Heart of America Northwest: Gerry Pollet, JD

Heart of America Northwest: Gerry Pollet, JD

Heart of America Northwest: Gerry Pollet, JD    Gerry Pollet is Executive Director of Heart of America Northwest, a 16,000 member citizens’ group which is widely respected as the region’s largest citizens’ watchdog group for the cleanup of America’s most contaminated area: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, through which the Columbia River flows for fifty miles in Central Washington. Gerry also continues to serve as chair for the Hanford Advisory Board's Budgets and Contracts oversight committee, responsible for review of the federal Energy Department’s (USDOE’s) Hanford budgets, management and contracts. Hanford Clean-Up is the nation’s largest public works project with a $2 billion annual budget. Working closely with Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Adam Smith and others, Gerry has provided the research and advocacy leading to reductions in Hanford contractors’ “overhead” costs and other waste by hundreds of millions of dollars. Gerry has testified by invitation to U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees. His research has been utilized extensively in media reporting on Hanford Clean-Up contracts and budgets. He has worked extensively to protect workers at Hanford from exposure to beryllium. The University of Washington School of Public Health awarded Heart of America Northwest and Gerry its 2010 Community Service Partner award; and, Heart of America Northwest was named the “Region’s Best Environmental Group” in 2008 by the Spokane Peace, Justice and Environmental Community. Other honors include “Grassroots Activist of the Year” by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability; and, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility’s top annual award, previously given to then AG, now Governor Chris Gregoire, and Gov. Mike Lowry. (Paul Beeson Peace Award). Gerry is a frequent lecturer and teacher at regional universities, law schools and legal education programs, and supervises an annual public interest and environmental law student externship program. Gerry has assisted numerous environmental citizen groups and other public interest groups. He serves on the legal committee of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, and on the board as Secretary. In 1986, Gerry was the author and campaign director of the successful Washington State Ballot Referendum that blocked Hanford from becoming the nation’s first High-Level Nuclear Waste Dump. Gerry was one of the contributing authors of Washington's Model Toxics Control Act, passed by the voters of Washington State. He has subsequently been the drafter of provisions updating the law and its rules for risk assessment, public involvement and allowing for cleanup and reuse of industrial properties. He has served on numerous agency advisory boards relating to hazardous substance cleanup, regulation of dangerous wastes, and electric utility planning. Gerry has lectured and presented in numerous forums on risk assessment and public input to exposure scenarios in hazardous waste site cleanup planning. Website: www.hoanw.org