Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation say they’ve demoted the deputy director of the agency’s Division of Water Resources. Sherwin Smith was demoted after telling some Mount Pleasant residents that their complaints about water quality could be considered terrorism. Smith is now in his former post with the Revolving Fund Program, which helps fund state water projects with low-interest loans.
Smith was recorded at a May 29th meeting by Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM). The group is working with Maury County residents regarding complaints over water quality in Mount Pleasant.
“We take water quality very seriously… very, very seriously, 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.”
TDEC said that the comments were inappropriate and Smith has since apologized.
The agency took 20 samples of water in Mount Pleasant and reported that the samples showed the drinking water was safe.
SOCM has invited TDEC to join an August 12th meeting to continue the discussion regarding water quality in the area.