Sharing the wealth | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sharing the wealth

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 5:26 PM

At the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Oversight Committee meeting held this afternoon, Deputy Director Loren Hitchcock said that $1 million of the bonus money Game and Fish received from its lease of wildlife management land to Chesapeake Energy for gas exploration would be split between the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.  ADEQ is notoriously low on inspectors to oversee current and future drilling operations in the state, and could use the help.  They won't get much, though.  According to Hitchcock, ADEQ will receive $350,000 to pay four additional inspectors over the next two years. 

Game and Fish has said before that they cannot legally divert the funds to meet other needs other than constitutionally mandated fish and wildlife activities.  So how is it legal to provide DEQ with money for more inspectors, but not share with other state agencies? 

More on this to come...

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