Before we can address the question of what bureaucratic discretion entails, we must first examine another question: What do bureaucrats respond to? In the last chapter we demonstrated that they respond to hierarchical cues from their political principals. The statistically significant coefficients for the dummy variables, representing bureaucratic discretion, also suggested that they respond to other factors in the regulatory environment. But which factors? We included only two nonhierarchical factors in the models analyzed in Chapter 5, one representing a measure of the state of the economy (the unemployment rate) and another reflecting media interest in water pollution issues. Of these two variables we identified evidence (in the case of referrals to the Justice Department) suggesting that bureaucrats respond to the state of the economy. We found no relationship, however, between media interest and the level of the NPDES enforcement response.