LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm issued an executive order to combine the functions of the Department of Environmental Quality with the Department of Natural Resources. The new Department of Natural Resources and Environment is expected to go into effect next January.
Granholm estimates the merger will save the state up to $1.5 million. However, the state House and Senate committee overseeing the D-N-R and D-E-Q budgets estimated savings at about $350,000.
State Representative Mike Lahti chaired the budget committee.
"So there's going to be some savings - and besides that, though, it's going to be more responsive to the constituency," he says.
The DEQ was created in 1995 by then-Governor John Engler, splintering programs and responsibilities from the DNR. The new department will fuse the programs back together.