The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center provides education, policy support, and representation for legal tasks. We mainly work with nonprofit organizations, informal community groups, and government bodies.
The issues we work on include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental justice and civil rights
- Public health and air quality
- Drinking water safety and affordability
- Water resource management
- Stormwater management and green infrastructure
- Renewable energy and climate change
- Urban agriculture and food waste management
- Mineral mining and oil & gas drilling
- Commenting on and challenging agency permits, particularly those involving air emissions and discharges to water
- Citizen enforcement of environmental laws
- Freedom of Information Act and Right to Know requests
Educational presentations & written analysis
We can help your organization learn more about how environmental, energy, or resource law can address an issue you're concerned about. Sometimes an organization would prefer a written analysis of a particular legal issues, and we can provide that too.
Commenting on and challenging agency permits
Whether it authorizes discharges to water bodies, or widening a highway, or adding emissions to the air, or approving more water withdrawals, we can draft comments on your organization's behalf. We can also file challenges to permits at the appropriate administrative tribunal.
Incorporating as an environmental nonprofit and drafting your governance documents, acquiring an urban farm, reviewing an easement for green infrastructure, or drafting legislation? We do various kinds of transactional work related to environment and energy.
From designing a community toolkit to writing a white paper to preparing for public testimony, we can provide legal analysis to support your policy and advocacy objectives.
Citizen enforcement of environmental laws
When the government decides to not go after someone who violated our environmental laws, we can provide legal representation to allow you to enforce them yourself in order to prevent more violations, to deter future ones, and to remedy any harm done.
Requesting public records should be easy, but it isn't. We can work with your organization to develop record requests in part by helping to frame the legal issues involved. We can also challenge government bodies when they fail to provide records according to the law.