October 2023 Newsletter

Posted Oct 31, 2023, by Alex Downing

Read our monthly e-newsletter, which will update you on our work, current action items, and upcoming events.


Fall Fund

Saturday, October 14th was CCJ’s 9th Annual Fall Fundraiser in Washington Park! Around 90 people attended and we raised $3,200 for our environmental and economic justice work in Washington and Greene Counties. We’re so glad that so many of you were able to enjoy an evening of food, music, community, and fun. 💃🎉🍲

This event often highlights the connections we’ve made throughout the year, and this time was no exception. We got to spend time with friends and supporters from the fight to get water for New Freeport, the release of the Pitt study results, air monitoring in Washington County, and our other environmental and economic justice work across the region. And we hope those who attended got to see some familiar faces and make some new connections, too!


This event would not have been such a success without the support of over 100 partners, donors, and volunteers who helped provide food, beverages, dishes, music, art, raffle & silent auction items, and so much more. We thank you all for coming and can’t wait to do it all again a year from now!

Our Work in the Past Month


2023 is an Important Election Year! Part Two: County and Municipal Elections

By Nina Victoria | October 18, 2023

The upcoming November 7th election may seem to lack luster – we will not be voting for President or Governor – but we do have the opportunity to vote for […]

Read More

2023 is an Important Election Year! Part One: Judicial Elections

By Nina Victoria | October 18, 2023

It’s an “off-year” for elections – we don’t vote for President, Governor, or for state or federal congressional representatives. But this is still an important election year. This year, Pennsylvanians […]

Read More

Take Action

Toy Drive Cover Graphic

Holiday Toy Drive with Club Serenity

Through our advocacy work with the Washington County Opioid Overdose Coalition and its members, we have developed relationships with individuals and families throughout our communities who have felt and continue to feel the impacts of the opioid crisis. As many of you know dearly, the opioid crisis affects entire families in our communities. That’s why we're excited to support Club Serenity’s Holiday Toy Drive this year. CCJ is proud to be supporting this initiative as it will help to provide Christmas gifts to children across Washington County impacted one way or another by this crisis.

We will be collecting donations of new and lightly-used toys for kids of all ages for this year’s Santa’s Workshop event at Club Serenity on December 16th and 17th from 12-4:00 PM. There will be a collection box in our office located at 31 E Chestnut St. in Washington, PA until December 15th. For further information or to confirm a drop-off time, please contact our Field Program Coordinator, Paul at 412-229-7333 or paul@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org

UPMC's Acquisition of Washington Health System - How Are You Feeling About It?

Since news broke this summer about UPMC acquiring Washington Health System, we've heard from some people who are excited and we've heard from others who are concerned. We've heard from partners who have shared information describing UPMC as a bad actor, and we've heard from individuals who have received great care in their facilities. This is a complex issue, and we want to know more about how our members are thinking about it and what your concerns are, if any. We want to take our cues from you while making sure you have access to the information you need. Help us do so by filling out this brief survey and sharing your thoughts about the situation.

Tell Your County Commissioners to Practice Transparency When Spending Opioid Settlement Funds

Millions of dollars are coming to Washington and Greene County from the recent nationwide opioid settlements. These funds are explicitly intended to be used for Harm Reduction, Recovery, and Substance Use Disorder services and we want to make sure they get used on strategies that have been proven to mitigate harm and decrease overdoses in our communities. If you’re in one of those counties, sign our petition calling on your county commissioners to be transparent and listen to community input when spending these funds. Please note this petition is available to Washington and Greene County residents only!

Public Notices

Read all of the latest relevant public notices from the past month for Washington and Greene Counties as of October 30th here.

Upcoming Events

Center for Coalfield Justice Events

CANCELED - CCJ November Community Meeting

We have hosted far more events than normal in the past two months, so we will no longer be holding a community meeting in November. We encourage you to take time to check out our website and social media to learn about environmental and economic justice issues in our region. And this holiday season, try to have conversations with your family, friends, and neighbors about what you want to preserve and promote in your community.

Ally and Community Events


11/8 — Fracking Science Compendium 9.0 International Release & Briefing

  • 1:00 PM on Zoom
  • Join scientists and health professionals for a webinar release and briefing of the Fracking Science Compendium, a major new report that synthesizes findings from over 2,500 scientific studies, government reports, and journalistic findings. The experts, who have tracked and assessed the data for over a decade, will provide a critical accounting of the health and climate implications of drilling and fracking, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and gas stoves, among other gas-related impacts. If you RSVP and cannot make it, you will be sent a recording afterward.
  • RSVP for the webinar here

11/9 — 2023 Community Sentinel Awards

  • In-person: 6-8:30 PM at Phipps Conservatory (Pittsburgh); Virtual: 7-8:30 PM

  • Presented by FracTracker Alliance and Halt the Harm Network, the Community Sentinel Award for Environmental Stewardship is an annual award that recognizes grassroots environmental leaders across the nation. Our Executive Director Sarah Martik is one of this year’s honorees!

  • Tickets available with donation here

11/16 — 15th Annual Yough Defense Party

  • 2-11:00 PM at Falls City Pub (Ohiopyle)
  • Join our friends at the Youghiogheny Riverkeeper and Mountain Watershed Association for food, music, and a great evening at their annual fundraiser celebrating 30 years of work in the Youghiogheny River Watershed. Tickets are $20.
  • Buy your tickets here

11/18 — Scenery Hill Christmas Art Market & Light Up Night

  • 12-7:00 PM at The Shoppes of Scenery Hill
  • Visit Scenery Hill and get into the Christmas spirit. Get a head start on buying gifts at the Christmas Market, get a picture with Santa, and watch the tree lighting at 5 PM. And enjoy art, crafts, and kids’ activities while staying warm with baked goods and hot drinks around a fire.
  • More info here

Weekly Events

Tuesdays & Saturdays — Greene County Flea Market

Second Saturday Monthly — Free Food Pantry

You can find community events in Washington County here and Greene County here.

Support Our Work

We could not do this work without the continued support of our members and supporters. Please help us to continue our work to fight for environmental justice in Southwestern Pennsylvania by becoming a member of CCJ. Recurring monthly donations help to best support our work. Any gift made to the Center for Coalfield Justice is 100% tax-deductible.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns by responding to this email or reaching me at the email below.



Alex Downing

Digital Media Strategist

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