Resigned EPA official accused of wrongdoing

A former EPA official stalled or reversed staff scientific reports critical of administration proposals on surface mining and offshore oil leasing, agency officials said.

Environmental Protection Agency sources said the official, Paul Cahill, so delayed release of comments on the environmental impact of proposals to relax surface mining regulations that Interior Secretary James Watt was forced to publish the proposed rules without them. Mr. Cahill and acting administrator John Hernandez were two of five top EPA officials to resign last Friday. Sources say more resignations are likely before William Ruckelshaus assumes command of the agency in the coming weeks.

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