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SOUTHEASTERN LEGAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FAVORABLE SETTLEMENT IN DEFENSE OF TEACHER SUED BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS

 SOUTHEASTERN LEGAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FAVORABLE SETTLEMENT
 IN DEFENSE OF TEACHER SUED BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS
 ATLANTA, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Southeastern Legal Foundation has announced a favorable settlement in its defense of a retired Tennessee schoolteacher sued by environmentalists over her attempts to maintain drainage on her family farm.
 Mrs. Annie Laurie James lives with her husband on their farm near Humboldt, Tenn. The property has been in their family for several generations, used for growing crops such as strawberries and cotton.
 The controversy began in June of 1990, when Mrs. James, with permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the assistance of the Obion-Forked Deer River Basin Authority, cleared out fallen tree limbs, silt and other debris from a drainage ditch on her property. After Mrs. James cleared her ditch, the EPA cited her for draining a wetlands in violation of the Clean Water Act. Chester McConnell, a local environmentalist, and the Tennessee Environmental Council then brought a citizens' suit under the Clean Water Act. The lawsuit, filed on Feb. 26, 1991, sought enforcement of the EPA order as well as civil penalties and attorneys' fees.
 Under the terms of the settlement agreement, McConnell and the Tennessee Environmental Council will dismiss their lawsuit against Mrs. James and will drop all claims against her for penalties and attorneys' fees. This settlement was prompted by an agreement by the EPA to allow Mrs. James to drain water from her farm land. Mrs. James will allow access to her land for the construction of a grade control structure in the drainage ditch to prevent further erosion.
 In announcing the settlement of the case, G. Stephen Parker, president of Southeastern Legal Foundation, said: "We are very pleased that the EPA recognized Mrs. James' right to continue to use her property for agricultural purposes, as her family has done for over 100 years. We see these developments not only as helpful to Mrs. James, but also important in the efforts to restore reasonable balance to the wetlands regulatory program."
 The Southeastern Legal Foundation undertook representation of Mrs. James last year, and conducted the defense of the lawsuit along with the law firm of Ashley, Ashley and Arnold in Dyersburg, Tenn. Southeastern Legal Foundation is a non-profit public interest law firm based in Atlanta and dedicated to economic freedom and the protection of individual property rights.
 -0- 3/6/92
 /CONTACT: G. Stephen Parker, president of Southeastern Legal Foundation, 404-458-8313/ CO: Southeastern Legal Foundation ST: Tennessee, Georgia IN: SU:


BN-CF -- AT007 -- 5927 03/06/92 14:33 EST
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Date:Mar 6, 1992
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