Hartnett White’s Contradictory Testimony Underscores That She Would Be a Disaster

Nov. 9, 2017

Hartnett White’s Contradictory Testimony Underscores That She Would Be a Disaster

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Kathleen Hartnett White, former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), testified Wednesday before U.S. Senate lawmakers during her confirmation hearing. President Donald Trump nominated Hartnett White to be chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Kathleen Hartnett White was a disaster as chair of the TCEQ, and she would be a disaster as head of the federal Council on Environmental Quality.

Contrary to her Senate testimony yesterday, the TCEQ under Hartnett White’s direction did in fact tell staff to underreport health hazards. In fact, she defended that decision in 2011, on KHOU-TV.

When she was chair of TCEQ, the agency artificially lowered its calculation of radiation levels in Texas waters, in direct violation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions. The effect was such to eliminate 35 violations, according to agency documents. Why do this? Hartnett White said the reason was, “we did not believe the science of health effects justified EPA setting the standard where they did.”

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