Haslam seeks merger of 6 environmental panels - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Haslam seeks merger of 6 environmental panels

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By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Governor Bill Haslam's first effort to reduce state boards will merge six panels with significant environmental duties into three, affecting one with regulatory power over gas stations, including the family's Pilot Travel Centers.

The Republican insists the proposal won't diminish conservation efforts in Tennessee or present a conflict of interest for him.

Haslam is proposing to combine the Solid Waste Disposal and the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank boards; the Water Quality Control and Oil and Gas boards; and the Conservation Commission and Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund board.

John McFadden, executive director of the Tennessee Environmental Council, says he doesn't expect a noticeable change if the mergers happen because conservation interests are already sparsely represented.

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