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Public Interest Law Project

Rob Kirschner

October 10, 2011

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Environmental Protection Agency (Region 10)

During this past summer, I interned for the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 Office of Regional Counsel (ORC). Located in Seattle, the ORC represents Region 10 in enforcement actions arising under federal pollution laws in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. In addition, ORC attorneys counsel regional staff on issues involving environmental, administrative, and federal Indian law.

As an intern for the agency, I gained valuable experience in environmental enforcement. Over the course of the summer, I worked on numerous projects involving environmental and federal Indian law issues. Several of these projects included writing memos to attorneys on issues involving the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). I also wrote a paper on the applicability of the Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), CWA and CERCLA to Indian tribes.

In addition to working on interesting projects, my internship also afforded me the opportunity to regularly accompany EPA and U.S. Department of Justice attorneys to negotiations with regulated entities. Attending these negotiations provided me with valuable exposure to different negotiating techniques. I also frequently sat in on meetings with regional air and water staff which provided me with a great opportunity to learn about client counseling.

As a law student committed to pursuing a career in environmental law, interning for the EPA was an invaluable learning experience. In addition to enhancing my knowledge of environmental law, I received helpful training from outstanding attorneys that are eager to share their expertise with law students. I am grateful to PILP for providing me with the financial assistance to make this rewarding experience possible. 


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