Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bruce Scott reported on Aug. 20, 2014, at the Kentucky Chamber Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference that the Cabinet had just come out of a hiring freeze. Overall, staffing has remained down 10 percent due to the freeze. He reported that the Cabinet is in the process of filling key positions. At the Division of Waste Management, Ron Gruzesky, the former head of the Solid Waste Branch, retired in July. Tony Hatton is serving as Acting Branch Manager until the position is filled. In addition, George Gilbert, who works in the Director’s Office, will be retiring at the end of October. Division of Water Director Peter Goodman reported vacancies in a number of key positions including the Drinking Water Branch and the Assistant Director position. Even with these vacancies, the Division of Water reported its lowest permitting backlog since 2011.