NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini on Friday called on Republican state Rep. Andy Holt to resign over alleged environmental violations at his northwestern Tennessee hog farm.
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking up to $177,500 in fines against Holt for discharging a total of more than 860,000 gallons of waste water from lagoons on the farm without the proper permits.
"This kind of blatant disregard for the rules disqualify him for being an effective legislator and he needs to step aside so that his constituents can have an effective and accountable voice at the Capitol," Mancini said.
In a telephone interview, Holt laughed off Mancini's suggestion, saying that he plans to keep his seat in the Legislature and remain an outspoken critic of the EPA and President Barack Obama.
"I imagine they would like me to quit," said Holt, dismissing the Mancini's press release as "propaganda."
Holt, who ceased the hog farm operations in December, stressed that he self-reported the discharges to the state after heavy rainfall had caused the lagoons to overflow. He also noted that the EPA complaint acknowledged that "no actual environmental harm was documented" in connection with the discharge.