about MEA

Our Mission

Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit law center that combines the power of law with the resolve of communities facing environmental injustice to secure and protect the rights of all people to healthy water, land, and air.


progress & victories

Our Impact

MEA plays a unique and vital role in protecting the environment and the health of Wisconsin families. With the support of our generous donors, we are pushing past special interest interference and winning important legal victories. 

Preventing Exposure to Toxic PFAS Chemicals

When people living in Marinette and Peshtigo learned their wells were contaminated with toxic PFAS, they sought legal assistance from MEA. Together we began advocating for a statewide water quality standard to limit PFAS in groundwater. The process was nearly derailed by industry lobbyists, but we fought back and successfully spurred the state to move forward with establishing groundwater standards. 

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Accelerating the Transition to a Clean Energy Future

When two of Wisconsin’s largest utility companies proposed plans to unfairly reduce the amount that rooftop solar owners receive for excess energy they return to the grid, MEA took legal action to support affordable solar power in Wisconsin. State regulators ultimately sided with our client, 350 Wisconsin, and rejected the proposals.

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Preventing a Great Lakes Water Bottling Scheme

When a Bayfield County company sought approval to bottle and sell water from a private artesian well within Lake Superior’s watershed, MEA attorneys provided legal representation to a group of local residents determined to prevent the privatization and commodification of Great Lakes water.

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Preserving Environmental Oversight of Large Livestock Operations

When a lawsuit filed by factory farm groups threatened to eliminate environmental oversight of the state’s largest livestock operations, MEA took legal action on behalf of Wisconsin Farmers Union to preserve the environmental protections that family farms and rural residents rely on.

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Ensuring Public Access to PFAS Pollution Records

When Dane County and the Madison Water Utility violated Wisconsin’s Public Records Law by failing to produce records related to PFAS contamination, MEA filed two lawsuits in circuit court to successfully compel disclosure of the documents.

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Where we work

The state of Wisconsin encompasses territories of Dakota, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Mohegan, Mohican, Ojibwe, Oneida, Pequot, and Potawatomi nations. Most of these nations and their peoples remain present within what we now call Wisconsin. MEA endeavors to support Native people and governments through the work we do, and we encourage others to do the same. 



There are many ways to support our work.

Please make a gift today.