Like the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality finds itself wondering how the latest budget cut will affect its operations.
“It will take some time to determine the best way to address these cuts in funding,” said Erin E. Hatfield, Communications Director at DEQ. “What I can say, at this point, is that we will have to be cautious filling positions, and there may be some vacancies that we are unable to fill.”
The DEQ received a 21% reduction in state appropriations from $5.945 million to $4.69 million. However, the agency did get an additional $1 million from the DEQ revolving fund to spend as general revenue.
A year ago, the DEQ faced a 12% reduction in funding.
“What will suffer in the longer term, if we continue to receive general revenue cuts, is our ability to do some of the things that especially the smaller communities rely on the most,” said Deputy Director Jimmy Givens in an interview in February 2016 with StateImpact.
Now the agency is facing more cuts in funding.