The Bush administration's EPA enforcement record during its first 14 months shows an 80 percent drop in penalties and remedies recovered and a 40- to 50-percent drop in EPA administrative actions compared with the final 13.5 months of the Clinton administration, according to a recent report by Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

Average settling costs of the Bush EPA's administrative actions also declined compared with the Clinton EPA's costs, by 63 percent over the same periods, Markey's report shows.

"I am concerned that the dramatic reduction in the numbers of and settlements for EPA administrative actions taken during the Bush administration could lead polluting companies to conclude that it pays to pollute, and that there is no incentive to stop," Markey said.