Ken Midkiff of the Sierra Club referred to what he called a disturbing trend in issuing development permits.
"A few years ago I checked, and never, ever had the Department of Natural Resources denied a permit," he said.
So, Midkiff showed up to hear DNR Director Doyle Childers tell local leaders about changes he's making.
"Our emphasis is how to prevent environmental damage rather than have to come back and remediate it afterwards," Childers said. "And really, I think that has been received well by all the communities."
But, Midkiff said there aren't enough DNR offices to handle complaints.
"It's a problem across the state," he said, "timely response to citizen complaints."
Childers said he'd look into putting an office closer to Columbia.
He also cited the department's user-friendly website and a more streamlined application process.
"All of those things are to help communicate with the public and with the people who would utilize our services," Childers said.
The DNR launched its new website Thursday.