Lawmakers weigh fate of Ariz. environmental agency

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona legislators have kept state environmental regulators on a tight leash in the recent past and some lawmakers appear inclined to cinch it even more.

Lawmakers on Wednesday began a lengthy oversight hearing to recommend whether the Department of Environmental Quality should be reauthorized.

The current four-year authorization is shorter than normal and ends July 1 unless extended by the Legislature.

Lawmakers question whether the agency is exceeding its authority under state law and treating regulated industries fairly.

Topics getting detailed looks include Gov. Janet Napolitano's support for the Western Climate Initiative and an environmental settlement that provides $1 million for that initiative to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

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