Christy is originally from the Toledo area and remains loyal to her Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan roots, but is pleased to now call Columbus home. Christy lives in the Bexley area with her husband and two young daughters, who are a constant source of mischief, inspiration, and fun.
Christy Rideout Schirra is an experienced environmental attorney, focusing her practice on a wide range of environmental issues involving transactional, regulatory, and litigation-related advising. Christy advises clients on matters involving the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, hazardous and solid waste regulation under CERCLA and RCRA, underground storage tank regulations, and the Clean Air Act.
Christy regularly counsels clients on environmental compliance, permitting, and due diligence matters. Christy’s clients include both public and private entities, such as manufacturers, developers, midstream companies, oil and gas exploration and production companies, counties, and municipalities. Christy assists clients in navigating issues in business and real estate transactions, and in understanding the impacts of environmental rulemakings on businesses and industries. In addition to her transactional and regulatory practice, Christy handles all aspects of litigation in administrative, state, and federal courts, often involving enforcement defense, permitting appeals, and cost recovery matters. Christy also represents clients before the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and in oil and gas litigation and regulatory matters.
Before joining Bricker, Christy served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, representing Ohio EPA on matters relating to water pollution control and drinking and ground water laws and rules. Christy also worked as a legal extern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 Office of Regional Counsel, and the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.
Professional & Community Activities
- Ohio State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Treasurer, 2021-2023
- Ohio Women's Bar Association Leadership Institute, 2021-2022 Class
- Advisory Board Member, Institute for Energy Law
- Women's Energy Network
- Environmental Law Committee Chair, Columbus Bar Association, 2018-2019
- University of Michigan Alumni Club of Central Ohio, 2012-present
- Co-Chair, Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Seminar, Ohio State Bar Association, 2017
- Planning Committee Member, Barrister Leadership Program, Columbus Bar Association, 2017
- Graduate, Barrister Leadership Program, Columbus Bar Association, 2016
Presentations & Published Works
- Presenter, “From Brown to Bright: Developing Brownfields for Solar Projects in Ohio,” Bricker Webinar, September 2020
- Presenter, “Environmental Permitting Appeals and Pipeline Construction: Are the Circuit Courts the New Environmental Review Courts?,” Institute for Energy Law, June 2020
- Presenter, “Permitting of Utility Scale Solar Projects in Ohio,” Bricker Webinar, June 2020
- Author, "US EPA Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy in Wake of COVID-19", Institute for Energy Law, Energy Law Advisor, Issue 2- May 2020
- Presenter, “A Tale of Two Permits: The District Court of Montana’s Vacatur of Nationwide Permit 12 and Ohio EPA Draft General Permit for Ephemeral Streams,” Bricker Webinar, May 2020
- Presenter, "Energy Infrastructure Development in the Great Lakes Region: Considerations and Trends," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Environmental Conference, December 2018
- Presenter, “What to Do When the EPA Shows Up,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, 2018 Winter Municipal Civil Law Seminar
Bar Admissions & Activities
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association
- Member, Columbus Bar Association
- Admitted, U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2018
- Admitted, Southern District of Ohio, 2016
- Admitted, Northern District of Ohio, 2015
- Admitted, State of Ohio, 2011
Awards & Recognition
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Litigation – Environmental), 2022
- Top Author, JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards, 2021
- Case Western Reserve University (J.D., cum laude, 2011); Publications Editor, Health Matrix: Journal of Law Medicine, 2010-2011
- University of Michigan (B.A. with distinction in History and Spanish, 2007)
- Represented a public client in defending against an administrative appeal of a wastewater permit-to-install issued to the client by Ohio EPA, effectively achieving dismissal at the administrative court level and affirmation of the dismissal by the appellate court. Village of Albany v. Butler, et al., 95 N.E.3d 450, 2018-Ohio-660.
- Successfully represented a wind power developer in Ohio state court in obtaining a ruling preventing several state regulatory agencies from releasing highly sensitive trade-secret protected information. Blue Creek Wind Farm, LLC v. ODNR, Franklin C.P. No. 16CVH05-4414 (July 11, 2017).
- Succeeded in defending the appeals of several air pollution control permits issued by Ohio EPA in support of a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline project before the Sixth Circuit, allowing the project to timely proceed. Protecting Air for Waterville v. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, 763 Fed.Appx. 504 (6th Cir. 2019).
- Serve as a key member of the litigation team involving the ongoing clean-up of an historic landfill pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the costs of which may exceed $100 million, and which involves dozens of parties and has a long procedural history.
- Promptly negotiated the settlement on behalf of a public sector client of an enforcement action brought by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office pertaining to water and sewer-related issues.
- Negotiated an administrative settlement on behalf of a midstream oil and gas company of numerous alleged violations involving the fill of wetlands and streams brought by Ohio EPA.
- Coordinated environmental due diligence and permitting matters for an equity investor in a utility scale wind project in Ohio.
- Provided environmental legal counsel related to the construction and operation of an 800 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in northeast Ohio, including as Ohio counsel responsible for assisting with a closing in excess of $890 million of debt and equity financing for the construction of the project
- Served as legal counsel for environmental issues related to the construction, operation, and $1.6 billion debt and equity financing of an 1875-megawatt natural gas electric generating facility in eastern Ohio, and continue to provide ongoing advising as Ohio counsel on environmental regulatory and permitting matters.
- Represent several trade groups on Ohio environmental policy issues, including regularly advising on rulemakings at Ohio EPA and ODNR.
- Provided Ohio-specific legal counsel to an oil and gas exploration company on numerous ongoing litigation matters at the trial and appellate level primarily involving oil and gas lease disputes.