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Lakes' law



Asian carp, climate change and clean energy are among the priorities for Nick Schroeck, the new executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.

The Detroit-based nonprofit center is affiliated with the Wayne State University Law School's new environmental law clinic, which started last year. Schroeck, then the regional representative with the National Wildlife Federation, had taught at the clinic as an adjunct faculty member and now will run the center full-time as well as keeping classroom duties.

Much of his work will be mentoring Wayne State law students who are working on active environmental cases, advising legislators and monitoring the work of federal and state administrative agencies involved with environmental issues.

The center and the clinic students also represent citizens and community groups who have an interest in protecting the air, water and land in the area.

"Environmental matters in the Great Lakes regions can have international repercussions, so international law issues can arise as well," says Robert Ackerman, dean of Wayne State's law school. "It's very good exposure for the students."

Formed in 2008, the center's attorneys and law students have been active. The center filed a petition in federal court challenging a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that environmentalists argue could introduce more invasive species to the area. Schroeck was part of the Great Lakes states' two-day lobbying effort in Washington D.C. last month, and Noah Hall, Wayne State law professor and the center's founder, continues his work on "all things wet and legal," as he describes it on his website:

With continued tensions over how to handle the Asian carp threat, a shrinkage of governmental budgets that could lead to less compliance with environmental regulations, and other issues, the center has plenty of work.

"We look forward to serving the unmet legal needs of environmental and community organizations in Michigan," Schroeck says.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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