Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Attorney Finds Work Breath of Fresh Air

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Attorney Finds Work Breath of Fresh Air

Article excerpt

Byline: FREDERIC REINECKE, The Times-Union

Rotten eggs. Jacksonville residents were used to an odor like that of bad eggs every day up until a City Hall crusade in the late 1980s forced the area's paper industry to change or halt processes that created the stench.

Dan Richardson, then a young lawyer in Mayor Tommy Hazouri's City Hall, had a hand in that fight. And though he's now 56 and on the other side of the table, representing businesses struggling with clean air and water laws, he is ever proud of his role in protecting the environment.

Richardson, a Jacksonville native who recently joined the Lewis, Longman and Walker law firm, started working for the Army Corps of Engineers soon after earning his law degree from the University of Florida in 1973.

"It seemed to be a wonderful opportunity to do something significant and practice law," said Richardson, who worked for the agency for about five years.

It was a time, he said, when Congress was extremely active in passing environmental laws and that field grew extensively. Because of the new laws and the agencies created to administer them, Richardson decided to open his own environmental law practice. He worked in it for 10 years before Hazouri was elected mayor and recruited him to carry out his environmental platform.

Richardson considers ending the rotten-egg smell a major victory.

"Visitors always smelled it, and it had a real negative economic impact on our city," Richardson said. "Businesses didn't want to locate here because of that smell. And yet they were one of the largest industries in our city. . . . There came a point in time when Jacksonville said enough was enough, that we would never be able to move forward until we could control that odor." The city enacted an odor ordinance and set up phone banks so residents could report the stench in their neighborhoods. …

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