Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit environmental law center that works for healthy water, air, land and government for this generation and the next. We believe that every citizen has the potential to make a difference.


September 2017 update:

On September 7, Media Trackers, a group funded by American Majority (a Virginia-based group founded by a tea party leader) published a piece on opponents to a bill that would repeal Wisconsin's "prove it first" sulfide mining law. Media Trackers mentions Laura Gauger and her fundraising campaign to pay for legal costs associated with citizens suing to hold the Flambeau mine accountable for pollution. The group links to this 2014 webpage and falsely claims that Gauger is still
"asking for money."

The facts are that this campaign began in September  2014 and MEA has not received any donations on Laura's behalf since January 2015. Midwest Environmental Advocates is proud to have stood with Laura and to have been a fiscal sponsor for this effort.


Punished for standing up for clean water

Laura Gauger's story 

I am a citizen plaintiff in a Clean Water Act case against Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining corporations in the world. The case involved illegal discharges of pollutants into a stream at the company’s Flambeau Mine near Ladysmith, Wisconsin.  But now I am being punished by having to pay a substantial portion of the polluter’s court costs.

Will you stand with the “little guy” and contribute to my fundraiser?

My co-plaintiffs and I won the case in U.S. District Court and exposed Rio Tinto’s highly touted “model mine” for what it is – just one more example of how metallic sulfide mines always pollute. Unfortunately, however, the ruling was overturned on a technicality. Now the court is ordering the plaintiffs, including me as an individual, to pay the polluter’s court costs. To read all the details, including court documents, please visit the Flambeau Mine Exposed website.

The bill is over $60,000, and my share is $20,500.  

This is an assault to all citizen activists. If polluters can get away with bullying even one person for trying to enforce the Clean Water Act, it will make it more difficult for all of us to protect our drinking water, lakes and streams. Not only will it have a chilling effect on the ability and willingness of ordinary citizens to speak up, but on the lawyers we need to help us.

Don’t let Rio Tinto or any other polluter silence the “little guy” – please make your tax-deductible donation today.

Nothing would please me more than to receive a zillion small donations. That’s what grassroots activism is all about, right?

Thank you for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me during this difficult time.

Laura Gauger