40 states slash staff at environmental agencies

The Center for Public Integrity sent public information requests to all 50 states and the District of Columbia for full-time environmental agency staffing figures for the last 10 years.

The majority of states were able to provide either 10 fiscal years, or nine fiscal years that cover 10 calendar years. Colorado provided 8 years of data. Information for the remaining 10 states came from the U.S. Census Bureau and was only available for six years.

The Center made every effort to obtain standard information, but figures will vary based on how agencies operate and report information, such as:

  • Some states provided budgeted positions, while others provided actual employment.
  • Varying fiscal year periods resulted in differences in which years states reported. For example, some reported fiscal years 2006 to 2015, while others provided 2007 to 2016. Oregon and North Dakota reported figures in two-year budgets, or "bienniums," instead of annually.
  • In some states, environmental regulator staff is combined in the same agency as other government functions like forestry, health, or energy. Whenever possible, the Center asked states to provide staffing for environmental divisions only.

Information for Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming was obtained from the Census Bureau for 2009 to 2014. In these instances, states were unable to provide enough years of information for analysis, or did not provide the information directly.