November 2023 Newsletter

Posted Nov 29, 2023, by Alex Downing

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


Tonya & Jodi
Lois & Ned

On Monday, November 13th, members of MAD-FACTS (Moms and Dads: Family Awareness of Cancer Threat Spike), CCJ staff, concerned parents, and residents of Washington and Greene Counties visited Harrisburg to meet with legislators and make their voices heard about fracking and public health.

While at the Capitol, they were able to speak about fracking health concerns at a hearing on the recent announcement of a hydrogen hub coming to our region. At the hearing, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania also gave a presentation on their findings around public health, fracking, and the potential impacts of introducing hydrogen into our region.

CCJ Community Organizer Jodi Borello spoke about the CNX pigging station behind her house that harmed her family for a decade. Janice Blanock of MAD-FACTS spoke about her son, Luke, who passed away from a rare cancer and the importance of the Pitt/DOH health studies. Both expressed frustrations and concerns about the recent partnership between Governor Shapiro and CNX. After the hearing, the group went to Governor Shapiro's office to attempt to meet with him and voice our concerns face-to-face, but he was not there.

We left Harrisburg with a promise to keep coming back as long as it takes to get more protections in place for the people, especially the children, of Pennsylvania.

In Case you Missed It

Governor Shapiro and Serial Polluter CNX's New "Radical Transparency" Deal

Earlier this month, we were blindsided by Governor Shapiro’s announcement that his administration would join gas driller CNX for a “voluntary agreement” to share chemical information and air monitoring data at two of its fracking wells in Southwestern Pennsylvania. CNX has violated its environmental permits hundreds of times and been fined $1.8 million in just the past five years – including for misreporting pollution levels and failing to notify residents in harm’s way.

“CNX committed crimes in our county. Why should we believe or trust them now? How will they be protecting the health of citizens that live next to their facilities, including pigging stations? Why haven’t they ALWAYS been protecting the health and safety of residents and workers?” said our Community Organizer Jodi Borello, whose family has been deeply affected by CNX for over a decade. “Governor Shapiro owes victims of this industry a visit to their homes so he can see and hear for himself the facts of what it is like to live next to this industry.”

See our full statement by clicking the button below and read other responses from Food and Water WatchFracTrackerEnvironmental Health Project, and Better Path Coalition.

Toy Drive Cover Graphic

Holiday Toy Drive with Club Serenity

As many of you know dearly, the opioid crisis affects entire families in our communities. That’s why we are excited to announce our support for 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 in one way or another by this crisis. Our relationship with Club Serenity is one of many we have developed through our work with the Washington County Opioid Overdose Coalition in the past year. Read more about the toy drive and that work here.

We’re still accepting donations of new toys for kids of all ages through December 15th in our office at 31 E Chestnut St in Washington, PA. 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 November 13th here.

Upcoming Events

Center for Coalfield Justice Events

No more CCJ events this year 😢 We’ll see you all in 2024 for another year of awesome community meetings, outdoor gatherings, and more!

Ally and Community Events

12/6 — Cultures of Atmosphere

  • 7-8:30 PM on Zoom

  • CCJ's Data and Systems Manager Alli Greenlief joins filmmaker Tony Buba, historian Brian Charlton and artist Erin Mallea for Cultures of Atmospherea 90-minute virtual roundtable discussion exploring the ways that artists and community members figure, represent, respond to, and participate in an atmospheric commons. The event will focus on southwestern Pennsylvania as a region where conditions of toxicity and industrial pollution have significantly impacted social and ecological communities. It will also serve as a launch event for the Olfactory Media Library project, a mobile olfactory and atmospheric sensing station.

  • Register and Learn More Here

12/9 & 12/10 — Kiln to Table's 1st Annual Grinchmas

  • 12/9: 4-8 PM; 12/10: 10AM-4PM at Kiln to Table (352 S Ricchill St, Waynesburg, PA)
  • Join Kiln to Table for a meet and greet with the Grinch, treats, homemade baked goods, drinks, and more. $15.00 per person includes a treat bag and photo with the Grinch! Kiln to Table has generously donated to many CCJ events in the past, go support them for this awesome holiday for all ages!
  • More Info

12/14 — Clap Back Against Corporate Greed: How Corporations Abuse Our Legal System and What You Can Do About It

  • 7 PM on Zoom
  • The trend of the fossil fuel industry using the legal system to target activists is growing both nationally and globally. Protect the Protest supports activists threatened by SLAPP suits and reduces the threat these suits pose. Lauren Regan, Director & Attorney with the Civil Liberties Defense Center and Protect the Protest will host a virtual training about the history of major SLAPP suits and how activists can respond to them.
  • Register Here

12/17 & 12/18 — Santa's Workshop

Weekly Events

Event Title

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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