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Erin Savage of Appalachian Voices to speak at ETSU

April 2nd, 2013 10:03 am by staff report

JOHNSON CITY — Erin Savage of Appalachian Voices will speak on “A Clean Water Act Citizen Suit: Appalachian Voices Investigates Coal Company Discharge Monitoring Reports, Kentucky 2008-2012,” during a presentation at 7 p.m.., Wednesday, April 3, in Brown Hall auditorium. 

Appalachian Voices, a non-profit environmental group based in Boone, N.C., gathered evidence about Clean Water Act violations in Kentucky and then filed a lawsuit, under a provision in the act which allows citizen suits. The ensuing case went all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In her presentation, Savage will tell of the Appalachian Voices odyssey in pursuit of environmental accountability. A number of issues arose from the suit, including questions about the regulatory principle of “cooperative federalism,” and the phenomenon of “agency capture,” whereby regulatory agencies can sometimes be “captured” and controlled by the very industries they are supposed to regulate.

This event is one in a series of public events being held at ETSU in April as part of the Earth Month celebration.

Savage’s visit is sponsored by two student groups, the Environmental Conservation Organization and the Tennessee Environmental Health Association, as well as by the ETSU Environmental Studies minor.

For more information, e-mail Dr. Kevin O’Donnell, director of the minor studies program, at

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