ACTION ALERT: Sign-on for Right-to-Know and Whistleblower
17 Nov 1997 10:33:35

From: "Michael R. Meuser" <>
Subject: ACTION ALERT: Sign-on for Right-to-Know and Whistleblower


Deadline Tuesday, Nov. 25th

Join us AGAIN in standing up
for our Right-to-Know and
a Whistle-blower

TO: Members of Environmental Justice (EJ), Environmental,
Public Interest, Civil Rights, Human Rights & Labor Rights
Groups, Responsible Businesses, Academia, Newsgroups, Health
groups and all Other Interested Persons.

We urgently need YOUR SUPPORT in the next step in the defense of
BRIAN HOLTZCLAW, the environmental engineer and EJ whistle-
blower, who was in effect banished from Kentucky when he angered
powerful forces by working closely with community groups fighting
for their lives against deadly pollution.

>From 1994 to 1997, Holtzclaw (a U.S. EPA employee) has DEFENDED
his whistle-blower case all the way up to the Federal Courts ---
an appeal for justice is now at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

The issue at stake goes far BEYOND Holtzclaw's individual rights
under whistle-blower laws. The broader issue is the RIGHT of all
of us in the public to KNOW what is being done to our air, water,
and soil and to have ACCESS to the information that honest
scientists like Holtzclaw can provide. If he can be punished for
assisting our community groups --- scientists with valuable
information all over our country will be reluctant to speak up.

We ask you to JOIN US in signing an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-
court) brief for this Federal Court of Appeals at our E-mail
( or The Center for
Constitutional Rights, as legal counsel, encourages you to support
us. Some of you helped on our efforts last year in our "People's
Brief" asking that our Right-to-Know and Holtzclaw's rights be
upheld. Despite a massive outcry from the public --- the
Department of Labor erred and wrongfully dismissed
Holtzclaw's complaint. We need your help AGAIN.

ACTION REQUEST --- How You Can Support Our "People's Brief"

We in the public have ANOTHER chance to make our voices heard.
Time is CRITICAL, so that we can meet the court deadline for
filing the friend-of-the court brief.

The DEADLINE to E-Mail back to us is Tuesday, NOV. 25th, 1997.

IT OUT, AND E-MAIL IT BACK TO US AT: or NOTE: For newcomers,
adding your group or name is like a sign-on to a 'petition.' It
simply means you are an advocate.

*YES! I want you to list me as: (please check)

_______ An individual
_______ Organization (non-profit, business, chapter, association,
group, other, etc.)

For the Friend of the Court Brief on behalf of supporting Right-
to-Know, environmental justice, whistleblower laws, and the 6th
Circuit Court of Appeals Case of Brian Holtzclaw (Case # 97-
3347). This is who I am:

Organization (please spell out):
Title (Officer, Coordinator, member, etc.):
Address/ City/ State/Zip:
Phone #: (for verification purposes only)
EMAIL Address:

(1) If you can't copy the form or want to keep it SIMPLER,
please just retype "I support the People's FOC Brief for
Holtzclaw (Case #97-3347)", tell us your status
(e.g. organization, indiv.) and who/where you are.
(2) The information above is used for verification purposes.
(3) If you are signing on as an "ORGANIZATION,"
we ask you to send this E-Mail form back to us and also help
save us phone $$ expenses during the verification process.
Please find the time to additionally send by postal mail, a
printout of this form with handwritten signature by you or
another authorized official/party (of the organization).
The address is SOC, P.O. Box 10518, Atlanta, GA
30310. Thank you for helping us save expenses!



Your endorsement will add GREAT WEIGHT to the appeal. TOGETHER,
we can be a powerful voice for the "People's Right-to-Know."


For MORE info:

1. Please read the ENDNOTE to this E-Mail.

2. Send us an E-Mail (, say "more info" and
you'll get our latest fact sheet.

3. Visit our internet website dedicated to this case There you will find our 1996 friend-
of-the-court brief (250 citizen groups, 8 EJ networks, over 400
individuals who signed-on from over 40 states), articles, press
fact sheet, and the latest legal briefs, including Mr. Holtzclaw's.


THANK YOU for your continued support for the "People's Right-to-
Know" and for responding by Tuesday, November 25, 1997. Please
share this E-Mail widely to your networks.

--- The Southern Organizing Committee (SOC) for Economic and
Social Justice [Connie Tucker, P.O. Box 10518, Atlanta, GA 30310,
Phone (404-755-2855), Fax (404-755-0575)]; Coalition for Health
Concern [Corinne Whitehead, 1091 U.S. 641 North, Benton, KY
42025, Phone (502-527-1217)]; Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
[Laura Forman, 1101 6th Ave., Huntington, WV 25701, Phone (304-
522-0246)]; and the Justice Resource Center [Rev. Louis Coleman,
3810 Garland Ave., Louisville, KY 40211, Phone (502-776-7688)].


WHAT HOLTZCLAW DID IN KENTUCKY: Before he came to the state,
the groups fighting pollution were waging lonely battles, unable
to get attention from any government agency. Holtzclaw is an
environmental engineer who has worked on the staff of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1988, winning many
honors for outstanding service. In December, 1992, EPA placed
him on loan to the Kentucky Department of Environmental
Protection (KDEP). His assignment was to create "geographic
initiatives" in two highly polluted areas --- Western Kentucky
and the Tri-State area where Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia
meet ---and to develop action programs to "define, prevent, and
remediate" environmental threats. When Holtzclaw came, for the
first time powerless people had a friend in government, and a
scientist whom they could trust. He worked closely with
community groups and pulled together remarkable coalitions of
government, academia, industry and citizen-groups. During his
first year in the state, he was highly praised by KDEP. He got
into trouble when he struggled to bring to the Tri-State area
EPA's only environmental physician to help pinpoint where air
monitors should be placed. Later he wrote reports that identified
sources of pollution and angered powerful industries, and a
recommendation for a complete environmental study before two new
chemical plants were allowed to locate in the Tri-State area.
Immediately, EPA called him to Atlanta and told him KDEP was
terminating his contract.

WHAT OUR BRIEF SAYS: Our "People's Brief" is being written by
Louisville Attorney William Allison, a cooperating attorney with
the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, who is donating
his services. This amicus curiae brief takes the position that
the Federal Courts must act to protect the public's right-to-know
when toxic pollution threatens our health and very lives.

Our brief says the court must act on the basis of (1) the
whistle-blower clauses in environmental protection laws, which
protect not only whistle-blowers but the public that needs
information; (2) the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
which guarantees not only a citizen's right to speak, but also
the right of other citizens to hear; (3) the 1994 Presidential
Executive Order on Environmental Justice, which mandates all
government agencies to pursue policies that will end the
disproportionate impact of toxics in communities where people of
color and poor people live; and (4) legal precedents that
recognize the "chilling effect" on free speech when any person is
punished for speaking. The brief asks the court to uphold
Holtzclaw's rights, thus also upholding the public's right-to-
know. (A copy of the brief will be available upon request.)

WHAT HOLTZCLAW's BRIEF SAYS: His adverse ruling was decided upon
by an illegal "Administrative Review Board" created by the former
Secretary of Labor --- without statutory authority, notice and
comment rule-making, or appointment of the members by the
President, and confirmation by Congress. Mr. Holtzclaw's brief
seeks to strike down and abolish this unconstitutional and
unlawful board. His brief addresses factual and legal errors by
the DOL, including, but not limited to, post-complaint
retaliation, statute of limitations, continuing violation and
avoidance of substantial, direct and indirect evidence of
retaliation by KDEP officials (refer to brief, Case #97-3347, at


SEEK (Sustainable Economic & Environmental Knowledge),