Alabama Inauguration

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey gives a thumbs-up during Inauguration Day on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says the state's environmental agency needs to do a better job responding to chemical releases into the Tennessee River in north Alabama.

Responding to media reports that 3M released pollution for years without state intervention or disclosure, Ivey told reporters in Huntsville on Wednesday that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management needs to present solutions to the problem.

Ivey says the state doesn't actually control the agency, which is overseen by a seven-member commission and monitors environmental enforcement in the state. But governors appoint members to the commission under state law.

The company this week said it's looking at possible contamination at old landfill sites in Morgan and Lawrence counties dating back to the 1950s.

Maplewood, Minnesota-based 3M has operated a plant in Decatur since 1961.