Great Rivers Environmental Law Center
319 North Fourth Street, Ste. 800
St. Louis MO 63102-1935
Great Rivers helped save Buehler Park in Rolla, MO
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (314) 231-4181 1
Mission Statement
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit public interest environmental organization working to:
  • Promote the public health by encouraging cleaner energy, improved environmental performance by businesses, and more efficient transportation and land use, thereby achieving cleaner air and water, and improving the quality of life in the region.
  • Preserve open spaces, forests, floodplains and wetlands for their recreational, aesthetic, and agricultural benefits, and their values as flood storage and habitat for migratory birds and other species.
  • Protect disadvantaged populations from an unreasonable share of the environmental burdens of modern society.
  • Aid and advise citizens and organizations in asserting and defending their interests in environmental values before administrative officials, and, as a last resort, before the courts.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathleen Henry
Board Chair Mr. Richard Lageson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Spencer Fane
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2001
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit public interest environmental organization working to:
  • Promote the public health by encouraging cleaner energy, improved environmental performance by businesses, and more efficient transportation and land use, thereby achieving cleaner air and water, and improving the quality of life in the region.
  • Preserve open spaces, forests, floodplains and wetlands for their recreational, aesthetic, and agricultural benefits, and their values as flood storage and habitat for migratory birds and other species.
  • Protect disadvantaged populations from an unreasonable share of the environmental burdens of modern society.
  • Aid and advise citizens and organizations in asserting and defending their interests in environmental values before administrative officials, and, as a last resort, before the courts.
Background Statement
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm whose mission is to provide free and reduced-fee legal services to those who seek to protect the environment and public health and have nowhere else to turn for support and guidance. We exist to help individuals, organizations and citizens’ groups protect the public health and promote a sustainable use of our natural resources. Founded in 2002, our work carries on a 30-year tradition started by our founder, Lewis Green, who provided pro bono legal services to environmental causes through the law firm of Green, Hennings & Henry LLP. We are the only nonprofit environmental law firm in the state of Missouri. We work all over the state of Missouri. 
 
Our efforts are led by a dedicated staff of attorneys with extensive experience in environmental law and litigation. We are supported by a 15-member board of directors with considerable expertise in environmental issues. Board members live across the state. Currently, we have board members in Independence, Springfield, Columbia, Rolla, and St. Louis. We formerly had a board member who lives in Kansas City.
Impact Statement
Past Year Accomplishments:
  • Helped citizens in Joplin, Missouri, receive rebates for installing solar panels in our Climate Change program; helped save a park in Olivette, Missouri; stopped a concrete plant proposal in Franklin County, MO, from going through (although the developer filed a new application which we are again fighting). 
Current Year Goals:
  • Increase Kansas City Power and Light’s commitments to energy efficiency, solar and wind; protect the floodplains of the Missouri and Mississippi River from further development, and stop the concrete plant proposed for Franklin County, MO.
Needs Statement
Our most pressing needs are funding. We have adequate volunteer help but we need increased donations to enable us to carry out our work.
Service Categories
Environment NEC
Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Energy Resources Conservation & Development
Areas of Service
MO
IL
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Our successes include stopping a proposed levee for the Missouri River in Jefferson City; stopping a proposed coal-fired power plant in Norborne, Missouri; making a settlement with Kansas City Power and Light in 2005 which required it to implement wind power; saving parks in Rolla and Olivette, Missouri.
 
The challenges facing us are that governmental officials in MO are pressured into allowing polluting plants to be built in the name of job-creation while sacrificing human health and the environment. We work to ensure government follows the laws as written.
Programs
Description
In our Climate Change, Clean Energy and Clean Air program we seek to reduce Missouri’s dependence on coal-burning for our energy needs. We monitor actions taken by federal, state and local governments that will impact the quality of the air breathed by the citizens of Missouri and surrounding states, and that impact the type of energy made by utilities. Great Rivers advocates for increased energy efficiency, solar and wind. We work in the Public Service Commission and the courts on these issues.
Category Environment, General/Other Air Pollution Control
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success Our short term successes have been to draft the Renewable Energy Act and Net Metering Act and see them passed by the voters; litigate the illegal exclusion of the Joplin utility from providing rebates for solar installation and see the courts agree with us; and stop a concrete plant in an ongoing battle.
Long-Term Success

The ultimate goal is to reduce Missouri’s reliance on coal, and to improve air quality in the state.

Program Success Monitored By We know that when we file a lawsuit we discourage other bad projects from going forward. Our project will be successful when Missouri achieves 100% of its energy from solar and wind power.
Examples of Program Success
Concerned Citizens of Platte County, Inc.
Dearborn, MO 64439
October 7, 2005
Dear Kathleen:
I just wanted to let you know how much you have helped us. Prior to our meeting, a local power company (Kansas City Power & Light) had plans for two 850 MW coal burning power plants near our small community north of the Kansas City metro area. Because of our activism, the company agreed to only one plant along with making upgrades to their existing plants and adding wind and efficiency to their portfolio. ….
The local community of Iatan, where the plant may be located, is so poor that EPA’s Environmental Justice Department was alerted. There would have been no way for our small organization to pay for legal help in this matter. Great Rivers Environmental Law Center has been a great help to us. We appreciate your dedication to what is good and right, while making the huge sacrifices that must be necessary. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Susan Brown
Chairperson, Concerned Citizens of Platte County
Description Great Rivers is committed to monitoring permitting actions for sites proposed for development that will unfairly burden minority or low income populations. Great Rivers has evaluated proposed developments to determine whether permitting authorities have unfairly targeted disadvantaged populations. Great Rivers has assisted residents in Grandview, MO and the City of St. Louis in environmental justice work.
Category Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, ,
Short-Term Success As a result of our work, a company that keeps salt piles on the banks of the Missouri River now covers its piles. A company that shreds metals now has permits and monitors its pollutants.
Long-Term Success The ultimate goal is to require existing plants in low-income communities to emit fewer pollutants, and to prevent new plants from being built in poor communities.
Program Success Monitored By We will know the program is successful when the air pollution is decreased in St. Louis and Kansas Cities.
Examples of Program Success We have changed the practices of several polluting businesses in the City of St. Louis which now monitor their pollutants and issue reports to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Description Great Rivers works to protect the last remaining wetlands and floodplains in Missouri by advocacy and, as a last resort, litigation.  We successfully opposed the proposed building of a "1000-year super-levee" for the Missouri River at Jefferson City, and are working to stop the proposed New Madrid levee.
Category Environment, General/Other Watershed Conservation
Population Served US, ,
Short-Term Success The short term success will be to decrease the number of wetlands that are developed.
Long-Term Success The long-term success would be to improve the health of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by allowing them to connect with their natural floodplains and wetlands.
Program Success Monitored By Success is measured by the number of acres of wetlands preserved from proposed developments.
Examples of Program Success An example of success is the stopping of a proposed levee in the Jefferson City area. The levee, if built, would have increased downstream flooding.
Description Great Rivers seeks to protect and preserve the waters of Missouri and surrounding states. Our water quality program begins with monitoring proposed federal, state and local actions that will adversely affect water quality. Great Rivers is frequently involved in matters that adversely impact water quality. This includes assisting environmental groups, citizens’ organizations and individuals in their legal challenges designed to protect the quality of the waters.
Category Environment, General/Other Water Pollution Control
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success The short-term success would be the decrease of pollutants into streams or rivers by specific businesses.
Long-Term Success The long-term success of this program would be the improvement of water quality in Missouri's streams and rivers.
Program Success Monitored By We know what is working by evaluating monitoring reports submitted by businesses that detail the amounts of pollutants they discharge into streams and rivers, and looking for decreased numbers of pollutants.
Examples of Program Success We are engaged in litigation against Worlds of Fun Amusement Park in Kansas City over its discharges of pollutants.  We hope to have the company decrease the amount of pollutants it discharges into water-bodies.
Description Our land use program consists of assisting environmental groups, citizens groups and individuals in their efforts to preserve and protect open space, forests and wilderness areas. Great Rivers issues comments on proposed rules that may affect environmentally sensitive areas, and as a last resort, represents environmental groups in litigation to enforce the laws.
Category Environment, General/Other Land Use Planning
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success Short-term success would be the preservation of parks, forests and open space.
Long-Term Success Great Rivers has engaged in years of litigation which resulted in Buehler Park, in Rolla, MO, being saved for use as a park.  Great Rivers has drafted ordinances calling for a vote of the people before cities sell parks, in Olivette and St. Louis City.  Great Rivers is engaged in litigation to save Sylvan Springs Park in St. Louis County.
Program Success Monitored By We know we are successful if our work results in open space, forests or parks being preserved.
Examples of Program Success Examples of successes are Buehler Park in Rolla, Warson Park in Olivette, and the ordinance in St. Louis City requiring a vote of the people.
CEO Comments We have hired a full-time Director of Development and Community Outreach in order to help us fulfill our mission.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Kathleen Henry
Term Start Aug 2002
Experience Kathleen Henry received her JD from Washington U. Law School in 1989. She worked as an Assistant Public Defender and Associate in the law firm of Green, Hennings and Henry prior to helping start Great Rivers in 2002. She has handled a wide variety of litigation for citizens’ groups across the state of Missouri.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title General Counsel
Experience/Biography Mr. Morrison received his JD from Washington University Law School in 1988. After graduation, he became an Associate and then Partner at the law firm of Green, Hennings and Henry, prior to helping found Great Rivers in 2002. He has handled a wide variety of environmental litigation across the state of Missouri.
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Volunteers 50
Paid Contractors 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Richard Lageson
Company Affiliation Spencer Fane
Term June 2010 to June 2019
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Joyce Armstrong Retired
Mr. David R. Bohm Partner, Danna McKitrick
Ms. Beatrice Clemens CPA
Ms. Kay Drey Community Volunteer
Mr. P. Wayne Goode Former Missouri Senator
Mr. Roger W. Hershey Park University
Ms. Cynthia Holmes Law Office of Cynthia Holmes
Mr. Ron Kucera former Department Deputy Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Mr. Richard Lageson Spencer Fane
Mr. Hugh Law Law Office of Hugh Law
Mr. Matthew Pat McCauley Retired
Mr. Ken Midkiff Retired
Ms. Cathy Primm Retired
Mr. John Rava Retired
Mr. Sandy Rothschild Rothschild & Associates
Mr. Tom Sager Retired
Mr. Ben Senturia Retired
Ms. Jill Silverstein St. Louis Lawyers Group
Mr. James J. Wilson Berg, Borgmann, Wilson & Wolk
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 13
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $334,500
Projected Expenses $333,663
Audit Documents
2016 Audit
2014 Audit
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$238,057$228,844$212,267
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal--$0--
State--$0--
Local--$0--
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions--$0--
$1,186$401$1,732
$27,646$37,296$36,068
Investment Income, Net of Losses($262)($81)($336)
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$17,441$15,438$30,183
Revenue In-Kind$59,033$55,452$40,941
Other$0$67$128
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$219,256$228,822$238,632
Administration Expense$8,021$21,528$19,130
Fundraising Expense$64,488$30,604$39,452
Payments to Affiliates--$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.181.201.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses75%81%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue25%13%16%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$420,985$372,204$316,978
Current Assets$417,599$366,126$314,359
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$31,478$34,035$35,272
Total Net Assets$389,507$338,169$281,706
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities13.2710.768.91
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Great Rivers Environmental Law Center
Address 319 North Fourth Street, Ste. 800
St. Louis, MO 631021935
Primary Phone (314) 231-41811
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathleen Henry
Board Chair Mr. Richard Lageson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Spencer Fane
Year of Incorporation 2001