The seemingly endless rain showers these last weeks have maybe ceased, but our gratitude and celebration for Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Miullo as Climate Hero of the Month of July never will!

“From an early age, I’ve cherished a relationship with all things natural and mostly isolated growing up in Central New York near the Adirondack State Park. Some of my most connected moments have been in and on natural adventures,” says Nat. Nat moved to Colorado in the mid 70’s and has seen a lot of changes since then. No less astounding than the population increases and ravages of climate change. He was a Maritime Academy graduate, so it was natural that he would start his adult career in that industry. Sailing on the Oceans and the Great Lakes was a very eye and mind opening experience for Nat, as was rafting down the Grand Canyon on the Colorado and many other beautiful threatened white water rivers in the west.

“Eventually, after some time working for a few industry sectors, I was hired into the Reagan Administration’s, then growing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Region 8 Field Office, and served over 30 years. There I gained experience in every EPA program administered,” says Nat.

Some of his life changing work includes authoring the first Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit for a solvent recycling facility in the country, located in Henderson, Colorado, and featured in National Geographic magazine! Other career highlights include being EPA’s first clean up manager for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, now a National Wildlife Preserve, and wild events like appearing on the NBC National News (Tom Brokaw) twice during controversial investigations into criminal activities at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons plant.

Eventually, Nat was selected as the Chairman of the joint US EPA and US Department of Energy’s Task Force for investigating advanced treatment systems to manage mixed radioactive and hazardous waste. In this position, Nat was called upon to testify as an expert witness for the Department of Justice on oil and hazardous waste criminal and civil discovery court cases. “One joy was being EPA’s Region 8 Water Quality Unit Chief, being a watershed coordinator and grants specialist and ending up being a clean energy and community revitalization and resiliency Adviser to EPA political appointees,” says Nat.

At the end of his career he was deployed to several Natural Disaster community response and recovery projects. These included Hurricane Katrina, working with the Spirit Lake Tribal Nation, ND, after flood water events threatened their fragile security and livelihoods. He was also deployed to several wildfire incidents including the Camp Wildfire and Paradise, CA community recovery.

“I was EPA’s representative during the 2013 multi-county flood recovery effort in Colorado, and served on Governor Hickenlooper’s Disaster Resiliency Task Force. I was deployed to Hurricane Maria recovery with FEMA in Puerto Rico and more. These last assignments are what drew me more into connecting with those most affected by climate changes ravaging of our sweet tiny planet,” says Nat.

You would think after a long and robust career that most folks would be ready to take a break and let others do the work – but not Nat. He eventually found 350 Colorado in October 2017 and got further involved in July 2022 by signing & sharing petitions and exploring communities where his skills and experiences could really flourish. As a Denver resident he was no stranger to the Suncor Oil Refinery in Commerce City, so when he found the 350CO Suncor Committee he had the perfect space to further activate in. “Nat’s experience working for the EPA, coupled with his passion for environmental justice and determined attitude have been crucial to the Suncor Action Committee for the past year plus,” said Vic Sunkel, 350 Metro Denver Team Coordinator and co-lead of the Suncor Action Committee. From rarely ever missing a committee meeting, to digging into strategies that challenge our state agencies and their ability to effectively regulate Suncor, to helping plan events, Nat’s presence was a tremendous force from the start. 

Fast forward to March 2023 when the Suncor Action committee and other community organizations, including Cultivando and the Regenerative Recovery Coalition, came together to put on an event at Commerce City’s Eagle Pointe Recreation Center titled ‘Reimagining a Safe & Healthy Future: A community discussion for a better future beyond the Suncor refinery’. The goal of this event was to provide an opportunity to update citizens on the current status on the refinery, and for community members to share ideas about what else Commerce City could look like without the significant pollution and environmental injustices caused by the refinery. It was a great evening, and Nat presenting for a portion of it was certainly a highlight! He spoke about not only the harms caused by Suncor over the years, but about his optimism that things can really change, citing his professional experience and refineries that he witnessed being shutdown during his time with the EPA. That type of positivity in the face of so much negativity and doubt is crucial to a strong climate movement, and we admire Nat for being able to help lead others to a place of active hope.

“Nat’s input on technical topics pertaining to the Suncor Refinery have been instrumental in decisions we have made for the team, in creating public comment toolkits for title V permits, and in educating the Denver community on the environmental injustice that is Suncor,” says Vic. “He never fails to show up when he is needed and is consistently one of the first people in my inbox when a new Suncor update has arisen.” 

Nat never fails to give of his time, energy, and professional opinion for 350 Colorado, frontline communities, and the climate crisis in general.” – Vic Sunkel, 350 Metro Denver Team Coordinator

“It’s an honor to meet, learn from and work with organizations like Resilient Denver, The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC), and especially 350 Colorado. The skill sets of my fellow volunteers, their seamlessly indefatigable energy and passion for confronting and laying out demands to take action truly regenerates hope that we will survive and thrive as, finally, we confront the climate crises,” says Nat. “I really enjoy how 350CO helps educate so many, sometimes unknowingly, who struggle with everyday climate change realities. I am so jazzed to work with these amazing people at 350CO. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do,” says Nat.

“Seeing Nat at an event or on a campaign call always brightens my day – his energy is contagious! I am so happy he is being honored with the well-deserving title of climate hero of the month,” says Vic. And we couldn’t agree more! Big polluters still have too much power, and need to be held accountable until they change for the better. The skills, passion, and commitment you have demonstrated, Nat, and brought to these organizing spaces really helps shift the playing field. Thank you for continuing your advocacy and work for healthier, more resilient communities and a better planet! 


Want to be our next Climate Hero of the month? Join the climate movement and shine with your unique skills! Email