The $22.9 million two-year budget blueprint that was approved by the North Carolina Senate May 11, 2017, would target 45 positions at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for elimination and also would eliminates the department’s Environmental Education Program and the Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) program, which leads the department’s waste-reduction and recycling efforts, cutting its more than 32 positions, according to a report from the Coastal Review Online.
The DEQ cuts proposed in the plan include the elimination of positions held by DEQ Chief Deputy Secretary John Nicholson and Senior Adviser for Policy and Innovation Mary Penny Kelley.
The proposal is counter to that proposed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, in which he and DEQ Secretary Michael Regan had asked for additional help at DEQ to address a backlog in permit applications, which now have a two-year turnaround time, the news service reports.
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