Employee Spotlight: Blanche Helbling

Our “Employee Spotlight Series” will share with you who the people working behind the scenes to bring justice to our clients and their environments. This series will include interviews from both our Akron and Pittsburgh offices to give you an idea of who are and what we do.

The employee spotlight this week is Blanche Helbling, who is one of our summer legal interns in our Pittsburgh office. She has been with us since July and will stay throughout the summer. She is currently pursuing a law degree at University of Pennsylvania Law School and finished her first year this spring.

Another Ohio Agency Opens Doors for Oil & Gas and Hushes Residents

Another Ohio Agency Opens Doors for Oil & Gas and Hushes Residents

This week, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (“ODNR”) proposed changes to three sets of rules that govern oil and gas development: OAC 1501:9-7 (Class III Solution Mining), OAC 1501:9-6 (Waste Facilities), and OAC 1501:9-1 (Oil Well Drilling). These rules serve as yet another example of efforts in Ohio to facilitate industrial expansion while greatly restricting the ability of citizens to participate in the rule-making process, all under the guise of “cutting red tape.”

Employee Spotlight: Michelle Browning

Our “Employee Spotlight Series” will share with you who the people working behind the scenes to bring justice to our clients and their environments. This series will include interviews from both our Akron and Pittsburgh offices to give you an idea of who are and what we do.

The employee spotlight this week is Michelle Browning who is one of our summer legal interns. She has been with us since June and will be interning through mid-August. She studied her undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati where she majored in Environmental Studies, and minored in Biology with a certificate for International Human Rights. She is currently studying law at the Lewis and Clark Law School.

Employee Spotlight: Megan Goedeker

The employee spotlight this week is Megan Goedeker who is one of our summer legal interns at the Akron Office. She will be with us for the rest of the summer. She studies at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland. Before law school, she received her B.A from John Carroll University in Cleveland, where she majored in biology and minored in history.

Employee Spotlight: Jake Elkin

The employee spotlight this week is Jake Elkin who is one of our summer legal interns. He has been with us since May and will be interning through the first week of August. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago where he received his B.A in English Language and Literature and minored in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. He is currently studying at Columbia Law School.

Army Corps seeking comment on new WV rules that cut public participation.

Army Corps seeking comment on new WV rules that cut public participation.

On April 24th, 2019 West Virginia modified its Section 401 water quality certification and requested that the Army Corps of Engineers accept its modifications into the nationwide permit program. West Virginia’s modifications contain questionable changes to Special Conditions A, C, and L of Nationwide Permit 12, which authorizes utility line activities. These modifications, if they aren’t rejected, would put the waters and people of West Virginia at risk for increased discharge of pollution, resulting in harm to human and environmental health.

Employee Spotlight: Jesse Barrad

The employee spotlight this week is Jesse Barrad, our legal intern who will be with us from May until the beginning of August. He is from Media, Pennsylvania. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh where he got his B.A in Political Science and Philosophy. He is currently pursuing a JD/MA at the Wake Forest University School of Law.

Fair Shake Files Buckeye Pipeline Motion to Intervene on behalf of FreshWater and OVEC

Fair Shake Files Buckeye Pipeline Motion to Intervene on behalf of FreshWater and OVEC

On June 19, 2019, Fair Shake moved to intervene in a pipeline application proposed between Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on behalf of our clients FreshWater Accountability Project (FreshWater) and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC).

Lessons Learned: PA Supreme Court Denies Request for Review

Lessons Learned: PA Supreme Court Denies Request for Review

On May 21, 2019, the PA Supreme Court denied our request, on behalf of Protect PT, to review decisions of the Commonwealth Court upholding the Penn Township Zoning Hearing Board’s approval of four unconventional well pads. Protect PT and Fair Shake are disappointed that the Supreme Court was not willing to review this decision. We feel that the lower court’s rulings will allow unsafe practices in Penn Township to continue unchecked and denying further review of these rulings will perpetuate these conditions throughout Pennsylvania. Despite the disappointment our hope is that the case serves as an important lesson for citizens and municipalities across the state.

Filing a Right to Know Request

Filing a Right to Know Request

If you are experiencing some environmental harm and you want to get to the bottom of it then you might want to start by filing a Right to Know (RTK) request with the proper local, state, or federal agency. Right to Know requests provide individuals with an opportunity to obtain any “open records,” as defined by each states laws.  Depending on the state, the laws that guide your right to know information may be called “Freedom of Information Act”, “Open Records Laws”, or “Right to Know Laws”.  For further reading on these laws check out the links for our services areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Fair Shake and City of Munroe Falls Finalizes Settlement in Lead Contamination Lawsuit

Munroe Falls, OH – Last week, Munroe Falls resident Tom Shubert reached a settlement with the cities of Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Tallmadge, and the Village of Silver Lake related to lead contamination at Munroe Falls’ outdoor firing range.

Fair Shake's Public Comment on ORSANCO’s Pollution Control Standards

Fair Shake's Public Comment on ORSANCO’s Pollution Control Standards

We at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services believe the Ohio River Sanitation Commission’s (ORSANCO) proposal to eliminate the mandate for all states in the compact to adopt its pollution control standards (PCS) is a clear departure from ORSANCO’s purpose as stated in its founding compact and the intentions of the founding states in entering into the compact and forming the Commission.