WHAT WENT WRONG: Eric Schaeffer was hired in 1990 under President George H. W. Bush and rose through the ranks to become a top government watchdog enforcing the Clean Air Act. In 2001, Schaeffer was recognized by then-attorney-general John Ashcroft for his work. When the new Bush White House tried to sidestep a key air-pollution-control program known as New Source Review, it slashed the EPA's enforcement budget and eliminated dozens of positions.

THE HEAVY: Jeffrey Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator for Air & Radiation.

THE PRICE: Schaeffer resigned in 2002. He now leads a team of former EPA attorneys at the Environmental Integrity Project.