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Charles Benjamin

It was a big year for Lawrence environmental lawyer Charles Benjamin. He scored a big coup this year when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of his clients the Kansas Sierra Club and the Kansas Natural Resource Council. The suit called on the EPA to force the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to abide by the conditions of the Clean Water Act. As a result of the settlement, more than 1,400 rivers, streams, and lakes in Kansas will need to be reclassified as suitable for swimming and fishing, which they currently aren't. When the new EPA regulations are put in place next fall, KDHE will be compelled to monitor the state's waters with greater scrutiny. It'll mean more work for the state's bureaucrats, but cleaner water for its residents.

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