SALT LAKE CITY -- A legislative proposal would combine the environmental quality and natural resource departments into one mega-agency.
A new chief environmental officer would oversee the state agency and its 26 divisions.
Republican Rep. Wayne Harper, of West Valley, says the agency would not reduce environmental regulations. It would streamline regulatory operations, saving money for the state.
Gov. Gary Herbert's spokeswoman Ally Isom says the departments have very little in common and combining them would not be beneficial.
Department of Natural Resources Director Mike Styler says combining the departments would not save money and creates difficulties because of potential conflicts of interest between the regulatory missions.
Department of Environmental Quality Director Amanda Smith says the proposal creates an additional layer of bureaucracy and would be less efficient.