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E.P.A. CONCENTRATING ON TERROR

You'd think that the Environmental Protection Agency's investigators would concentrate on crimes against Mother Nature. But you'd be wrong.Since 9/11, the 220 sleuths in the Agency's criminal division have focused on counter-terror efforts, the New York Times reports, and shied away from environmental inquiries."They have dropped the `E' in the E.P.A. and have become just a protection agency," one government watchdog told the paper.According to the Times, "annual criminal referrals made by the environmental agency to the Justice Department had dropped about 30 percent, from 481 in 2000 to 341 in 2002."

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