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Law student wins award

On April 26, 2012

UT student Zack Hohl is helping the environment and winning awards along the way.

Hohl, a third-year student at the UT College of Law, was presented the Ohio State Bar Association Environmental Law Award Monday at the OSBA Environmental Law Symposium.

He also received $1,000 for his winning paper, “The Great Lakes Compact: States Suffering from Withdrawal.”

“I was excited to win the award,” Hohl said in an email. “I was already happy to be one of the finalists so that I could attend the symposium, but winning the award was just that much better.”

The contest called for papers which will advance the application and practice of environmental, energy or resources law in the state of Ohio, according to a press release.

Hohl said his paper deals with the Bottled Water Exemption under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The bottled water exemption allows for companies to withdraw water for drinks.

Hohl first became interested in the compact and Bottled Water Exemption when he heard about it in a law class.

“I am from the area and we have a lot of water quality issues,” he said. “The more I researched the topic, the more interested I became with the implementation of the [c]ompact.”

The goal of the compact is to limit diversions outside of the Great Lakes Basin and to minimize withdrawals of the water in the basin.

He said if the compact is weakened by removing water to fill bottles for drinking, it will be very difficult for the states to act on their own. To maintain sustainable use of the regional waters, Hohl said states and individuals should follow the compact exactly.

He said the Environmental Law Award is an annual award that any currently enrolled law student is eligible for.

He said McMahon DeGulis, an environmental firm out of Cleveland, sponsored the award and various attorneys in Ohio read and judged the submissions.

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