In the wake of a controversial wrist-slap for egregious human waste dumping, Matt Moroney, the DNR's powerful deputy, tells the Journal Sentinel that staff shortages are behind the drop in agency pollution enforcement actions:
In an interview, Moroney predicted more aggressive enforcement by the DNR in the future as vacancies are filled.But remember that Walker, via an Executive Order, gave the DNR special, "charter" status, freeing it from some traditional state government paperwork, including hiring procedures.
"Big picture: Once we get fully staffed, I think you are going to see the number increase," he said.
The original plan was leaked to me a yer ago - - and I reproduced it just as I got it, with coding glitches - - but here is a key section, cleaned up:
To achieve these goals, DNR will be given management discretion in:A few months later, The Journal Sentinel wrote:
Recruitment and retention of high performing employees; DNR will be able to utilize merit compensation tools to reward excellence, and retain attract talent;
DNR will be exempted from the state centralized position review ~
Work force alignment - to shift the resources to areas of permit backlogs;
The state Department of Natural Resources announced a restructuring plan that officials say will make the agency more responsive to the public but won't lead to an easing of environmental regulation...
Also, on its own, the DNR says it will:
Simplify regulatory approvals to help speed a growing backlog of applications of water and air permits. A personnel shortage has been responsible for the backlog - a problem now under discussion with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Hire more employees. With a flurry of retirements by baby boomers, the DNR is recruiting for about 150 open positions.