Friday, June 21, 2013

Tennessee Environmental Official Equates Citizen Concerns about Water Quality to "Terrorism"

There seems to be a lot of tossing about of the T-word, lately... what with TransCanada trying to label protesters as terrorists. Now people who live in Tennessee and have water that comes out of their faucet looking like this (to the left: water from Horseheads, NY)

                  Or like this (on right, Dimock, PA)

 might want to think twice before calling in a complaint to the the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  Last month Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC's Division of Water Resources warned a group of Maury County residents that "unfounded complaints" about water quality could be "considered an act of terrorism".

Seems that residents in Mount Pleasant have been complaining to the state's environmental agency for months that their children are getting ill from drinking the water. In a May 29 meeting Smith says, " need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints, you have a basis because, federally, if there's no water quality issues, that can be considered under homeland security an act of terrorism." You can hear audio recorded by Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment here.

Needless to say, Mount Pleasant residents take a dim view of Smith's statements. They see it as intimidation and a continued lack of concern from the government they support with their tax dollars. You can read more about their long-standing attempts to get the dirty water problem solved here.

You can find out more about SOCM and this particular meeting here.

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