Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 21, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney announces that Jim Hecker to receive William O. Douglas Award from Sierra Club.

Jim Hecker, Public Justice’s long-time Environmental Enforcement Project Director, has been named a recipient of the Sierra Club’s 2009 William O. Douglas Award, which recognizes outstanding use of the legal process to achieve environmental goals, particularly those with national significance.

Jim will share the honor with Joe Lovett, executive director and a founder of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, for their determined and ongoing efforts to hold the coal mining industry in check for practices that wreak environmental havoc on land, water and air and endanger the health of people, animals and plant life in neighboring communities.

 Under Jim’s leadership, the Environmental Enforcement Project at Public Justice has taken the lead in challenging the coal industry’s destructive mountaintop removal mining practices in Appalachia since 1998. At Public Justice, he has litigated over 30 citizen suits in 14 states under federal environmental statutes regulating clean air, clean water, hazardous waste, and coal mining. He and Joe have been co-counsel in a dozen such cases in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky. Jim and Joe will receive their award at the Sierra Club’s annual Volunteer, Honors and Awards Dinner in San Francisco on September 26.

Please join me in congratulating Jim for his extraordinary, tireless, and winning efforts on behalf of the residents and the environment of Appalachia.  He is a true believer, who does great things for folks who often have no one else to turn to for help.  Congratulations Jim!

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