The number of state investigators available to pursue environmental crimes has been slashed from four to two in the past decade, and the number of attorneys to prosecute them also trimmed by a like amount. The office is looking to hire a third attorney now, Barnes said. The chief effect of the staffing cuts has been to limit the office's ability to launch wide-ranging investigations, she said, or to keep pursing tips when leads run out.
"We check out everything that comes in," Barnes said, adding later, "I don't think Maryland hasn't been doing enough. I think we have worked hard and are very diligent in all the arenas we're taking on."