Turner Clinic Students Play Key Role in Plant Vogtle Hearing
Students working with the Turner Environmental Law Clinic have spent much of this semester preparing for a hearing before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB). The hearing, which took place March 16-19, will determine whether a permit is issued to begin construction on two nuclear reactors at the Plant Vogtle facility along the Savannah River.
The Turner Clinic represents several environmental organizations and concerned individuals, or "intervenors," challenging the issuance of the permit due to the expected environmental impact.
Larry Sanders, acting director of the Turner Clinic, and Turner Fellow Mindy Goldstein were joined at the hearing by students Stephen Johnson 09L, Terri Porter 09L and Erica Tritt 10L. Johnson and Porter delivered opening arguments--the first time law students have participated in an ASLB hearing in this way.
"It was so exciting to see experienced attorneys doing the same thing on the other side, and we're two third-year law students giving opening statements," Porter said.
"Nuclear licensing is among the most demanding areas of legal practice, yet our students are holding their own against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and Southern Nuclear Operating Company," said Sanders.
Johnson, Porter and Tritt are three of eight students currently working at the Turner Clinic--the largest number the clinic has had to date. The other students are Elizabeth Hogg 01L, Shiju Kadree 10L, Russell Ross 10L, Jimmy Terpening 09L and Devon Winkles 10L.