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
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More