Terry Lodge, Esq, on right receiving Johnsrud Unsung Hero Award


Tish O’Dell, Ohio Community Organizer

TOLEDO, OHIO: This week, one of Ohio’s most dedicated environmental attorneys, Terry Lodge, received the 2018 Johnsrud Unsung Heroes Award in Washington, D.C. Dr. Judith Johnsrud was a geographer who worked diligently for more than 50 years to protect communities from nuclear power in all its phases.

Lodge began practicing law in 1978. He has fought corporate welfare, defended peaceful protestors, and worked to advance other issues protecting people and nature. However, he is most well-known for his environmental efforts. For decades, Lodge has battled nuclear power plants, mountaintop removal, pipeline construction, and fracking wells. Today, he also works tirelessly in partnership with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to advance, protect, and defend Ohio communities’ democratic and environmental rights.

Dr. Johnsrud recognized what the anti-nuclear movement was up against. She stated, “[We must] recognize that [nuclear power] is a political problem and that problem lies in the law of the United States.”

Lodge concurs, recognizing that the problem we face in protecting our communities from a multitude of environmental harms lies in this same law – and he sees local community democracy as the most viable remedy. In his address accepting the award, Lodge stated,

“Rediscovering and using … [our] forgotten tools [of local control and democracy] makes voting on issues a form of civil disobedience. How about a local ban on hauling spent fuel through your town? Give your town the gift of criminal punishments for transports of weapons or waste through it. Legislate your county’s denial of consent to a radwaste dump. Legislate nature’s right to exist; prohibit air, soil and water from exposure to nuclear perils and make citizens the legal guardians with the power to sue on behalf of nature. These changes are utterly necessary for the survival of the planet.”

About CELDF — Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

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