Tag Archives: oil and gas drilling

Documentary on PA Environmental Rights Amendment features the Delaware Riverkeeper

News from Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a member of the Chester County Environment Alliance:

Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, was featured on the State Impact Pennsylvania documentary “Generations Yet To Come: The story of environmental rights in Pennsylvania,” which focuses on Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, known as Pennsylvania’s Green Amendment. Van Rossum and her team were instrumental in the 2013 legal victory Robinson Township v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that breathed life back into the amendment.

Van Rossum was the featured speaker at the Sept. 8, 2018, Chester County March for Climate Justice and Environment.

Read more in “DRN & 7 Towns Challenge & Defeat Act 13.” Excerpt:

…”The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its decision on December 19, 2013. In that decision the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Act 13 violates the Pennsylvania Constitution on the grounds that it violates the Environmental Rights Amendment. In doing so, the Court held that the right to pure water, clean air and a healthy environment are fundamental rights that must be given high-priority consideration and protection by every level of Pennsylvania’s government. The Court’s decision also struck down the shale gas industry’s effort to force every municipality in the state to allow gas drilling and related industrial operations in every zoning district. The Court’s decision upheld the ability of local governments to protect their local communities and natural resources through zoning….”

Watch the 26-minute documentary here, including also Franklin Kury [photo Kury speaking in the video], who as a young legislator secured passage of the state’s 1971 “Green Amendment,” which reads:

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

But as the documentary brings out, municipalities still need to zone properly to keep threats to residents’ welfare out of residential districts. And some interviewees still uphold the industry point of view that the courts should defer to the legislature, which of course is heavily influenced by industry donations, and that “property rights” confer a right to pollute and degrade the environment. Constant vigilance is still needed!

Compare to pipeline operators’ current attempts to place pipelines wherever suits them?

Tell State Senators: Vote NO on Environmental Rollbacks

email from PennFuture

PennFuture is continuing its fight against legislation that would turn the clock back on environmental protection, and we need your help and your action TODAY. We need you to use your voices to fight a destructive bill that is moving through the Pennsylvania State Senate, aimed at dismantling environmental protections across the Commonwealth.

House Bill 2154 is likely to be voted on in the Senate in the next TWO DAYS and we need you to help stop it NOW. Tell your Senator to vote NO on this dangerous rollback. This bill passed the PA House of Representatives in June and is now being fast-tracked through the State Senate. We need you to urge them to safeguard the air you breathe and the water you drink rather than turn a blind eye to polluting companies acting in bad faith.

House Bill 2154 would significantly change the environmental requirements for conventional oil and gas drilling operators, putting clean air and pure water in jeopardy.

It would reenact the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 for conventional oil and gas drilling operators, turning back the clock on standards by 34 years, rejecting modern technology.

It promotes the use of drilling fluids and wastewater without any supporting scientific evidence deeming it safe for the public, potentially leaving your family at risk. This broadly threatens surface water in rural areas, where many of the highest quality streams and headwaters are located.

This bill opens the door to more drilling operations across Pennsylvania, which further endangers our air and water.

This bill eliminates protections for public resources, such as parks, forests and wildlife preserves.

It will weaken public health regulations in favor of profits for polluters.

Your continued action is needed now. Please contact your state senators and urge them to vote NO on rolling back Pennsylvania’s environmental protections!

TAKE ACTION