Tomorrow: Environmental Law Section Invites You to Commissioner's Reception

The TBA Environmental Law Section invites its members to a reception honoring the new Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers. The reception will be held in Chattanooga on May 15, coinciding with the Environmental Show of the South. This is a great opportunity to network with section members and other professionals in the Tennessee environmental community while welcoming Salyers into his new role as commissioner. Here are the key details:
When: Wednesday, May 15, 5 p.m., EDT
Where:  Chattanooga Convention Center, South Rotunda, 1150 Carter St, Chattanooga 
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Environmental Law Forum 2019

The TBA Environmental Law Section presented its annual forum to a packed house at the Tennessee Bar Center on Feb. 1. Through the dedication of the section and top-notch programming, this event has become a staple for not only environmental law practitioners, but lawyers of associated practices as well. Thanks to the TBA Environmental Law Executive Council members for their time and assistance with another remarkable forum. Stay tuned for more exciting events to come from this section, including the Environmental Show of the South on May 15-17 in Chattanooga.

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Remembering Former Section Chair LeAnn Mynatt

I hired LeAnn Mynatt to Baker Donelson in 1997 or 98, when we had need for a lateral mid-to-senior level environmental associate. She had great expertise in OSHA as well as in environmental law. LeAnn was always considerate and upbeat, funny and helpful, even when the pace of things got very heavy. But of course, she could and did hold her own in any tough work situation too.       
LeAnn was one of those orange-clad folks. Born and raised in Knoxville, she later attended UT and UT College of Law. She was a runner, fitness and diet buff, which goes to show that no one can know what the future holds even if you do everything right.
A private person, she rarely shared much about her personal life, other than devotion to her multiple nephews almost like being a second mother. After the cancer hit and she initially beat it, she became very active and open about sharing her experiences just to help other women and not in any way to draw attention to herself for praise or sympathy. She continued to work after her relapse, and some dealing with her never knew of her situation until the end. 
Mynatt's family has set up a memorial fund in her name to benefit UT Medical Center's Gynecologic Cancers Education Fund. You can send donations in memory of LeAnn to UT Medical Center, c/o Development Office, 2121 Medical Center Way, Knoxville, TN 37920 - memo to Gyn. Cancer Education.

Robert M. Steele is a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Nashville office. He has engaged in a broad federal and state environmental, energy, and resources law practice, with emphasis in the areas of Superfund, RCRA, UST, brownfield and other types of site remediation. Steele hold degrees from Furman University and Vanderbilt University School of Law.
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Trump Administration Proposes 31% Cut to EPA Funding

The Trump Administration on Monday introduced its new budget proposal, which included a 31 percent slash to EPA funding, The Washington Post reports. Though climate change was not specifically mentioned in the proposal, the president has been an outspoken critic of science focused on manmade global warming, and the budget cuts funding for the EPA’s Global Change Research office completely. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler called the budget “a common-sense proposal” that would “support the agency as it continues to work with states, tribes and local governments to protect human health and the environment."

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TDEC to Issue Over $3 Million in Loans for Clean Water Infrastructure

Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers have announced over $3 million in low-interest loans for clean water infrastructure improvements for the towns of Smyrna and Lewisburg. The apportionment will be funded through the Tennessee Revolving Fund Loan Program, which prioritizes disbursement for both the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, with $90 million loaned annually to municipalities for planning, design, and construction of eligible water and wastewater projects. Smyrna will receive a $3 million for green infrastructure and wastewater treatment plant expansion, and Lewisburg will receive $130,000 for wastewater treatment plant improvements.

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Tomorrow: Environmental Law Section to Host Happy Hour in Memphis

The TBA Environmental Law Section will host a happy hour on Tomorrow, March 14 at Glankler Brown in Memphis. This is a free event open to all section members, or anyone with interest in learning more about the section. Do not miss out on this opportunity to meet TBA leadership and lawyers of related practice. Please RSVP with Section Coordinator Jarod Word if you would like to attend. Here’s the key info:
When: Thursday, March 14, 4:30 p.m., CST.
Where: Glankler Brown, 6000 Poplar Ave., Suite 400, Memphis
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Advocates Submit Amicus Briefs Requesting Juliana v. United States Proceed to Trial

Plaintiffs in the case Juliana v. United States have filed 15 amicus briefs with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the lawsuit, requesting that the case proceed to trial. Briefs were submitted on behalf of a diverse group of supporters, including U.S. Congress members, legal scholars, religious and women’s groups, businesses, historians, medical doctors, international lawyers and environmentalists. The case was originally set for trial on October 29, 2018, however, the court granted the Trump administration an interlocutory appeal. Oral arguments for the appeal are set for June 3. You can view the briefs submitted using this link.

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Chattanooga Council to Vote on $46.5 Million Sewage Project

The Chattanooga City Council will vote Feb. 5 on whether to award a construction contract in what will be the costliest component of its ongoing sewage treatment cleanup, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. The $46.5 million project calls for three 10-million-gallon storage tanks near the Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant, which has released millions of gallons of sewage into the Tennessee River. In 2013, Chattanooga leaders signed an agreement with federal and state environmental regulators to have the site — known as the West Bank Outfall — contained by July 2020 in order to comply with the Clean Water Act. The city has budgeted a total of $264 million to fix and upgrade its sewer infrastructures, which service around 400,000 customers in the area.

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TDEC Seeks Feedback Regarding TNH20 Water Plan

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is seeking feedback on its TNH20 water plan regarding availability and infrastructure of the state’s water supply. The plan an assessment of current water resources and recommendations to help ensure that Tennessee has an abundance of water resources to support future and economic growth. Feedback regarding the program will be accepted until Feb. 28. You can submit your comments here.

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DOE Extends Deadline Regarding CERLA Cleanup at the Oak Ridge Reservation

The U.S. Department of Energy has extended the comment deadline regarding its plan for providing additional onsite disposal capacity for waste generated from CERLA cleanup at the Oak Ridge Reservation to Jan. 9. The proposal has been controversial to residents in the area, with some signing off on a letter sent to Oakridger voicing opposition to the agency’s plan. The DOE will accept comments any time prior to the deadline. You can send your feedback via email to john.japp@orem.doe.gov, or mail them to John Michael Japp at P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.

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