The NYT report can be read at:
It's a frightening article.
There are lots of horrors detailed in the article, e.g. Chicago's petcoke piles, but I think this is the worst.
Times article quote:
"The documents, which were reviewed by The Times, indicate that E.P.A. enforcement officers across the country no longer have the authority to order certain air and water pollution tests, known as requests for information, without receiving permission from Washington. "