TDEC chief: Staff shakeup won't weaken enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Commissioner Robert Martineau says the firing two top officials in the Environment and Conservation Department doesn't indicate his agency is downgrading pollution enforcement efforts.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner in a Joint Government Operations Committee meeting on Monday questioned whether the shakeup signals Tennessee will become more "friendly to the polluters of this state" under Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Martineau responded that he would meet privately with Turner to discuss the reasoning behind personnel changes. He also stressed that the governor is committed to maintaining environmental protection standards while also seeking to foster economic development.

The officials fired earlier this month headed the agency's solid waste management and water pollution control. Additionally, the director of state parks also announced his retirement.

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