As first noticed at RoaneViews, a deputy director of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation warned a group of Maury County residents concerned about water quality that complaints could be considered an act of terrorism under Homeland Security laws. (Tennessean)

Yesterday, TDEC released a statement saying the remark was "inappropriate" and that the official would be disciplined. (Tennessean)

jbr's picture

Not surprising

Bbeanster's picture

Haslam has just about

Haslam has just about destroyed TDEC. The guy was probably just sucking up to the Bossman and went too far.

jbr's picture

Interesting they used

Interesting they used "inappropriate" instead of "incorrect," "wrong," "not true," etc.

jbr's picture

Haslam's Comptroller looks

Haslam's Comptroller looks to be a former member of the same firm as the current TDEC commsioner and was TDEC commissioner under Sundquist ...

WhitesCreek's picture

TDEC Enforcement actions plunging

jbr's picture

Seems to be a theme of state

Seems to be a theme of state government....

From Metro Pulse ...

Except that this bill, devised by Republican leaders in the state comptroller’s office, just raised taxes 2,500 percent on property that generates electricity from solar, and 6,000 percent on wind sources.

Solar Flare-Up: Putting Green Lipstick on a Property Tax Pig

Some more of that "business friendly"

fischbobber's picture

Water Quality

Beyond all the paper pushing stuff, it would appear that Tennessee is facing some very real water quality issues and, based purely on the observed actions of the governor and his cronies, the purpose of gutting of TDEC is to cover up those problems rather than address them.

When we were doing the baseline numbers for the acid deposition study in the GSMNP we were told to record observable phenomena (i.e., fish where there weren't supposed to be fish, insect hatches, various benthos activity, etc.) because nature's response to changes in environment is often the most reliable indicator of the health of an ecosystem.

All that being said, the catfish have left Turkey Creek. No one seems to know why and apparently we are supposed to take the governors threat of charging us with terrorism if we bring it up as reason to let this slide. It doesn't take much to run trout out of clear mountain streams, but it takes one helluva problem to run out catfish.

What's going on with our water?

Factchecker's picture

Look out, buster

What kind of terrorist question is that?

fischbobber's picture


It's the same kind of question that got Maury County residents threatened.

I don't hunt; I fish, and it gripes my gaul that a bunch of guys that couldn't hit water if they were shooting from a boat can strong arm the governor into keeping gun laws lax enough to where every three year old child has the opportunity to kill someone, but he won't enforce water quality regulations so those of us that don't care to kill our neighbors can enjoy the piscatorial pursuits.

Rachel's picture

The guy should be fired. If

The guy should be fired. If he believed what he said (doubtful) then he's way too ignorant for his job. If he knew it wasn't true, then he was doing nothing but trying to intimidate people into shutting up.

This isn't some entry-level guy out of a regional office. It's the the deputy director in charge of water, who, IIRC, replaced Paul Davis, a well-respected former director that Haslam got rid of.

Update: Can't tell if the two positions are exactly equivalent. Paul Davis was the head of water pollution control, which got combined with a couple of other depts in the new administration. This guy's title is deputy director of water resources. Whatever, it would seem the caliber of TDOT leaders is not on the rise.

jbr's picture

In the big picture, the guy

In the big picture, the guy that made the comments seems trivial. If it is indicative of the culture at TDEC, and they have not disproved it as far as i have seen, it is critical. Who would investigate TDEC?

Bbeanster's picture

There was also some suck-up

There was also some suck-up woman's voice in the background attempting to 'splain what the guy meant. I presume she was a TDEC subordinate.

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