Our Victories

Great Rivers Environmental Law Center works on cases of public interest.

In 2004, we had a victory in the Missouri Supreme Court! Citizens now have the right to advocate for their health and appeal permits to the Missouri Clean Water Commission when huge factory farms move in and destroy nearby water quality.

In 2005 we reached a settlement requiring Kansas City Power and Light electric company to install 100 megawatts of wind energy.

In 2007, after 10 years of litigation in four courts, we succeeded in saving Buehler Park in Rolla, Missouri! The park is still there and just as wonderful to visit today!

Also in 2007, we stopped a “1000-year super levee” from being built on Mo River in Jefferson City.

In 2008, we wrote Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard, which voters passed by a large majority. The Clean Energy Act requires regulated utilities to obtain increasing amounts of energy from solar and wind, and to increase energy efficiency.

In 2009 we asked the EPA to reconsider its decision to leave the radioactive wastes in West Lake Landfill in a floodplain of the Missouri River. Activists continue to work on cleaning up this Superfund site.

In 2012, we reached a settlement with Ameren Missouri in which Ameren agreed to invest $147 million in energy efficiency over a three-year period.

In 2014, we drafted an initiative petition for citizens in Olivette requiring a vote of the people before that city sells parks. After the citizens collected sufficient signatures, the City refused to put the measure on the ballot. We went to court and the court ordered the City to do so. Voters passed the measure and the park is still a park.

In 2015, after five years of court battles, we persuaded the Missouri Supreme Court that a law exempting Empire Electric District from solar requirements was unconstitutional and illegally passed. The solar industry took off in Joplin after that!

In 2017, after two years of Great Rivers representing an individual in Maplewood, that City dropped its suit against an individual who grows native plants in her yard to provide sustainable landscaping. Now we are working to help citizens in multiple municipalities introduce native-friendly plant ordinances.

In 2017, in response to a petition filed by Great Rivers and the Center for Biological Diversity, the Missouri Department of Conservation proposed a ban on the commercial collection of the state’s wild freshwater turtles.

In 2018, after three years of zoning and court appeals, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, rules in our favor that citizens of Franklin County have the right to speak at Planning and Zoning hearings!

Also in 2018, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Line could go through Missouri. This is an important victory for wind energy.

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