EPA Enforcement Officials Removed From Homeland Security Duty

But wait, there’s more! The Bush administration abruptly changed tack on yet another issue this week, when it announced that it will stop diverting federal environmental enforcement officials from pollution investigations to homeland security matters. The U.S. EPA will also stop using enforcement officials as bodyguards, chauffeurs, and errand-runners for the EPA administrator during national and overseas travel. The practice of diverting enforcement officials coincided with a notable drop in the number of cases the EPA referred to the Justice Department for prosecution. J.P. Suarez, who heads enforcement at the EPA, had earlier strongly defended the practice; this week, he called it “excessive” and said that returning officials to their regular duties would aid the division’s “core mission of investigating environmental crimes.”