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The Champion

August 2003 , Page 16 

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Environmental crimes update: EPA criminal enforcement under the Bush Administration

By Thomas C. Green, Kristin Graham Koehler

In her May 2003 resignation letter to President Bush, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, asserted that the environment is better protected now then it was when Bush took office in January 2001.1 Whitman also touted the administration’s “aggressive and effective efforts to enforce the nation’s environmental laws.” 

Whitman’s rhetoric, however, has been sharply countered by recent statistics suggesting that President Bush has pursued environmental polluters far less aggressively than the EPA did in the last two years of the Clinton Administration.3 Indeed, Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Response, has accused Whitman of “quietly presiding over the largest enforcement rollback in agency history.”4 Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said that the decline was part of “an extremely disturbing trend toward weaker enforcement

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