Water official equates complaints with terrorism - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Water official equates complaints with terrorism

By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - A state water official told members of a Tennessee environmental group that their water quality complaints could be considered an act of terrorism.

The comments came at a meeting between Department of Environment and Conservation officials and Mount Pleasant residents who are members of Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment.

In an audio recording provided by the environmental group, TDEC's Sherwin Smith says, "you 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."

Mount Pleasant resident Dwight Green was at the May 29 meeting and he said he took the comments as a threat.

A spokeswoman for TDEC did not immediately return a call Friday requesting comment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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