The Big Think

June 23, 2013

Excuse Me?

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 2:20 pm

A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director warned a group of Maury County [Tenn.] residents that unfounded complaints about water quality could be considered an “act of terrorism.”

As the news article explains, some residents complained about the quality of their water, saying it was “cloudy” and did not taste pure. In response to such comments at a public hearing,

“We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,” said Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources, according to audio recorded by attendees. “But 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.”

“Can you say that again, please?” an audience member can be heard asking on the audio.

Smith went on in the recording to repeat the claim almost verbatim.

The state office claims it is “looking into” Smith’s statement.

Like many things, the authorities are “looking into it” (and can’t comment because of some “ongoing investigation”).


*UPDATE* From a different link: “‘The department would like to fully assess what was said in the meeting. I am told that the meeting was far longer than the audio clip provided by SOCM and that Mr. Smith actually clarified his remarks. But again, we are looking into it.'””

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