Arkansas Governor Hutchinson Announces Consolidation of Cabinet-Level Agencies: Creation of Department of Energy and Environment

October 04, 2018

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

Download PDF

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a news release and announced in an October 3rd press briefing the proposed consolidation of Cabinet-level agencies from 42 to 15.

The Governor described this action as the “first comprehensive effort to trim state government since 1972.”

Several Arkansas Environmental/Energy/Natural Resource agencies would be consolidated into a “Department of Energy and Environment” (“Department”). The Department would encompass:

  • Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”)
  • Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Arkansas Pollution, Control, and Ecology Commission
  • Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission and Board
  • Arkansas Geological Survey

The following bodies are listed as subunits under ADEQ in the Department, which include:

  • Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks
  • Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel
  • Arkansas Marketing Board for Recyclables

The Forestry Commission and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission would be consolidated with the Agriculture Board, State Plant Board, and Livestock & Poultry Commission into a “Department of Agriculture.”

The effects of the proposed consolidation are stated to include:

  • Improve the delivery of services to Arkansas taxpayers by breaking down silos within state government
  • Improve management control throughout state government through the creation of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services
  • Allow agencies to maintain their independent services, where appropriate
  • Create savings for the state and taxpayers beginning in the FY 2021 budget through lease and rent savings, shared services, and a more responsive management approach

A copy of the news release with links to the proposed reorganization chart and guide can be found here.

The Between the Lines blog is made available by Mitchell Williams Law Firm and the law firm publisher. The blog site is for educational purposes only, as well as to give general information and a general understanding of the law. This blog is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Use of this blog site does not create an attorney client relationship between you and Mitchell Williams or the blog site publisher. The Between the Lines blog site should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.