ADEM's budget woes continue
LeFleur said handing the response over to EPA was the result of continuing state budget cuts to his department, which have been cut dramatically since 2008, when the department received $6 million from the general fund.
ADEM's operating budget comes from a combination of three sources: state appropriations; federal grants, largely from EPA; and permit fees or other charges assessed to the industries that the department regulates.
In fiscal year 2016, the department got just $280,000 in state funds and had to transfer $1.2 million to the general fund from permit fees the department collected. The $280,000 they did receive was all earmarked for the state's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) program, and does not cover the cost of that program.
In effect, the amount the department received from the state want from $6 million to negative $1 million in eight years.
With federal funding basically level and state appropriations, the Commission voted to increase permit fees by 20 percent across the board in December.
Next year's budget is looking slightly better for the department. According to the general fund budget passed in April over Gov. Robert Bentley's veto, the department will receive $400,000 in appropriations, earmarked for the CAFO program, but will not have to transfer money to the general fund.
Well then guess what little ol' Alabama will have to start spending some of their own money on then.