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Pittsburgh shale center names first executive director

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2014

From the Center for Sustainable Shale Development today:

PITTSBURGH, Pa., January 21, 2014 – The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) announced it has named Susan Packard LeGros its Executive Director. LeGros joins CSSD from Stevens & Lee, a Philadelphia-based law firm. As CSSD’s new Executive Director, she will oversee the organization as it implements its independent, third-party certification and verification process, which is based on the Center’s 15 initial performance standards. CSSD consists of a group of leading environmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, and energy companies.


“CSSD conducted a thorough and comprehensive national search for the right individual to lead the Center for the long-term,” said Jared Cohon, President Emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University and Chairman of CSSD’s Board of Directors. “Susan’s impressive and multifaceted credentials and her deep environmental experience in issues at the intersection of energy and the environment sets her apart. We’re confident that Susan will admirably guide CSSD toward its fullest potential.”


LeGros succeeds Andrew Place, who has served as the organization’s Interim Executive Director since its launch in March 2013. Place is Corporate Director, Energy & Environmental Policy at EQT Corporation.


“Without Andrew’s hard work, his leadership and his ability to effectively work with a diverse group of stakeholders, CSSD would not have made the progress it has to date,” said Cohon. “Since taking on this role in January 2013, he has been a particularly effective voice for the Center – making the case that environmental groups, philanthropic organizations and energy companies can find common ground in addressing issues of critical importance for environmental protection.”


At Stevens & Lee in Philadelphia, LeGros concentrated her practice on environmental, natural resources and regulatory issues. Prior to joining Stevens & Lee she was the Founder and Partner at LeGros Law Partners.


Through her work, she addressed environmental regulatory matters that involved air, water, waste and remediation issues. She has worked extensively with state environmental agencies and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For over 25 years, she has counseled clients on matters that include land use, wetlands and storm water regulations, emissions trading and institutional environmental policies.


She has also served as a Section Chief at the EPA, in corporate legal departments, and as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) from 2005 to 2008.

Professionally, LeGros has chaired the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee. She has served as a Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee. LeGros was appointed to the EPA’s Finance Advisory Board, which evaluates the interplay of tax and financing policy and environmental programs and participated on former Pennsylvania Governor Rendell's Solar Working Group. A past member of the board for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council She currently serves on the boards of the Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania and the Stroud Water Research Center.


She was also recognized as one of the leading environmental lawyers in Pennsylvania by international legal research publisher Chambers & Partners.


She earned her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.


“CSSD’s work has already served as a model for how environmental organizations and energy companies can work together toward shared goals,” said LeGros. “This is one of the most exciting challenges of my career to date – to harness the talents, resources and desire on the part of leading environmental groups and energy companies to ensure prudent development of shale gas resources.”


CSSD Participants

CSSD’s participants are: Benedum Foundation, Chevron; Clean Air Task Force; CONSOL Energy; Environmental Defense Fund; EQT Corporation; Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP); Heinz Endowments; Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture); Pennsylvania Environmental Council; Shell; and William Penn Foundation.


About Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD)

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CSSD is an independent organization whose mission is to support continuous improvement and innovative practices through performance standards and third-party certification in the Appalachian Basin.


Funded by philanthropic foundations and participating energy companies, CSSD promotes collaborative efforts by a diverse and comprehensive group of stakeholders to address the imperatives for prudent development of shale gas resources as called for by the Shale Gas Production Subcommittee of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board; the National Petroleum Council; and the International Energy Agency. For more information, visit,

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Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

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Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.