The director of the state water quality and resources program will address section leadership Wednesday morning about the recent changes the program is going through – including restructuring and possible staff cuts.
At the beginning of August, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources consolidated its Division of Water Quality and Division of Water Resources. The move brought Water Quality under the umbrella of Water Resources.
“Tom Reeder, the (water resources) division director, will be addressing his section chiefs about consolidation of the two divisions,” said Jamie Kritzer, a spokesman for DENR. He was not able to elaborate.
In the coming months, the Division of Water Resources’ leadership will look at what regulations and practices can be trimmed to make the combined program more efficient.
The restructuring could shrink the water quality program, making it more difficult to enforce regulations, environmental advocates say. And it adds to work the division must already do to get up to Environmental Protection Agency standards.
The Division of Water Resources will need to cut $2 million this year, as stipulated in the state budget. DENR has said that the restructuring could include staff cuts, but not how many. It isn’t clear if the Wednesday meeting will include talk of layoffs.