This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, August 29, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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Send your comments to: hannity@foxnews.com or colmes@foxnews.com

D'AMATO: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm former senator Al D'Amato sitting in for Sean Hannity.

Usually, dumps aren't considered a laughing matter. But Interior Secretary Gale Norton is drawing giggles and political attacks for recommending that a California landfill -- a dump -- become a national landmark.

The site drew Norton's praise because it was the first to use what is known as the trench method -- not trench mouth, the trench method. But it's been on the EPA Superfund list for 12 years for polluting Fresno groundwater and costing the city $23 million in cleanup bills.

Is this yet another embarrassment for President Bush's environmental policy?

Joining us now is Deb Callahan, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute.

Other guests and topics for August 29, 2001 included:
• Gary Condit's Children Standing by Their Dad
• Is Gary Condit Putting Words in the Levys' Mouths?
• Does the U.S. Belong at the U.N. Conference on Racism?
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Jerry, tell me about this. What do we do now? Is this, is this a goof-up?

JERRY TAYLOR, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, about a year ago, the National Parks Service under the Clinton administration hired a historian to go out and find the right dump. The idea was to go out and find an example of good, modern public health practices. And this historian went out, again under Bruce Babbitt's direction, and they found a good dump, what they thought was a good dump, this Fresno dump. It was the very first one to use these modern sanitary methods. Before we just put stuff in a big hole in the ground.

And they -- it worked up through the cycle and they announced it last Monday. By the way, along with a National Landmark Designation for an old seafood packing plant in the Solomon Islands.

D'AMATO: Maybe one blooper (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on another. And you know, if the deficit may come back because we don't have this surplus, then, then, then, then, maybe we ought to stop this kind of stupidness to, to, to try to cite historic, you know, like a dump. I mean, now, let's get...

Debbie, what do you say?

TAYLOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), well, that's absolutely right, I agree, well, wait a minute, I actually agree with you. The thing is, is that along with this designation of National Landmark status comes tax breaks, tax preferences, and things like that from the federal government.

Hey, look, if you want to go out and save a landmark, join the Friends of Walden Pond, the Friends of Ford's Theater, contribute your...

D'AMATO: I don't think anybody's against...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... national landmarking when you have some legitimacy, some historic whatever that you're going to save or you want to keep or you want to give recognition (UNINTELLIGIBLE) dump? We ought to stop that whole -- I mean, who wants to save dumps? I got a dump here in New York, it's the 

biggest, it's the best, and it was the stinkiest. They just closed it down. Fresh Kills.

Jan, what do you, what do you say, Deb?

DEB CALLAHAN, LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: Senator, I think that this crazy dump idea designation not only doesn't pass the laugh test, it doesn't pass the smell test. This was one of the wackiest ideas, and I think the fact that President Bush thinks that it's appropriate to designate a dump as a landmark, yet we want to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...

(CROSSTALK)

CALLAHAN: ... as a place you can drill in and make...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: But in fair, in fairness...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... in fairness, the...

CALLAHAN: ... we're looking at priorities...

D'AMATO: ... the administration has pulled back...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... on this now. I mean, in fairness...

CALLAHAN: They did, but they shouldn't have gone out there in the first place.

COLMES: Look, here's what happened here, Jerry. They decided they wanted to make this stuff a landmark, and then they got all embarrassed, because they realized they didn't do any homework, and they found out this had been a super cleanup -- what do they call it, a...

CALLAHAN: A Superfund cleanup site.

COLMES: ... Superfund cleanup site...

CALLAHAN: They worked for years on this.

COLMES: ... and, and they didn't even know that this place had been historically dumping groundwater, polluting groundwater, bad soil, leaking oil paint...

TAYLOR: It wouldn't be the first national landmark that did, Alan...

COLMES: ... other toxic...

TAYLOR: ... there are five others right now that are national landmarks that are...

COLMES: No, but here's the point...

TAYLOR: ... Superfund sites.

COLMES: ... the point that for me is that this, they didn't do their homework. They -- you have an Interior Department to decide they want to make this a landmark, and then they go, Oops, we didn't realize what, what a reckless decision that was, because this place is polluted.

TAYLOR: Well, there's two separate...

CALLAHAN: Well, you know, Alan, even beyond that...

TAYLOR: ... questions. That -- excuse me, Deb, he asked me the question.

CALLAHAN: ... the other -- no, this...

COLMES: Yes, that was, actually.

TAYLOR: There's two separate points...

COLMES: We'll give you a chance (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in a moment. Jerry, go ahead.

CALLAHAN: I apologize, I apologize, Jerry.

TAYLOR: There's two separate points here. One, should we, should we be naming dumps to landfill -- to national landmark status?

COLMES: That's not even what I'm talking about...

TAYLOR: That idea...

COLMES: ... I'm talking about how they messed up.

TAYLOR: OK, well, that idea did come from the Clinton administration, not the Bush administration.

COLMES: Oh, blame the -- and I he -- you know, it is so...

TAYLOR: They're the ones who hired the historians...

COLMES: ... absurd, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- wait a second.

TAYLOR: ... to let them find the dump.

COLMES: Gale Norton, it was her Interior Department that made a decision...

TAYLOR: It was the National Park Service that...

COLMES: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) landmark...

TAYLOR: ... hired the historian to go find a good dump for the landmark.

COLMES: Gale -- Jerry, this idea to blame Clinton for everything is going to stop, hopefully maybe three years into the Bush administration.

TAYLOR: The bottom line is...

COLMES: This is ridiculous.

TAYLOR: ... the National Parks Service under Bruce Babbitt...

COLMES: You know, these guys...

TAYLOR: ... hired a historian to go...

COLMES: Hold on.

TAYLOR: ... find the right dump.

COLMES: Jerry, hold on.

CALLAHAN: Jerry, Jerry, I think something that you have to recognize is the fact that today, or yesterday, rather, when asked about it, an Interior Department spokeswoman said, "You know what? This is a beautiful place. It's really a place that was deserving of landmark designation," even after this whole thing had gone down. They knew it was a Superfund site in the study, it was in there in the data. And this administration...

TAYLOR: Oh, I think they just overlooked...

CALLAHAN: ... did it, and then...

TAYLOR: ... it at senior levels. I think Alan's...

CALLAHAN: ... go read "The Washington Post"...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: Wait, we're going to continue this...

CALLAHAN: ... says it's a beautiful place.

D'AMATO: ... we're going to continue this...

COLMES: Alice...

D'AMATO: ... on the other end...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... of the break. And remember to log onto foxnews.com to 

become a Fox fan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.

Deb Callahan, when are they going to start taking responsibility? I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), it's laughable to hear that there was the Clinton administration when it was Gale Norton's Interior Department who wanted to take this dump and make it into a landmark. And then they find out that it 

was a Superfund site.

CALLAHAN: Well, you know, if this is how this administration is making environmental decisions or historic monument decisions or Interior Department decisions, then we are in deep trouble. And I think we've already been seeing that in some of these other kinds of bills that have been going through. This energy proposal makes no sense. It flies in the face of what the public wants. And I think for Jerry to be sort of defending this just doesn't make a lot of sense no matter where you are, Republican, Democratic, independent, I don't care.

TAYLOR: Hey, Deb, I'm not defending it. I argued against the National Landmark Program in the first place. I don't think anything should be a national landmark. You want to go save some historic -- important site? Go out and contribute your own money and then do it.

But in this particular case, you can make a pretty good argument that this was the very first sanitary landfill in the United States. It may not be up to present standards. But before that, it was just a giant hole in the ground. It was an, it was an achievement of engineering quality. And it was a big public health boon...

CALLAHAN: That's, that's terrific, Jerry...

TAYLOR: ... you can make a pretty good argument for it.

CALLAHAN: ... so you think the administration had a good idea when they went ahead and designated this thing?

TAYLOR: Well, you know, the not -- the National Landmark Program isn't about environmental landmarks, it's about cultural, economic, and public health landmarks. And you can make a pretty good argument...

CALLAHAN: Right. So let's, let's designate a dump a historic-

TAYLOR: ... that this facility is an example of that.

CALLAHAN: ... landmark, and let's...

TAYLOR: I don't think it should have been designated...

CALLAHAN: ... make sure that Alaska...

(CROSSTALK)

TAYLOR: Deb, I didn't say it ought to be designated.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Jerry...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: ... this was a, this was a Superfund cleanup...

TAYLOR: But these are...

COLMES: ... site for 12 years...

TAYLOR: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE), this is not...

COLMES: ... for 12 years...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... give them a break, let me tell you...

COLMES: ... senator, 12 years...

D'AMATO: ... it was a goof-up by the administration...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... and it was a continuation of a failed policy...

(CROSSTALK)

TAYLOR: ... there are already five Superfund sites in the program.

D'AMATO: ... we ought to take a look and say, This is a program that has to be eliminated. This is a joke. When it's not eliminated, severely curtailed and have some...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... sensible, sense...

CALLAHAN: ... Mount Vernon is an historic...

D'AMATO: No, take -- have some sensible rules that apply...

CALLAHAN: Not (UNINTELLIGIBLE), this is...

D'AMATO: ... but not...

CALLAHAN: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) program.

D'AMATO: You mean to tell me that...

CALLAHAN: You have a war...

D'AMATO: ... the Clinton people were right...

CALLAHAN: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and other kinds of things...

D'AMATO: ... the Civil War battlegrounds...

CALLAHAN: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) places...

D'AMATO: ... but not garbage dumps.

CALLAHAN: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) important (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I'm with 

you on that one...

TAYLOR: And by the way...

(CROSSTALK)

D'AMATO: ... garbage, we had a great garbage dump in Long Island over at Merrick. We turned it into a park. Why didn't they do that? They played golf on it. And they don't have any gas problems. For God's sakes, this was stupid. It was a dumb program that the Clinton people started. And we didn't do our homework. And I say we, I mean the Bush administration...

TAYLOR: It was part of what the Clinton...

D'AMATO: ... and Gale Norton...

TAYLOR: ... left the Bush administration, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

D'AMATO: ... Gale Norton, for God's sakes, you know, watch this, will you please? You could have done better.

COLMES: When are you running again, senator? When are you going to get back in the Senate to say these things?

D'AMATO: No way, nohow. I'd love to say it now, you know, because what are they going to do? I criticize Gale. I expect more of her. And I think this was a goof-up, and you better, you better watch what people are doing. You just can't let them go out and do whatever they want willy-nilly.

TAYLOR: You got to watch what the Clinton administration leaves you, this is one of those little gifts from that administration.

D'AMATO: Well, they should all be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

CALLAHAN: Yes, you take responsibility for your actions. We would like to expect more out of Gale Norton. We hope we can in the future.

TAYLOR: It was a year, in fact, it was a year ago when the Department of Interior overseeing the National Parks Service hired a historian to go out and, quote, "find the right dump" for the National Landmark Program. This started over a year ago.

COLMES: All right, Jerry, we're, we're just out of time. Thank you for being with us. Deb, nice to see you here in person.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

COLMES: Thank you. Senator, good job tonight.

D'AMATO: Oh, great being with you...

COLMES: And...

D'AMATO: ... and congratulations to the little ba -- was it...

COLMES: Right, the Mary Kelly Hannity.

D'AMATO: Mary Kelly Hannity.

COLMES: As we told you at the beginning of the show, and she'll be guest hosting before too long.

We asked you to take part in our viewer vote located at foxnews.com. The question was, should Gary Condit face criminal charges for allegedly asking Anne Marie Smith to deny an affair? Here are the results, 93 percent yes, 7 percent now.

D'AMATO: Wow.

COLMES: That's our show for tonight. Remember, for all news all day, keep your sets right here for "FOX NEWS LIVE." Join us tomorrow night for more powerful debate. Thank you for watching, and have a great night.

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