Our Work

All of our work is informed and directed by people who live in Washington and Greene Counties. We work with people around the issues that are impacting them, which typically fall into four pillars: Coal, Oil/Gas & Petrochemical, Economic Justice, and Democracy. Through our work in these categories, our focus is to invest in the leadership of those who are most impacted and to help create communities of people that possess the skills and analysis to advocate for their basic rights to a healthy environment and thriving economy.

Directly below, you can access more information on the different facets of our work, and our blogs appear beneath, beginning with the most recent.

Updates on our Work

sign for Ryerson Station State Park

Update in Our Case For Ryerson Station State Park: EHB Denies Consol’s Motion

By Patrick | May 24, 2016

On Monday, May 16th, Consol filed a motion and memorandum of law asking the Environmental Hearing Board to remove and disregard portions of our Reply Brief, which was filed on May 9th. In event that the Board decided not to remove those portions of our Reply Brief, Consol’s motion requested permission to file a response to our Reply Brief and that the Environmental Hearing Board schedule oral argument before ruling on our motion for summary judgment.

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more input to help the lightbulb go off

Welcome Summer Interns: Chris and Sarah

By Patrick | May 18, 2016

We want to welcome our two summer organizing interns: Sarah Grguras and Christopher Thomas. Sarah and Christopher are excited to meet everyone and begin working with our members and supporters, so please say hello when you see them in the community!

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letter from DEP

DEP Has Responded to Our Letter about Environmental Justice

By Patrick | May 18, 2016

Earlier this spring, Executive Director Patrick Grenter joined other environmental attorneys from around Pennsylvania in condemning recent comments by a high-ranking Range Resources executive regarding that company’s apparent preference to locate shale gas wells away from big homes. Groups also sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requesting that the state investigate Range Resource’s operations in light of their executive’s comments. 

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Drained Duke Lake

Reply Brief Filed in Our Ryerson Case

By Patrick | May 12, 2016

On Monday, May 9, our Staff Attorney, Sarah Winner, filed a reply brief in our case appealing the mining permit for the Lower East Expansion of the Bailey Mine. We filed a Motion for Summary Judgment at the end of March and since then, the other parties submitted their responses to our motion.

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Mon-river slag pile

Update on 2016 Mining & Reclamation Issues

By Patrick | May 6, 2016

Last week, the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board met in Harrisburg to discuss various issues and updates. Many of the discussions and materials presented at the meeting will affect abandoned mine lands and current mining in Washington & Greene counties.

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Michael Mann

Climate Expert Offers Solutions

By Patrick | May 3, 2016

Just a few days before climatologist, Dr. Michael E. Mann, came to speak at Washington and Jefferson College, forest fires in Westmoreland County flooded news reports throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. With a dry early spring and very little green vegetation, forest floors in Southwestern Pennsylvania were tinder boxes ready to ignite at any moment. In preparation for the statewide trout season opener, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued a warning for anglers to take precautions to prevent forest fires in the area. The next day, firefighters successfully extinguished two forest fires that spread across 30 acres in Westmoreland County.

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fracking near a home

Standing Up for Environmental Justice

By Patrick | April 29, 2016

Earlier this month, Executive Director Patrick Grenter joined other environmental attorneys from around Pennsylvania in condemning recent comments by a high-ranking Range Resources executive regarding that company’s apparent preference to locate shale gas wells away from big homes.

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nature scene

Letter to DEP & Environmental Justice Advisory Board regarding Range Resources’ Comments Raising Environmental Justice Concerns

By Patrick | April 27, 2016

Center for Coalfield Justice, Sierra Club, and Clean Air Council send letter to DEP Office of Environmental Justice in regards to Range Resources VP comments about targeting lower income homes. 

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Climate change victory

Climate Change Lawsuit Moves Forward

By Patrick | April 22, 2016

On April 8, there was a major ruling in a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government. The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon denied a motion to dismiss the case, allowing it to go forward.

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CCJ Ryerson funding. Where did it go?

April 2016 Coalfield Review

By Patrick | April 10, 2016

Check out our latest newsletter by clicking the picture below:  

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post-mining fracture and flow loss Ryerson

Exciting Update in Our Legal Case for Ryerson Station State Park

By Patrick | April 1, 2016

Yesterday the Center for Coalfield Justice and Sierra Club filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in our appeal of the permits for the Bailey Mine’s Lower East Expansion, which authorize mining under part of Ryerson Station State Park and the surrounding area. We filed our first appeal back in May 2014 against the Department of Environmental Protection for issuing the permit which allows Consol to reduce and eliminate flow in certain streams based on Consol’s promise to try to repair the stream later. This is against the Clean Streams Law and the coal mining regulations that DEP is required to follow. A mitigation plan does not make it lawful to approve harm to streams in advance of mining, as the Department did in this case. The parties in our case are DEP, because they made the decision we are challenging, and Consol, because they have the permits we are challenging. 

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