Campus News

Boston College law professor to give Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture

Zygmunt Plater, a professor of law at Boston College, will give UGA’s Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture April 10 at 4 p.m. in Room 125 of the Jackson Street Building. Plater will speak on “The Snail Darter and the Dam: A Very Small Endangered Fish’s Travels Through the Corridors of American Power.”

Plater’s latest book, The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River, was published by Yale University Press in 2013. It is his chronicle of a landmark case, Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill-better known as the “snail darter” case-which Plater argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978.

The case often is cited-especially by opponents of environmental regulations-as an example of overzealous enforcement of such policies, in this case, the Endangered Species Act. But the case involved numerous issues aside from the protection of the endangered fish by whose name it is known. Opposition to the construction of the Tellico Dam also was based on the project’s economic viability and the property rights of small farmers and other landowners.