ACT NO. 52
Conservation; agency of natural resources restructuring
This act identifies obstacles that prevent the agency of natural resources from consistently meeting its statutory obligations in a manner that provides a simple and streamlined permit application process, while protecting the interests of others and the natural resources. The act establishes a Natural Resources Reorganization Committee (NRRC) of no more than 13 members, to advise the secretary on the design of a restructured agency. The NRRC is to hold public hearings on the functions of the agency, in each of the agency's five administrative districts, and to establish a process to solicit input from agency staff. The act requires the secretary, with the assistance of a consultant and in consultation with the NRRC, to receive input on agency organizational models and to identify accountability indicators by which any agency restructuring may be measured, both with respect to allocation of agency resources, but also with respect to the agency's ability to protect the stat e's natural resources. The act requires the secretary, by January 15, 2006, to submit a draft report to the NRRC for review and comment, make appropriate revisions and submit a final report to specified legislative committees. The final report shall include: the identification of resources and actions necessary to fully implement federal and state natural resources law, a plan for making the agencies processes more accessible, integrated, and effective; measures to assure a sufficient enforcement presence; and guidance on coordinating the agency's departments and divisions. The act also appropriates $50,000.00 for hiring a consultant-facilitator to assist with the project.
Effective Date: July 1, 2005
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street