Derek Teaney ’04
Senior Attorney, Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Protecting the special places and people of Appalachia propels me in my work. Whether it’s fighting to keep a 60-year-old organic farmer on the farm on which she was born and protect it from an unnecessary 36-inch natural gas pipeline, or it’s fighting to force a billionaire governor’s coal company to stop dumping toxins into the streams around its mines, I strive to achieve justice for a place and people too often overlooked in America. My vision of environmental justice for these mountains also drives my commitment to teaching environmental law and its practice to the next generation of Appalachian lawyers at Washington & Lee University School of Law. I don’t win every battle, and there are plenty of scars on the landscape to remind me of my losses, but the people I help, the mountains I protect, and the students I teach keep me in the fight.