Tom FitzGerald is an environmental attorney and director of the Kentucky Resources Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and prudent use of Kentuckys natural resources. While the organization is comprised of many members throughout the state, Tom is, in effect, the Kentucky Resources Council. It is not an overstatement to say that many of the environmental protections that we take for granted in our state would be far less protective, and in some cases, nonexistent, were it not for the extraordinarily effective advocacy efforts of Tom FitzGerald.
Tom is the eloquent, articulate, principled voice that brings honor and integrity to the public discourse on the environment.
He is the brilliant legal mind adept at scrutinizing complex, technical regulations; identifying the weaknesses and loopholes; and crusading for change.
He is the valued resource to citizens, elected officials, editorial staff and other environmental and health organizations.
He is the skilled negotiator, whose credibility, knowledge and sense of fairness have earned him a coveted seat at the table.
He is counsel to victims of environmental negligence, providing pro bono legal representation to those who cannot afford to hire an attorney. In his 26-year legal career, he has never billed a client.
Tom works statewide to improve lung health by ensuring that clean air laws and regulations are sufficiently stringent to protect public health and by defending them when they are under attack. His masterful, tireless lobbying efforts in this years session of the Kentucky General Assembly are largely responsible for defeating a disastrous bill intended to dismantle Louisvilles STAR Program (our landmark regulatory program to control air toxics emissions). His hard work, coupled with the respect he has earned in the halls of the legislature, was instrumental in achieving victory for our cause and a stunning defeat for our legislative adversaries and their industrial lobbyists. He continues to work diligently to defend and preserve STAR from unrelenting attempts by industry representatives to weaken the program. At the same time, he is advocating for a strong statewide air toxics program that would cover all areas of the Commonwealth outside of Louisville.
Tom is revered by his admirers and both respected and feared by his adversaries.
On behalf of the American Lung Association of Kentucky Board of Directors and staff, it is my privilege to present our 2006 Clearing the Air Award to my friend and personal hero, Tom FitzGerald.