History

Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is Missouri’s only nonprofit environmental law firm. Our mission is to provide free and reduced-fee legal services to individuals, citizens’ groups and environmental organizations that seek to preserve and protect the environment and public health. We were founded in 2002 by Lewis C. Green in order to ensure that the environment has a strong voice in the region. For over thirty years, Mr. Green had been fighting for the environment through his law firm, Green, Hennings & Henry, and he founded Great Rivers so that a nonprofit could carry on this work.

In 2002, Great Rivers took over the environmental work of the firm, and started off running with cases against the EPA over the air quality in St. Louis, and against the Clean Water Commission over its issuance of a permit to a CAFO operator. We won both of those cases! In the next few years, we fought a city’s plan to sell a beloved park in Rolla, and protected the Missouri River from a proposed 1,000-year “super-levee” in the Jefferson City area. Our Land Use, Clean Water and Wetlands and Floodplains Protection Programs remain constantly active as there are always challenges to existing parks, rivers, floodplains and wetlands.

Our Climate Change and Clean Energy Program grew over the years, and we have come to be a regular force in hearings before the Public Service Commission concerning Missouri’s regulated electric utility companies. We wrote the Net Metering and Renewable Energy Laws, and helped move forward the solar and wind industries in Missouri.

Environmental Justice remains an elusive concept in Missouri, and our program has expanded to work for citizens across the state of Missouri, from the Kansas City area to St. Louis.

We have accomplished a great deal in our first fifteen years. We remain committed to helping people in Missouri and Southern Illinois to fight for cleaner air and water and improved public health.

We are: “Lawyers for the Environment.”

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