Faculty Profile: Michelle Walker Owenby

Michelle Walker OwenbyTN Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) , Work Phone: () -Email Address:
Previous Courses Taught (2)
  • Implications of the Clean Power Plan
  • Environmental Law Forum 2016

Michelle Owenby is the Director of the Division of Air Pollution Control at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  Mrs. Owenby leads Division staff across the state in improving and maintaining air quality in Tennessee consistent with the protection of human health and welfare through the establishment of emission standards, procedural requirements as well as the issuance of construction and operating permits.  Other Division responsibilities include compliance inspections, stack testing and maintaining Tennessee’s ambient air sampling stations.  The Division serves 91 counties within Tennessee and oversees the actions of Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Shelby counties, which have their own local air pollution control program.   

Prior to her current role, Mrs. Owenby served as Assistant Commissioner for TDEC’s Office of Policy and Planning.  She also practiced environmental law for ten years in private practice and at Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.  Mrs. Owenby also taught environmental and legal curriculum at Vermont Law School and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire.  Mrs. Owenby has a B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a J.D., magna cum laude, and an L.L.M. in Environmental Law, summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School.

Mrs. Owenby lives in Nashville with her husband, David, and son, Jackson.  She enjoys running, hiking, kayaking, and spending time in Tennessee State Parks.