Steven E. Chester

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Senior Counsel, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone

Chairman, Board of Directors, Center for Climate Strategies

Steven Chester is with the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, in its Energy, Environmental, and Regulatory Practice Group, where he provides legal counsel to clients on a broad range of environmental and energy compliance and business transaction matters. From August, 2011 to March, 2014, Steve served as Deputy Assistant Administrator in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S.EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). As a Presidential Appointee, Steve was responsible for maintaining a strong federal-state enforcement partnership, and providing policy and management oversight of U.S.EPA’s water, wetlands, federal facility, chemical, and criminal enforcement programs.  Steve also served as a member on the E-Enterprise Workgroup, a joint initiative of the U.S. EPA and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) to improve environmental outcomes through the use of advanced monitoring and information technologies.     

From 2003 to 2010, Steve served in the Cabinet of Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm as Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. As Director, he was responsible for overseeing the management of Michigan's air quality, water and wetland resources, solid and hazardous waste, oil and gas, land management, and remediation and redevelopment programs.  While Director, Steve chaired the 35-member Michigan Climate Action Council in the development of a climate action plan to mitigate the adverse impacts of greenhouse gases on Michigan's residents and environment. He also co-Chaired a multi-stakeholder initiative on energy efficiency and clean technology development to diversify and grow Michigan's economy, reduce energy costs, and improve environmental quality.

During his career, Steve has demonstrated a deep commitment to environmental protection and natural resource preservation. He is a frequent lecturer on climate and environmental issues at Michigan universities and colleges, and has taught a “Climate Change Law and Policy” course at Michigan State University, College of Law. In December 2009, he attended the COP 15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of a Six State Delegation. Working with the Center for Climate Strategies, Steve facilitated development of the Adaptation Chapter of the State of New York’s Climate Action Plan. He served on the Michigan State University Sustainability Advisory Group during development of a campus-wide sustainability plan. Steve also served as Chair of the Environmental Counsel of States (ECOS) Compliance Committee from 2008 to 2010, and Chair of the ECOS Water Committee from 2005 to 2007. In 2010, he was recognized by the Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter, as Environmentalist of the Year, and that same year he received the Partner in Conservation Award from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Nominated by his legal peers, Steve has been a Fellows Member of the Michigan State Bar Foundation since 2007.