know about. The USDOT list had no
relationship to the Department's Environmental Hazardous Substances
list of chemicals which was developed to include those substances that
could pose an environmental and public safety threat based upon their
storage, manufacture, use at facilities in the State. In January 1994,
Commissioner Jeanne Fox adopted the elimination of the ESIS survey
(which had been incorporated in the RTK inventory survey) and also
adopted elimination of the USDOT list of substances to be reported. At
the same time, DEP proposed a new EHS list which proposed to include
the USDOT list of hazardous substances. In July 1994, Commissioner
Shinn adopted the new EHS list but did not adopt inclusion of the USDOT
list of hazardous substances as part of the EHS list. Thus, the EHS
list never included the USDOT list of hazardous substances as RTK
Environmental Hazardous Substances.
Statement 16: ``The Governor dismantled the Hazardous Waste
Response. To the contrary, New Jersey boasts an award winning
voluntary clean-up program. Two clean-ups overseen by the State,
Trenton Waterfront Development and the Edison Crossroads Mall, were
recipients of the prestigious National ``Phoenix Award'' for innovative
site clean-up actions in 1999 and 2000 respectively. In terms of
Superfund, since 1994, 13 sites have been fully cleaned and removed
from the National Priorities List of sites and one partially removed.
This brings the total number of sites removed to 18. Furthermore,
Superfund sites are divided into subsites to facilitate both immediate
cleanups that may involve drum removals and long-term cleanups that
target contamination, such as tainted groundwater, requiring decades of
treatment. As of December 31, 1999, 275 out of 446 subsites (62
percent) have been completely cleaned up or are being addressed through
long-term operation, maintenance and monitoring. This is an increase of
111 subsites since June 30, 1994, or a 68 percent rise.
Governor Whitman signed the Brownfield and Contaminated Site
Remediation Act in January 1998. DEP's brownfield inventory is 1,327
sites as of September 2000. New Jersey is the only State in the Nation
with a reimbursement program for private parties conducting voluntary
cleanups at brownfield sites. The state brownfield program enables a
developer to enter a Redevelopment Agreement with the State after the
company agrees to cleanup and reuse a brownfield site. Taxes generated
from new businesses operating at a former brownfield site provide funds
to reimburse a developer 75 percent of its cleanup costs.
Statement 17: The Governor ``cut the Radiation Protection Program.
Response. New Jersey's Radiation Protection Program remains fully
intact within the DEP and carries out its regulatory functions required
by law. These include the oversight and licensure of x-ray technicians,
inspection of x-ray machines to reduce unnecessary exposures to
radiation, regulation of nuclear power plants, administration of New
Jersey's comprehensive radon protection program, management of the low
level nuclear waste siting commission activities, including negotiation
of the Atlantic Compact with our sister States of South Carolina and
Connecticut and providing technical support to Federal agencies on
radiation protection issues.
Statement 18: The Governor ``changed the regulations to allow waste
oil to be burned in space heaters in garages.''
Response. As a primary management strategy, the DEP continues to
support used oil recycling. Most counties in the State actively require
the collection of used motor oil. DEP also allows the burning of used
oil in state-of-the-art combustors installed at maintenance garages to
help avoid illegal dumping and less desirable management practices for
used oil not destined for recycling. New Jersey's used oil combustion
rule is amongst the most restrictive in the nation.
Environmental safeguards on maintenance garage used oil combustors
include: limitation to certain onsite generated used oil (such as
crankcase, transmission and hydraulic fluids from maintenance garages);
prohibition on burning chlorinated solvents and similar materials; and
annual combustion monitoring and burner tune-up to ensure efficient
Statement 19: ``The Governor cut funding and maintenance for State
Parks. New Jersey has the lowest per capita spending for State parks in
Response. The Governor is committed to the citizens of New Jersey
and visitors to the State having access to high quality facilities at
not only the New Jersey parks, but also our wildlife and natural areas.
Over the past few years, she increased operating budgets for parks by
over six million. She also recently asked New Jersey lawmakers to
dedicate $250 million dollars over the next 10 years to maintain and
improve the State's parks, historic sites, wildlife and natural areas
so that we will enjoy a ``world-class'' open space system.
Using information from the State Parks Trends 2000 Conference, in
1999 capital expenditure per visitor throughout the Nation ranged from
$.01 to $8.11. New Jersey fell in the middle of the States at $1.44 per
visitor ($2.65 per resident). In the 11 Northeastern States, the
average per visitor was $1.10.
With respect to operating budget per visitor, throughout the Nation
it ranged from $.44 to $9.24; New Jersey fell in the middle at $1.87
per visitor ($3.44 per resident). In the 11 Northeastern States, the
average operating budget per visitor was $2.73.
Statement 20: ``During her term, the State Development and
Redevelopment Plan has not been implemented. The rewriting of the plan
weakens it even more.''
Response. The implementation of the State Development and
Redevelopment Plan has been a priority objective of the Whitman
administration. Under the Governor's direction, each of the State
agencies charged with implementing the plan have staff assigned for
that purpose. These State agency ``teams'' are coordinated through a
State Plan Implementation Assistance Team in the Department of
Community Affairs. Implementation steps undertaken by the State
agencies include the development of Geologic Information System (GIS)
compatible systems; providing planning grants to local municipalities
and counties; the development of environmental Indicators tied to State
Plan goals; and a focus on coordinated infrastructure investment
The Draft Final State Development and Redevelopment Plan, that is
currently in the public hearing phase and should be adopted by the end
of March 2001, replaces the current center designation process with a
new process called ``plan endorsement.'' This new process will
significantly enhance the implementation of the Plan as, before
endorsement can be attained, there will be a requirement for
coordination and integration between State agency functional plans and
local regional and municipal master plans.
Statement 21: ``The DEP waited 5 years past its mandatory deadline
to propose new rules for Coastal Zone Management. The rules were at
best ineffective and have been withdrawn.''
Response. The DEP adopted the first set of amendments, concerning
single family homes, within one year of the 1993 legislative amendments
to the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA). It took longer to
develop a set of comprehensive regulations that for the first time
integrated environmental regulations with the State Development and
Redevelopment Plan. These regulations, adopted on February 7, 2000,
were the result of extensive negotiations with municipal,
environmental, business, and legislative leaders. These regulations
have resulted in significantly enhanced environmental protection and
planning in the coast and for the first time established limitations of
Statement 22: ``While the Governor supports open space, her
Department of Transportation is supporting 40 new highways or highway
expansions, mostly through rural areas.''
Response. The Department of Transportation provided its draft FHWA
funded Planning Work Program to the State's three Metropolitan Planning
Organizations (MPO's) for their review and comment. There is an
activity in that Work Program entitled ``Concept Development/Corridor
Analysis'' which lists 43 locations where transportation planning
studies are either active or proposed. Some individuals and groups have
construed that the DOT is proposing major roadway widenings at each of
the identified locations. This is not the case. These studies will
evaluate the transportation needs in the area from a congestion,
operational, safety, roadway/bridge condition, bicycle, pedestrian,
transit and community perspective. The studies will evaluate and
recommend improvement concepts that address the specific needs
identified consistent with the needs of the community. The DOT believes
that most of these studies will not be recommending major roadway
widening. For those areas where major widening is warranted, no
decision will be made to advance a project until a full Public
Involvement Process has been conducted.
Statement 23: ``The Governor supports construction of Rt 92 through
the largest stretch of environmentally sensitive land designated in
Middlesex County, with 14 acres of wetlands to be filled in. The EPA
opposes the highway.''
Response. Route 92 is an essential east/west link in the central
part of New Jersey where there is no such limited access facility or
regional facility. The consequence of not constructing east/west access
is that significant regional trips will continue to use the local road
system. The local road system was not designed for large trucks and, in
addition, the current traffic volume on the local road system inhibits
the free-flow of traffic to meet the intended purposes of the local
road system. Route 92, in the design year, is projected to serve an
average daily volume of 32,000 vehicles, 2,600 of which are trucks.
Moving regional traffic the Turnpike Authority's proposed Route 92 will
result in a reduction of air pollution and will create a materially
safer environment for those who live, work and raise families in the
Central New Jersey area.
Route 92 will cause the filling of approximately 14 acres of
wetlands. The Turnpike Authority, through creative design and a
willingness to invest additional funds, has reduced the wetlands impact
from an original 33.5 acres to the current 14 acres. The Turnpike
Authority has presented a mitigation plan that will create
approximately 50 new acres of wetlands to replace the filled acreage.
In addition, the Turnpike Authority has committed to convey to the
Governor's Open Space Program over 200 acres of forested wetlands.
Route 92 represents an appropriate balance between needed quality
of life for the movement of people and goods with an appropriate
respect for the environment. The project has overwhelming support from
business, labor, local municipalities, the County of Middlesex, the
Middlesex County Planning Board and the prestigious and well-recognized
Regional Planning Partnership.
Statement 24: The Governor supported the casino tunnel, a new
highway through a middle-income neighborhood in Atlantic City that will
he a private driveway for a casino developer.
Response. The need to connect the Atlantic City Expressway and
Brigantine Island has been sought and studied for more than 30 years.
The Expressway offers the only flood-free exit from Atlantic City. In
addition, the need to handle growth in traffic has called for grade-
separated interchanges since casinos first were developed in the marina
area nearly 20 years ago.
The advent of a 2,000-room resort casino hotel with a potential for
two similar properties offered both the opportunity and the necessity
to address these issues. In looking at alternatives, the Department of
Transportation believed it was critical that the project minimize
wetlands takings and impacts. DOT also wanted to minimize impacts on
residents. The best alternative was to go between neighborhoods rather
than through them. The alignment selected did just that. To further
reduce impacts, DOT buried the road and kept all construction
activities out of the neighborhood. Casino financial participation made
The tunnel will support the development and redevelopment of the
bay area in Atlantic City for casino development and will allow the
proper closure of an abandoned landfill. Promotion of casino
development in Atlantic City is a significant public policy supported
by the voters of New Jersey. Far from being a ``private driveway,'' the
tunnel will provide access to many properties in that area and will
make their development possible The tunnel was designed and constructed
to meet all applicable environmental standards. The tunnel was
ultimately supported not only by the local government of Atlantic City
but by the residents of the neighborhood in which it went through.
Not only are we providing the connection to Brigantine and
improving traffic but we also are carrying out one of the largest
public-private infrastructure projects with minimal environmental
impact on both the natural and man-made conditions.
Statement 25: ``Whitman advocated taxpayer financing of a private
road from the New Jersey Turnpike to a toxic waste incinerator that the
Governor was supporting in Linden.''
Response. Ultimately, shrinking hazardous waste generation in New
Jersey, as well as regional ``capacity assurance'' planning, revealed
that the State did not need to move forward with new hazardous waste
disposal capacity. As a result, the proposed project never moved
forward and the ramps were not constructed. While litigation remains
active concerning this proposed facility and site, the project is not
The New Jersey Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Commission approved
the construction of a hazardous waste incinerator in the Trembley Point
Section of Linden. The approval was conditioned upon trucks destined
for the incinerator not using the local road system but would access
the site through the use of ramps built by the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority. The Turnpike Authority worked with the private landowner to
develop access facilities exclusively for hazardous waste trucks. The
ramps were to be paid for by the private landowner with no taxpayer or
Turnpike Authority funds used for the construction. The Turnpike
Authority's approved ramps leading to Trembley Point represented not
only the fulfillment of the conditions set forth by the Siting
Commission, but most importantly reflected the Turnpike Authority's
commitment to protect the wellbeing and safety of New Jersey's citizens
by removing trucks containing hazardous materials from the local road
system and placing such trucks on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Statement 26: ``She supports the extension of Route 18 through the
Rutgers Nature Preserve and along the Raritan riverfront.''
Response. The Route 18 extension through Rutgers Nature Preserve
has gone through a full Federal Environmental Impact Statement and has
been approved by the FHWA. This review process determined there were no
significant impacts. During the EIS development, the impacts to the
preserve were fully known, considered and discussed with Rutgers
University and other stakeholders. The DOT worked with these groups to
minimize the impact and change the design to do so.
The area to be impacted (8.6 acres) by the project is on the
periphery of the Preserve, in an area consisting of secondary growth
woodland on what was formerly farmland. This will be mitigated by 8
acres of land adjacent to the Preserve. The more significant, mature
forest is located on the eastern portion of the site and will not be
impacted. Because this project is in an urban setting, there were
difficult tradeoffs to be made to address safety, congestion and the
need to preserve natural habitat.
In terms of the Route 18 aspects along the Raritan Riverfront, the
Governor is deferring to and supporting the environmental review
process, which is seeking to find an acceptable solution to a serious
congestion and safety problem in an environmentally sensitive manner.
The environmental review process is not complete and a final
determination of significant impacts has not been made. Once all of
this is known, a final decision will be made of what the project will
be. Clearly, a final outcome has not been determined.
Statement 27: ``The Governor supported spending $270 million
dollars to help Merrill Lynch build a corporate office park in a farm
field in Hopewell, a project that included running a sewer line nine
miles from Trenton.''
Response. Merrill Lynch decided to locate its corporate office park
in Hopewell Township, New Jersey a number of years ago. A proposal in
1999 to run a new sewer line to Trenton was never formally approved by
Hopewell Township and was eliminated from consideration. The project
site is currently connected for sewage disposal to the local Ewing-
Lawrence Sewerage Authority.
Statement 28: ``She supported the filling of 200 acres of wetlands
in the Meadowlands for a mall. The EPA also opposed this project''
Response. The Governor has never supported filling 200 acres of
wetlands to construct a mall in the Hackensack Meadowlands. Regulatory
issues surrounding this project are currently pending before the Army
Corp of Engineers in terms of its 404 wetlands permitting jurisdiction.
The State will further evaluate the feasibility of this project from a
regulatory perspective once the Army Corp has acted.
Statement 29: ``The DEP wants to allow cranberry growers to destroy
up to 300 acres of wetlands in the Pinelands for the creation of
cranberry bogs. The EPA rejected the settlement agreement on a major
wetland violation in the Pinelands by DeMarco Enterprises, a
politically connected cranberry grower. The proposed settlement was
also criticized by the New Jersey Inspector General.''
Response. Last year the DEP adopted general permit 23 for the
limited expansion of cranberry bogs in the Pinelands. Cranberry growing
has been occurring in the Pinelands for over 100 years and is one of
the few permitted uses of land in the preservation area. Cranberry bog
expansions have been deemed desirable by both the State and Federal
Governments as part of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan, the
most stringent land use regulatory program in the nation. GP23 allows
no more than 300 of the 200,000 acres of wetlands in the Pinelands to
be converted into bogs and provides for a no net loss of wetlands as
well as additional mitigation and minimization provisions. Region II of
the Federal EPA has approved GP23 as resulting in ``no more than a
minimal individual and cumulative impact.'' The Inspector General's
comments on this settlement are currently under review by the
Department. The settlement has not been finalized.
Statements 30 and 31: ``Also in the Pinelands, she supported
construction of Tabernacle High School in the Preservation Area. She
appointed property rights advocates to the Pinelands Commission, on
which they now have a majority.''
Response. The Tabernacle High School proposal was made by the
municipality and was approved by the independent Pinelands Commission
without the Governor's involvement. The decision to allow construction
of the high school was ultimately supported by Secretary of the
Interior Babbit following his visit to New Jersey. The Governor has
appointed a wide range of members to the Pinelands Commission,
including environmentalists and those who are concerned with the proper
balance between land preservation and property rights. The New Jersey
Pinelands remains the most strictly regulated and protected land mass
in the nation.
Statement 32: She also ``supported removal of the long-time
Response. Under New Jersey law, the Pinelands Commission itself has
exclusive responsibility and authority for the naming of its Executive
Director, who serves at the pleasure of the Commission. In 1999, the
Commission did appoint a new Executive Director at its own discretion
to bring a renewed perspective to this critical position.
Statement 33: ``The Sierra Club had to go to court to prevent the
adoption of a rule that would have allowed for substantial increases in
the discharges of pollutants on to New Jersey waterways. The EPA had to
Response. The Department adopted comprehensive New Jersey Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:14A et.
seq.) on May 5, 1997, after extensive public dialog involving all
interested parties including the Sierra Club. These regulations, which
control the discharge of treated wastewater into waters of the State,
are consistent with Federal regulations and are protective of water
quality. The Department formally submitted those regulations to the
United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, which approved them on
October 26, 2000. The Sierra Club--New Jersey Chapter was one of the
plaintiffs who brought suit against the Department concerning the
adoption of those regulations. The Appellate Division of the Superior
Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of the Department on April 14, 2000.
Statement 34: ``New Jersey has the highest percentage in the
country--85 percent--of streams and rivers impaired by pollution.''
Response. This impaired waters percentage is derived from outdated
information that has been taken out of context.
The Draft 2000 New Jersey Water Quality Inventory Report
demonstrates that New Jersey's ocean and bay bathing beaches are fully
swimmable and 75 percent of lake beaches are fully swimmable. New
Jersey has been a national leader in opening shellfish beds for harvest
with 88.9 percent currently harvestable.
In addition, 85 percent of monitored river stations met, or were
better than, what is required by the New Jersey Surface Water Quality
Standards for dissolved oxygen, which is necessary for aquatic life;
100 percent met or were better than required by standards for the toxic
form of ammonia. Although 78 percent of monitored river stations had
elevated bacteria, these locations are not designated bathing beaches,
and New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards are among the most
stringent in the country. Fish communities have improved in the
Raritan, Passaic and Delaware Basins largely due to secondary and
tertiary improvements in sewage treatment. The Governor's commitment
and funding of her Watershed Management initiative will provide for the
next significant increment of water quality improvements in New Jersey.
Statement 35: ``The Whitman administration adopted regulations that
removed water quality standards for stormwater discharges for
Response. The Department has not adopted regulations that remove
water quality standards for stormwater discharges from quarries. In
fact, the Department presently regulates 46 quarries and other mining
facilities in the State, under the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NJPDES) permit program. These permits require
quarries to eliminate or minimize the discharge of pollutants to the
waters of the State. The program is implemented under the authority of
Federal.National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit
program and is consistent with permits issued by the Environmental
Protection Agency and other delegated States on a national basis. To
further improve the quality of our waters, the Department is presently
developing a new general NJPDES permit that will be more comprehensive
in regulating quarries and mining facilities for discharges to both
surface and ground waters of the State.
Statement 36: ``The EPA Inspector General's (IG) July 1999 report
found that New Jersey violated the Clean Water Act in its water
monitoring program. The report cited failures to monitor for 33 toxic
chemicals, as well as the lack of monitoring stations.''
Response. New Jersey has a comprehensive water monitoring program
and set of surface water quality standards. Unlike many other States,
New Jersey utilizes both chemical and biological monitoring to assess
its waters. The chemical monitoring was expanded last year and will
include over 300 sites. In addition, there are about 800 stations
monitored to determine the health of our aquatic ecosystem.
Of the 33 chemicals cited in the IG's report that are not in the
New Jersey standards, EPA has not published criteria recommendations
that would trigger the need for New Jersey to adopt standards for 23 of
these chemicals. For 9 other chemicals, New Jersey regulates them in
two chemical groups rather than as individual compounds, as EPA has
done recently. The remaining chemical will be proposed in a future
proposal. The Inspector General's report notes that New Jersey has
criteria for 29 substances beyond what is on EPA's list of 126 priority
Statement 37: ``The State Assembly unanimously passed an oversight
resolution in September that said the administration's proposed
watershed rules did not meet legislative intent to clean up and protect
New Jersey's waters. The resolution was scheduled for a vote and then
pulled in the Senate the day was nominated to head the Environmental
Response. The proposed watershed rules are one of the most
comprehensive continuous planning regulations in the country. They
address the water resource impacts of new development that will occur
if the area will be on sewers or use septic systems. Ensuring that new
development does not cause the pollution of the State's water resources
is a main purpose of the rules. The rules also establish a watershed
management planning program for the entire State to address existing
problems and develop long term solutions for areas that are continuing
to develop. The legislative action on the rule was more a reaction to
the inclusion of a linkage to New Jersey's State Development and
Redevelopment Plan rather than a concern about the need for the
proposed planning efforts to protect the State's water quality and
Statement 38: ``The Governor's energy deregulation legislation
allows for a $9 billion dollar bailout of electrical utilities, cuts
funding in half for energy conservation programs, as well as for
alternative and renewable energy programs, categorizes garbage
incinerators as renewable energy, lists nuclear power plants as non-
acid rain producing and eliminates siting criteria for power plants.''
Response. [Eileen pursuing input from the BPU, but the DEP's
response is as follows! Energy deregulation was a bipartisan
legislative effort undertaken in New Jersey and several other States in
the Northeast and California. Known as the New Jersey Energy
Restructuring Act, its primary purpose is to reduce the cost of energy
to the electric ratepayer by allowing competition in the energy
generator industry. Although the environment was not a major theme of
this Legislation, several provisions, supported by the Governor were
enacted which will also have a positive and long lasting impact on New
Jersey energy policy and environment. Among these are;
Establishing a process to enact additional system wide electrical
generation emission controls on facilities in New Jersey. These
standards, if needed, would be enacted by New Jersey and neighboring
Requiring specific emissions information to be sent to all electric
ratepayers so that the customer can make the choice of buying cleaner
energy. This is known as ``green power.''
Allowing consumers who generate their own electricity through solar
and/or wind power to offset their electricity rate by ``selling back''
unused electricity to the utilities.
Enacting the most comprehensive demand side management program for
energy efficiency in the country as rated by independent organizations.
The new Societal Benefits Charge funding program includes a significant
incentive for new Class I renewable energy technologies (Class I
renewables are electricity generation from wind, photovoltaic, solar,
geothermal, wave, fuel cells, landfill gas and biomass.) The
funding does not include MSW incinerators or large hydroelectric plants
that are defined as Class II renewables. This funding amount, over $100
million per year, is the second largest funding incentive program in
Requiring, all sellers of electricity into the New Jersey market to
have a percentage of renewable energy as part of their portfolio. The
standard does allow for up to 2. 5 percent of their existing portfolio
to be Class I and Class II renewables for the year 2000 and 2001;
however, this same standard requires that an additional 4 percent of
their portfolio come solely from Class I renewables. This translates
into 2.7 million MWH of electricity to be generated by new Class I
renewables by 2012. This will significantly advance the renewable
energy market in New Jersey.
Finally, in terms of promoting nuclear as a component of our non-
acid rain program. New Jersey does not have a strategy that promotes
nuclear as part of any air program. However, the current operating
nuclear facilities are part of New Jersey's electricity baseload. These
facilities do not have emissions. This baseload is part of any
emissions inventory calculations required by the USEPA for NOx,
S02, C02 or mercury.
Statement 39: ``Her efforts to weaken the State's air pollution law
was stopped by the Legislature.''
Response. The administration supported the 1995 legislative
amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act. The majority of these
amendments strengthened the Act and were to ensure the State statute
was consistent with recent amendments to the Federal Clean Air Act.
New Jersey has a good air program. The Governor's new budget
initiatives to expand the air program in air toxics and greenhouse gas
will not only strengthen the program but make New Jersey a leader in
Statement 40: ``Her bid to grant polluters 10-year interim permits
was blocked by the EPA.''
Response. We are not aware of any 10-year interim permit limits
that were blocked by EPA.
New Jersey has never had 10 year permits in any environmental
program. Since 1968, New Jersey has had 5 year authorizations for
operation in the air permit program. The water program has always had 5
In the early 1990's, the department developed a number of proposals
to strengthen the water program and held a series of interested party
meetings to discuss those ideas. As a result of those discussions, in
1996 the department proposed major reforms of the water program which
included a concept known as interim permit limits. These were not for a
10-year period. Based on public comment and further discussion, the
department made a determination not to adopt those limits.
The Air Pollution Control Act does include a provision allowing for
facilities with operating permits to establish a 15 year plan for
achieving greater emission reductions than required. The additional
reductions the facility achieves are renewable in 5 year increments
upon renewal of their operating permits.
Statement 41: ``She used her line-item veto to eliminate budget
language that would have prevented polluters from writing watershed
Response. Polluters are not writing watershed cleanup plans. This
is referring to the preparation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
and associated implementation plans that will determine how to restore
water quality that is not meeting standards. These plans are prepared
by the State Department of Environmental Protection with input from all
interested parties in the watershed that is impacted. The USEPA
regional office reviews and approves these plans before the Department
formally adopts them.
Statement 42: ``When she was head of the State Board of Public
Utilities, Whitman allowed watershed lands to be sold. The Legislature
had to step in and pass the Watershed Moratorium Act.''
Response. [Answer requested from BPU.]
Statement 43: ``She cut funding for recycling and eliminated the
mandatory 60 percent target for reducing solid waste.''
Response. New Jersey has one of the most comprehensive recycling
programs in the United States with a documented total recycling rate of
55 percent. During Governor Whitman's tenure, she did modify the
statewide goal, but did so to increase our target from 60 percent--65
percent total waste stream recycling.
Statement 44: The Governor ``vetoed funding for dam repairs. Later,
flooding destroyed several of the dams that were targeted for repair.''
Response. The Governor provided close to $10 million for dam
repairs in 1999 and another $10 million in 2000. More significantly,
the Governor initiated a more aggressive dam safety inspection program
and has doubled the staff within the State's Dam Safety Program (to 20)
to ensure the success of the more aggressive program.
Statement 45: ``Despite her open space preservation program, the
loss of open space to development has more than doubled under Governor
Whitman. New Jersey leads the Nation in the loss of open space.''
Response. As recognized in the Trust for Public Land's annual
report, New Jersey and Maryland's smart-growth programs are among the
nation's most comprehensive. Indeed under the Governor's leadership,
New Jersey voters approved a constitutional dedication of $98 million
annually and the issuance of $1 billion in bonds over the next 10 years
to provide a stable source of funding the acquisition and preservation
of one million more acres of open space, farmland, and historic sites
in New Jersey. With the addition of one million more acres of preserved
land, New Jersey will have preserved over 25 percent of its total
acreage. The Governor also provided up to $98 million per year for 20
years to pay off any bonded indebtedness.
The Governor has also supported the expansion of the Environmental
Infrastructure Trust Financing Program (EIFP) to provide half-market
rate loans to local and county governments so that the acquisition of
open space and protection of water quality may proceed at an
accelerated pace. Loans through the EIFP, coupled with the existing
funding available through the Green Acres program, is receiving
significant interest and will significantly increase the amount of open
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Washington, DC, January 8, 2001.
Senator Harry Reid, Nevada,
Environment and Public Works Committee,
Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Washington, DC 20510-6175
Dear Senator Reid: On behalf of Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility (PEER), I am writing to express our concerns about the
environmental record of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator-designate.
If Governor Whitman's chief qualification to head USEPA is her
record in New Jersey, that record bears critical examination by the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
As Governor, Ms. Whitman championed policies which diminished the
ability of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
to enforce anti-pollution laws, protect natural resources and serve the
public. Within 2 years of taking of rice as Governor, Ms. Whitman:
eliminated DEP's only prosecution unit;
abolished the Public Advocate Office, designed to assist
affected communities and individuals in presenting their concerns to
the DEP, and replaced it with a Business Ombudsman; and
cut departmental staff by approximately one-third.
In her public statements, Governor Whitman has contended that her
environmental record should be judged not by performance measures such
as the number of inspections conducted or successful enforcement
actions taken but instead should be evaluated solely by environmental
results. PEER would urge you to approach this contention with two
1. What evidence is there that Governor Whitman's actions at DEP
caused or directly contributed to any identified environmental quality
improvements? Environmental improvements often have long gestations
and, to the extent quality improvements can be isolated, Governor
Whitman may simply be reaping the benefit of policies instituted by
predecessors or by actions at the Federal level.
2. Precisely which environmental measures improved due to Governor
Whitman's policies of discouraging enforcement? As you know,
environmental quality measures are fraught with methodological
fuzziness, however, certain results from her tenure seem clear:
the number of impaired waters in the State of New Jersey
increased by approximately 10 percent; and
more than 60,000 acres of protected wetlands were lost to
development due to relaxation of DEP regulatory protections.
Perhaps the committee should consider the testimony of DEP
scientists, inspectors, permit writers and other environmental
specialists who were charged with reconciling Governor Whitman's
policies with their sworn obligation to faithfully execute anti-
pollution laws. According to a survey of New Jersey DEP employees
conducted by PEER in 1997 (copy enclosed), the agency experienced a
sharp de-emphasis on enforcement, excessive corporate influence and
manipulation of scientific findings under Governor Whitman.
The PEER survey, the only survey of State environmental
professionals conducted in the Whitman era, was sent to all DEP
employees and found:
Nearly two out of three respondents report instances
where ``DEP inaction or lack of enforcement has caused environmental
More than three out of four employees say that the
``level of DEP's environmental enforcement has decreased in the past 3
Nearly three out of four employees believe that under
Governor Whitman, the ``regulated community excessively influences DEP
permitting, policy and enforcement decisions.''
This PEER survey consisted of questions composed by DEP employees
themselves. PEER mailed the survey to the work addresses of the more
than 3,000 DEP employees. Approximately one in four agency employees
(24 percent) responded, a strong rate of return when compared to the
standard return rate for mailed surveys, generally.
Many employees included essays (also enclosed) further describing
internal problems. According to one supervisor, ``Trees are cut
unlawfully, water is polluted, and wildlife is left unprotected.''
Special interest influence and political pressure were identified as
major problems. For instance, an employee criticized DEP for being
``corrupt and too political.'' An administrator accused the Governor of
``catering'' to business interests, and claimed ``environmental rules
are changed to protect industry.'' Another employee commented that
``Regulations are being written by industry. . . permits have `no
teeth' anymore (because) polluters get what they want.''
DEP employees also reported obstruction of environmental law
enforcement, masking of scientific data and hiding of information from
More than half agree that ``scientific evaluations are
influenced by political considerations at DEP.''
One quarter of employees reported that they have received
direct orders ``to ignore an environmental rule or regulation'' during
the past 3 years.
Sixty percent of employees fear ``job-related retaliation
for disclosing improper activity within DEP.''
If past is prologue, Governor Whitman's record at DEP should be
closely examined in weighing her nomination to be EPA Administrator. To
the extent that she seeks to replicate the policies instituted in New
Jersey, her tenure at EPA will be marked by political interference in
scientific findings, discouragement of needed anti-pollution
enforcement efforts and suppression of candid recommendations from
EPA's professional staff.
PEER urges you to carefully examine this nominee.
PEER Executive Director.
New Jersey Institute of Technology,
Newark, NJ, January 8, 2001.
The Honorable Trent Lott, U.S. Senate Minority Leader,
Russell Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC, 20510.
Dear Senator Lott: I write to commend President-Elect George W. Bush's
appointment of Governor Christine Todd Whitman as Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency. I urge you to support her
I have worked closely with Governor Whitman for 7 years. I can
attest to her commitment to ecological preservation, environmental
improvement and environmentally sustainable economic development.
Governor Whitman has energized the State Development and
Redevelopment Plan making it a priority for all State agencies to
balance economic growth with conservation and environmental protection
Let me mention a few other areas in which she has provided dramatic
and timely leadership in New Jersey: open space preservation; dredging
and remediation; brownfields reclamation; watershed management; and
preserving clean ocean water. Support of environmental research has
been a consistent theme of her administration.
Based on my experience, I am convinced that Governor Whitman will
provide strong leadership, built upon quality science and focused on
effective environmental protection. She will fulfill the
responsibilities of EPA Administrator with distinction.
Senator, I commend Governor Whitman to you without reservation. I
urge you to support her confirmation as EPA Administrator. If you have
any questions, please do not hesitate to have your staff contact me.
Saul K. Fenster, President,
New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Clean Ocean Action,
January 11, 2001.
Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
State of New Jersey,
Trenton, NJ 08625.
Dear Governor Whitman: Congratulations on your nomination to become
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. It will be a
tremendous opportunity and a great challenge. On behalf of Clean Ocean
Action, we wish you the best through the confirmation process.
We remember well the leadership and initiative you took to end
ocean dumping off the Jersey Shore. The controversy about ocean dumping
contaminated dredged materials was raging when you campaigned for, and
took the office of Governor. From the outset you took on this
contentious and complicated issue with courage and wisdom. You brought
together experts with a mission to identify solutions that would keep
the ocean and the port thriving. Together, the expert crafted a
solution that guaranteed both. and you ensured it was implemented.
It's not to say there were not bumps in the road; however, your
steadfast commitment to supporting the ocean and the port prevailed.
Should you deem it beneficial, I would be available to testify in
Washington, DC, at your confirmation hearing regarding your
achievements to end ocean dumping off the Jersey Shore.
Cindy Zipf, Executive Director.
New Jersey Governor Christie Accomplishments for the Environment
Open Space/Farmland Preservation
More Land Preserved than any previous Administration.
Since January 1994, a total of 252,000 acres of open space and farmland
in New Jersey has been preserved in comparison to 281,000 acres
preserved from 1961-1993. Other highlights include:
A total of 177,000 acres preserved under New Jersey's
Green Acres program during the Whitman Administration--versus a total
of 458,000 acres preserved under the program since 1961.
Over 7,000 acres of preserved farmland closed or approved
since 1994 versus the 207,131 acres of farmland closed prior to
Governor Whitman's term.
Creation of a stable source of funding and Garden State
Preservation Trust to preserve one million acres over next decade. To
date, 165,000 acres have been preserved toward the million acre goal
(May 1997--December 2000), including 104,000 acres of open space and
61,000 acres of farmland.
Signing of legislation providing $11 million toward the
purchase of Sterling Forest in New York, a source of drinking water for
Northern New Jersey.
Signing of her administration's 38th tax cut--for land
Approval of over $5 million for farmland soil and water
Watershed Management Planning--The Creation of a New Program
Governor Whitman established 20 Watershed Management Areas
statewide and has spent over $8 million each year for plans and
projects to clean its waterways. New Jersey is considered a national
model with its alliance of local regional and State officials;
integrating infrastructure and permitting programs.
Wastewater Regulation--A Revamped and Strengthened Program
Governor Whitman signed Executive Order 109 requiring comprehensive
environmental assessments before the Department of Environment
Protection (LIP) can approve new or amended wastewater management
plans. These new` rules revere proposed earlier this year to coordinate
with regional Watershed and State Plans and encourage smart growls in
areas with existing infrastructure.
Air Quality--New Funding to Improve Monitoring Efforts
Under Governor Whitman, three new monitoring sites were established
and others upgraded to provide more comprehensive statewide data than
is currently available from Federal sources. And the State is working
to red Bloc greenhouse gas emissions below the 1990 levels through
incentives to encourage voluntary reductions, promote energy efficiency
and renewable technologies, and reduce landfill gas emissions.
Brownfields--New Programs to Streamline Clean-ups and Encourage
Governor Whitman signed a new law to transform the Brownfields
program into a redevelopment tool and provided $15 million to help
towns clean-up sites and market them for reuse.
New Jersey is the only State in the Nation with a reimbursement
program for private parties conducting voluntary cleanups at brownfield
sites. New Jersey has more than $73.8 million in grants and loans for
brownfield site projects and other remedial actions since funds became
available in 1994. (DEP's brownfield inventory was 1,327 sites as of
State Plan--Support of Local Planning Efforts
Governor Whitman has made it her administration's priority that all
State agencies follow the State Plan to promote smart growth; the
Governor has supported the cross-acceptance process to revise the Plan
with local input. Governor Whitman appropriated $3 million per year in
Smart Growth grants to towns and counties.
Clean Beaches--Drop in Beach Closings and Increased Funding for
Under Governor Whitman, all 127 miles of ocean beaches and 138
miles of bay beaches are 100 percent open for swimming with beach
closings dropping from 800 in 1989 to 11 in 2000. Governor Whitman has
allocated $25 million per year in shore protection projects to protect
lives and property. The State has been praised by the National
Resources Defense Council for having the nation's most comprehensive
beach monitoring system.
Shellfish Harvesting--New Jersey is Leader in Increasing Acreage of
Shellfish Harvesting Waters
Under Governor Whitman, New Jersey heads the Nation in opening
shellfish beds with 88.9 percent now able to be harvested. its acreage
has consistently risen from 578,419 acres in 1993 to 592,222 acres in
Horseshoe Crab Population--New Jersey Guides Other Atlantic Coastal
Governor Whitman enlisted the Governors of Maryland and Delaware to
support $ 125,000 in new research to ensure the sustainability of
horseshoe crabs as a food source for dependent animals. Governor
Whitman supported a Federal reserve along tile Delaware Bay to prohibit
the harvest of horseshoe crabs here. The initiative follows the State's
management strategies limiting harvests In Delaware and New Jersey
Dredging--New Jersey is National Leader in Innovation for Dredged
Under Governor Whitman, New Jersey residents supported the ports
when they passed the Port Revitalization. Dredging Environmental
Cleanup, Lake Restoration, and Delaware Bay Area Economic Development
Bond Act of 1996. The Governor's subsequent signing of legislation
provided the authority and process for planning and implementing a
statewide dredging and disposal plan. Dredged material is now seen as a
resource and is being used to cap and reclaim tanner industrial sites
and landfills, restoring them to productive use, resulting in both
environmental benefit and well being for local economies.
Environmental Infrastructure Trust--Funding for Clean Water
Under Governor Whitman, the program has awarded $590 million in
clean water loans, $85 million in drinking water loans, 55.2 million in
planning grants and $12.2 million in designing grants for
infrastructure improvements statewide. With DEP the Trust offers loads
to upgrades build or repair wastewater facilities; upgrade
infrastructure to reduce non-point source pollution, closure of
landfills, and for land acquisition.
Hazardous Waste Clean-ups--Stability of Site Remediation Program
Under Governor Whitman, more than $118 million in Corporate
Business Tax revenue has been dedicated to publicly funded cleanups for
remedial investigations, cleanups and administrative support during
State Fiscal Year 1998 through State Fiscal Year 2001. This funding has
provided the DEP's Site Remediation Program with a reliable source of
revenue to begin site cleanup work at over 50 new sites and pay for
ongoing remedial projects at over 200 active publicly funded sites
across the State. The stability of the program's publicly funded effort
is vital to New Jersey remaining a top recipient of Federal cleanup
moneys in the nation. More than $613 million in Superfund dollars was
earmarked for New Jersey sites since 1994.
Quality New Jersey Award--NJDEP is Presented with Prestigious Award
As part of its strategic planning process, the DEP adopted the
criteria from the Malcolm Baldridge National (duality Award program as
its framework for defining and achieving its ``Open and Effective
Government7' fecal and in support calf its five environmental goals. In
November 2000, NJDEP was presented with the 9000 Governor's Award for
Performance Excellence--Bronze Level. DEP is the first State Department
in New Jersey to receive this prestigious award and the only State
environmental agency in the Union to receive this form of recognition
based on a complete Baldridge-type application.
January 16, 2001
The Honorable Harry Reid, Chairman,
Environment and Public Works Committee,
United States Senate,
Washington, DC 20510.
Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing to you today to support strongly the
nomination of New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whitman, to the
position of Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
During the 14 years that I served in the New Jersey General
Assembly (1982-1996), I chaired the Environment Committee for 8 of
those years. When Governor Whitman served as President of the Board of
Public Utilities in the late 1980's, she and I were always in agreement
on the importance of reducing air pollution and increasing efficiency
by the utilities. Since she was elected, Governor Whitman has often
used the collaborative ``Netherlands'' approach of setting goals and
establishing benchmarks to decrease pollution by industry. During her
two terms, Governor Whitman took a strong stand against dredging and
dumping in the ocean; personally intervened to prevent the decimation
of the horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay; advocated a watershed
protection plan to decrease non-point source pollution; and
continuously promoted ``smart growth'' to reduce air pollution, traffic
congestion and the loss of our open spaces. While the foregoing is far
from a definitive list of her accomplishments, I believe that they give
you an understanding of the breadth of her leadership on environmental
Since I retired from the New Jersey Legislature, I have worked
closely with Governor Whitman on the preservation of open space,
especially through the establishment of a stable source of funding to
eliminate our reliance on bond issues. In 1998 Governor Whitman led a
campaign to pass a Constitutional Amendment dedicating $98 million
dollars a year to preserve New Jersey's vanishing open space. Through
her leadership, New Jersey is committed to preserving another million
acres, 40 percent of our landmass.
I believe Governor Whitman's environmental record in New Jersey
attests to her ability to be an excellent Administrator of the USEPA.
National Association of Realtors
Washington, DC, January 18, 2001.
The Honorable Robert Smith,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC, 20510.
Dear Senator Smith: On behalf of the more than 760,000 members of the
National Association of Realtors (NAR), I am pleased to endorse the
nomination of Governor Christine Todd Whitman as Administrator of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
As Governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman has demonstrated
a commitment to environmental protection. She has worked to protect the
shoreline, clean up hazardous waste sites and preserve open space. In
so doing, she has worked with--rather than against--the regulated
community to achieve her goals. She recognizes that environmental
protection and economic development can co-exist.
NAR believes that Governor Whitman's State government experience
enables her to fully understand the relationship between environmental
protection efforts at the Federal, State and local government levels.
Most importantly, it enables her to understand the impact oi
environmental regulation on the everyday lives of citizens and
We are confident that Governor Whitman will bring the same energy
and commitment to the broad spectrum of environmental issues that she
will confront as EPA Administrator, and that she will call upon the
knowledge and expertise of realtors to assist in developing workable
solutions to critical environmental issues.
The National Association of Realtors believes that Governor Whitman
is an excellent choice to serve with President George W. Bush and the
107''3 Congress in developing and implementing environmental policies.
We look forward to working together with the new Administration and the
new Congress on issues affecting the real estate industry.
American Civil Rights Coalition,
Sacramento, CA, January 8, 2001.
The Honorable Christie Todd Whitman,
441 N. Capitol St., NW,
Washington, DC 20001.
Dear Governor Whitman: I write to congratulate you on your appointment
as Secretary-designate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
under the new Administration.
Given your qualifications, I am sure you will serve the President-
elect and our nation well. I hope and pray that the new Administration
will be successful in turning this country around on the issue of
``race.'' I pledge my support and assistance to promote opportunity and
a culture of achievement needed most in our inner-city and rural areas
so that we adequately prepare our fellow Americans and our kids for the
end of affirmative action preferences. The outgoing Administration has
regrettably not done enough to advance self-reliance and break the
cycle of dependency--not just on welfare but also with ``affirmative
action'' as we have come to know it.
Although you and I disagree on the issue of race preferences, I
believe it is extremely unfortunate that Jesse Jackson and others have
chosen to raise questions about your nomination on the basis of racial
profiling complaints. If there were any nominee who should not be
subjected to the race card based on one's past interactions with black
Americans, it should be you.
Once again, congratulations and best wishes.
Ward Connerly, Chairman.
City of Newark, New Jersey,
Office of Mayor Sharpe James,
Newark, NJ 07102, January 8, 2001.
Hon. Harry Reid, Ranking Democratic Member,
Environment and Public Works Committee,
Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC, 20510.
Dear Senator Reid: As Mayor of New Jersey's largest city, I have had
the pleasure of working with Governor Christine Todd Whitman during her
tenure as our State's chief executive. She has been a strong advocate
of open space and the environment and pushed for the adoption of New
Jersey's Master Plan which favors economic development in our urban
areas, while preserving valuable farm land and open space. The
successes that we have seen in the Garden State during her term in
office prove that preservation of the environment does not have to
suffer at the expense of successes in economic development and job
The City of Newark has made significant strides in developing its
Brownfields sites thanks to Governor Whitman's Department of
Environmental Protection. Under Governor Whitman's watch our city has
enjoyed a strong working partnership with the State DEP and U.S.
Environmental Protection Administration. These relationships have
enabled Newark to speed up the time consuming and complex process of
reclaiming contaminated urban land, and have helped make New Jersey's
largest city a role model for other communities across this nation.
Newark became the first large city in New Jersey to implement
Governor Whitman's Environmental Opportunities Zone legislation, which
enables developers to freeze the assessment on contaminated land at its
pre-clean up value and use the difference between that and the post-
clean up value to remediate the land. This allows the developer to pay
a lower tax rate during clean up and use the money saved to pay for the
reclamation. The use of this zone legislation is a tool to stimulate
development wherever Brownfields are an impediment to attracting new
investment and jobs, once again, enforcing the Governor's philosophy
that the environment does not suffer at the expense of development.
My relationship with Governor Whitman goes back to 1986 when I was
first elected mayor of Newark and she was the chairperson of the Bureau
of Public Utilities. At that time, Newark was in a center of a debate
over the closing of landfills, the construction of a resource recovery
plant and the opening of garbage transfer stations. As head of the BPU
and in all other roles that she has held, Christine Todd Whitman has
always shown professionalism, honesty, vision and sensitivity to the
needs of government and the people of New Jersey.
We in New Jersey are honored to have our Governor nominated by
President-elect George Bush to serve as the administrator of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Administration and hope that you and your
colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee will recognize
what she has done to improve New Jersey's economic and environmental
climate and recommend her swift confirmation by the membership of the
Sharpe James, Mayor.
Statement of the Atlantic City Branch of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People
We are writing to apprise you of a project with significant
community and environmental justice impacts which directly relates to
the confirmation hearing of Governor Christie Whitman for Administrator
of the USEPA. The Atlantic City Tunnel Project is a project that was
funded by the State of New Jersey, administered by one of its agencies,
and for the purpose of serving a casino. The Atlantic City Tunnel
Project, which is formally referred to as the Atlantic City/Brigantine
Connector, is being built by the South Jersey Transportation Authority,
in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Transportation
(NJDOT), the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority, Mirage
Resorts, Inc. and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and
will serve as the primary transportation route to a casino resort that
was to be built by Mirage Resorts, Inc. The Boyd Gaming Company is the
present owner of the casino construction site and plan to build a 500
million dollar casino named the ``Borgota''.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority, in conjunction with the
New Jersey Department of Transportation, selected a route that bisects
the Atlantic City communities of the First Ward, Second Ward, Third
Ward, Fourth Ward, and Venice Park area of Atlantic City, all of which
consists of predominantly African-American residents. The selected
route has resulted in the relocation and displacement of homeowners
that resided on the selected route. In addition, the route traverses
within 25 feet of the remaining residents. Although they identified
four viable routes, the route selected was the only one that would
result in the displacement of residents.
A group of the impacted residents sued the project developers under
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Bryant et al. v. New Jersey
Department of Transportation et al., 1F. Supp 426 (1998)). The
residents asserted that, despite the fact that the selected route
traversed and impacted on a number of communities, which are
predominantly African-American communities, the South Jersey
Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Department of
Transportation ignored racially discriminatory impacts of its decision.
Specifically, the residents asserted that South Jersey Transportation
Authority and New Jersey Department of Transportation affirmatively
selected the route regardless of such impacts, despite the fact that
viable alternatives existed that would not have such discriminatory
Because of limitations on resources to fully prosecute the case,
the plaintiffs settled the lawsuit only after a specific commitment by
the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Department
of Transportation to address all issues of potential impacts to
residents. The settlement agreement provided for the plaintiffs the
opportunity to hire an independent technical consultant to review all
the project plans and issue recommendations to South Jersey
Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Department of
Transportation to prevent negative impacts to the residents.
Among the significant issues of concern were:
Protecting Residents from Exposure to Contaminants in the Soil
Soil in the selected route of the tunnel is contaminated with heavy
metals, petroleum-related compounds, and other organic and inorganic
substances at levels in excess of health-based standards established by
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Most of the soil
exceeding NJDEP cleanup criteria will be reused onsite; the total
volume of the contaminated soil that will be reused onsite is estimated
by SJTA at 152,000 cubic yards. To ensure that these contaminants will
not migrate into the community, the South Jersey Transportation
Authority was requested to conduct air monitoring continuous
engineering controls and cover the soil along with air monitoring--
onsite and onsets--of the most significant contaminants found in the
soils--heavy metals. This recommendation was rejected and excavation
continues. Community residents have begun to complain of respiratory
difficulties since the beginning of construction--including the
triggering of dormant asthma.
Long-Term Air Quality
Computer model analysis performed by the consultants to the South
Jersey Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Department of
Transportation acknowledge the possibility that there could be hot
spots of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide in the areas adjacent to
the tunnel due to vehicular emissions. The residents recommended the
installation of vents and air control devices to treat emissions prior
to venting from--a low cost measure, particularly in light of the 330
million public dollar cost of the project. The residents also
recommended air monitoring of these contaminants for a short time
period after the tunnel is constructed. South Jersey Transportation
Authority rejected these measures.
The area where the tunnel is being built has a high water table.
The project documents acknowledge that storm water flow will be cutoff
by the tunnel. While South Jersey Transportation Authority has stated
that the need to address storm water flow will be addressed in the
project, the residents have recommended that the area be monitored
after the completion of the tunnel to identify and address any
New Jersey Inaction and Federal Government Intervention
The South Jersey Transportation Authority, the New Jersey
Transportation Authority, and the City of Atlantic City have not
responded to any of the issues of impacts to the community residents.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has served in the
dual role of technical advisor to the South Jersey Transportation
Authority and regulatory agency over the cleanup of contaminated soil.
The community residents have issued recommendations to prevent impacts
and requested environmental data on the project--none of which has been
complied with When a staffer from the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection was urged to review the recommendations, the
staffer stated that ``while the recommendations were reasonable,
without directions from above, he cannot act.''
Because of the unresponsiveness of all New Jersey State Agencies,
the residents sought the assistance of the Federal Government. It
reached out to the USEPA, both to Assistant Administrator Timothy J.
Fields, Jr. and Region II Administrator Jeanne Fox, and through a USEPA
Advisory Council, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Based on the record of inaction by New Jersey State Agencies, the USEPA
agreed to undertake actions to fully investigate environmental issues
by committing to the following actions:
investigate all past and present activities involving the
handling of contaminated soil, its use as part of the tunnel
infrastructure and the potential for migration of contaminants toward
adjacent residential areas;
convene a meeting of New Jersey Department of
Transportation and South Jersey Transportation Authority, in
consultation with the US Department of Transportation, to address the
long-term air quality issues associated USA tunnel and flooding of
adjacent residents; and??
establish permanent oversight until the completion of the
Based on Governor Whitman's Administration, direct involvement in
the Atlantic City Tunnel Project and the potential conflicts associated
with such in her prospective new position as Administrator of the
USEPA, we urge that she commit to the following actions:
Recusal from any involvement by Governor Whitman or any
of her immediate staff members in USEPA's ongoing involvement in the
Atlantic City Tunnel Project;
permit the USEPA personnel currently involved to fully
pursue and complete their above-noted commitments;
submit a report by such USEPA personnel to the Senate
within 60 days of the status of the completion of its commitments;
support for the full implementation of policies and
actions by the USEPA, and in particular the Office of Environmental
Justice and Office of Civil Rights, and USEPA's National Environmental
Justice Advisory Council, to investigate and prevent projects that
disproportionately burden communities of color or low income
We hope this information will help you assist us in getting the
environmental protection that is so important to the health and welfare
of our community.
Statement of Rae Roeder, President, CWA Local 1033, Trenton, NJ
Mr. Chairman and members of the Environment and Public Works
Committee, I am Rae Roeder, President of CWA (Communications Workers of
America), Local 1033 in Trenton, New Jersey where I represent 6000 New
Jersey State Workers in Motor Vehicles in the Department of
Transportation, Department of Treasury, Department of State, Department
of Military and Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Department
of Law and Public Safety, Department of Banking and Insurance, and the
Office of Public Defender.
As President of CWA Local 1033, I wish to notify all Senators
serving on the Environment and Public Works Committee that our members,
are opposed to the nomination of Christie Whitman to head the
Environmental Protection Agency and urge you to consider the following
facts in your deliberation and to reject her nomination.
The reasons for the opposition of our membership to the nomination
of Governor Christie Whitman are as follows:
Whitman's Environmental Record shows that she:
Cut the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection's (DEPE) budget by approximately \1/3\ during her tenure as
Reduced staffing at DEPE, New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection, especially in the area of enforcement.
Reduced fines for polluters, allowing business to
Abolished the post of environmental Prosecutor by
eliminating the New Jersey Office of the Public Advocate and replacing
it with an Office of Business Ombudsman.
Privatization efforts in Liberty State Park in Jersey City where
the Governor is attempting to create a commercial Waterpark and bring
an additional 4000 daily uses on 13 acres of park land. The Waterpark
would destroy the park's public access and great potential by causing
inevitable summer weekend traffic jams. Despite statements by Governor
Whitman in 1995 that the interior of the Park should not be developed
in any way, she now has become a spokesperson for the Waterfront Park.
A public hearing on this matter is scheduled for January 27, at the
Liberty Science Center. The little remaining space in Hudson County,
New Jersey is invaluable for our generation--and generations yet to
Parsons Infrastructure Fiasco: the Privatization of NJDMV Inspection
In 1998 Whitman sold off public services to a private company,
Parsons Infrastructure of California, the highest and only bidder for a
$550 million contract to build the state is new auto emissions system.
CWA Local 1033 and other CWA Locals opposed the privatization and
the awarding of a contract because:
It was a taxpayer rip-off Parsons wanted to conduct the
old emissions test for 1 year, at three times the cost the state was
paying; instead of charging $8.00 per car, Parsons would charge $21.00.
It was an illegal bid. Parsons failed to disclose that it
was involved in several lawsuits including charges of fraud State law
requires bidders to disclose pending lawsuits.
It was a dirty deal Parsons had already given $64,000 to the
Whitman's Republican Party and its candidates, as well as hired GOP
officials to lobby on its behalf: See attached chart.
If was unfair to public employees; Dedicated State
Workers lost their jobs and lost pay, health care benefits and
pensions. (More than 300 workers lost their jobs.
Governor Whitman and her Treasurer DiEuleuterio claimed that the
new system would be cheaper if a private contractor ran it rather than
state workers. But the real numbers bear out what CWA predicted. In the
first year of the contract, Parsons charged the State of New Jersey
over $48 million to perform the old emissions test, $20 Million more
than the state paid the year before for the same test.
During the first 18 months, Parsons was operating the old system
and developing the new one at the same time. The Sierra Group was hired
as consultants by the State to oversee the Parson is creation of a new
emissions test. The Sierra Group sent 90 memos to high-ranking State
officials, warning that the system was being improperly developed. The
memos put the State on notice that Parsons' test would not work when it
went on-line in December 1999. Instead of investigating these concerns,
the State plowed ahead with the new test imposing havoc on the lives
and curs of thousands of New Jerseyans.
When the new emissions test began in December 1999, it quickly
became clear that the Sierra Group's alarm was justified. Hundreds of
motorists were stuck on waiting lines for more than 4 hours. The
equipment and the software for the new test machinery failed miserably,
especially when the temperature dropped below freezing. Motorists
waited in open-air shelters while their cars were inspected, despite
the contractual requirement that Parsons was to build closed wailing
areas to protect people frown the weather. Cars that should have passed
the test failed. . Some cars were damaged by the new test. The Newark
Star Ledger and other newspapers reported the public's frustration on
the issue at great length.
Governor Whitman ranted and raved about the lines while
allowing Parsons to continue to operate the inspection stations,
despite clear evidence that it had not been able to create the test us
it was conducted to do.
Parsons continues to bill three times as much as the
state paid for the same test when state employees conducted it.
And now Christie Whitman is before your committee to run and
control the very agency, Environmental Protection, that controls the
Clean Air Act and enforces the regulations could Parsons must abide by.
How convenient? Now we will have the fox watching the hen house! So
much for privatization saving taxpayers' money or providing quality
Additionally, CWA Local 1033 is strongly critical of Governor
Whitman's lack of progress in identifying and ending racial profiling.
Particularly disturbing is the picture of the Governor ``patting down''
an African-American suspect in Camden. This question of racial
profiling is significant because the EPA oversees the cleanup of waste
sites that are often located in low-income areas and sets emission
standards that operate on urban streets.
Racial Profiling of New Jersey State Workers
The Whitman administration has systematically promoted
institutionalized racism by promulgating a flawed subjective system of
evaluation of workers, known as the PARS system This system ties worker
evaluation to a reduction in overall seniority despite the State's own
figures which show that minorities systematically receive lower ratings
than do their white coworkers. For this reason, CWA Local 1033 has
filed a Civil Rights lawsuit in Federal court against the State of New
For all of these reasons stated herein, we ask you to reject the
nomination of Christie Whitman.
Thank you for the opportunity to let our views be made part of the
City Hall, Hoboken, NJ, January, 16, 2001.
Honorable Harry Reid, Chairman,
Environment and Public Works Committee
Washington, DC 20512.
Dear Chairman Reid: I submit this letter for insertion in the records
of your committee in support of the confirmation of the nomination of
Christine Todd Whitman, as Administrator of the Environmental
I have served since 1993 as the Mayor of the City of Hoboken, an
urban area in Hudson County, New Jersey. Our City was recently
recognized by the national Sierra Club with an award as the best city
in New Jersey for urban developments and by New Jersey Monthly Magazine
as The best city in New Jersey. Hoboken has a long and proud history as
a city located on the Hudson River, treasuring a rich maritime
heritage, the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra. The movie ``On
the Waterfront'' was filmed here in our City and on our piers.
With the decline of shipping in the Port of New York, our piers,
warehouses and head houses were abandoned and fell in to disrepair. The
areas were also contaminated with what are known as ``historic soils'',
consisting of contaminants such as coal ashes, heavy metals, fuel oils,
and the debris from 200 years of maritime service.
Confronted with this situation, I sought upon my election to
revitalize the Hoboken Waterfront, cleaning up the contaminated sites,
working to revitalize them for commercial office space, and to restore
and rebuild the rotting piers as open public space and parklands. With
Governor Whitman's, election I approached her not as a Democratic Mayor
to a Republican Governor, but as two public officials concerned only
with cleaning up the Hudson River and the contamination on the
waterfront. I shared with her my dream for We revitalization of the
waterfront and she without question embraced the dream and the task of
Governor Whitman directed that her appointees to the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey enter into a Public-private partnership with
the City of Hoboken for the clean-up and restoration of the piers and
dock; areas, the development and installation of infrastructure for the
new commercial properties, and with $78,000,000 of public funding.
Governor Whitman assisted the City with additional $5,750,000 of Green-
Acres Funds'' for waterfront cleanup, constructing new parks, the first
kayak and canoe launching areas on the Hudson River, and assuring
waterfront access to our residents.
Today our shared dream exists on the Hudson. Gone are the rotting
piers and the environmental contamination, replaced with 10 acres of
open space and parkland on new piers. Demolished are the warehouses and
head houses, replaced with three new city blocks with over 2,300,000
square feet of office space under construction. This environmental
remediation and revitalization has brought a new surge of economic
progress and jobs to the City, with companies like textbook publisher
John Wiley and Sons relocating their world headquarters to Hoboken, New
This project demonstrates Governor Whitman's successful efforts and
concern for cleaning up and protecting our waterfront, for giving us
access to the water for the first time in 200 years, for ensuring
revitalization of the area and creating open-space and parkland that we
have never had, and committing herself to the success of our collective
dream. This effort and others are the hallmark of her administration,
working through cooperation not conflict, performance not promises, and
turning rhetoric into reality.
Our success in protecting and restoring our environment ``on the
waterfront'', would not have been possible without her assistance,
direction, cooperation, shared vision and concern for working toward
solutions and results.
As the Mayor of the City of Hoboken, we affirm her to you,
realizing New Jersey's loss is the country's gain.
Anthony J. Russo, Mayor.