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Now Online: WITF Documentary Generations Yet To Come: Environmental Rights In Pennsylvania

A new documentary by WITF-TV-- Generations Yet To Come: Environmental Rights In Pennsylvania-- traces the history of a Pennsylvania constitutional amendment that guarantees citizens the right to clean air and pure water.

The documentary was produced by Marie Cusick and StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is one of only a few states to recognize environmental quality as a basic civil right-- much like the U.S. Constitution protects the right to free speech and freedom of religion.

Article 1, Section 27, which was added to Pennsylvania’s constitution in 1971, says--  “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 its powerful language was ignored for decades. That’s starting to change.

In recent years, state Supreme Court decisions are giving it renewed life. People who once felt bulldozed by energy companies now have a powerful new way to fight back, according to WITF.

This has sparked fresh interest, among environmental advocates, in the concept of “environmental constitutionalism”-- the idea that getting similar provisions amended into other state constitutions, or the federal constitution, could be the key to reshaping not only policy, but public opinion about how humans relate to the natural world.

The documentary will features former Sen. Franklin Kury, the author of the Environmental Rights Amendment, and others involved in this issue.

Click Here to watch the program online.

Visit the PA Conservation Heritage website for other conservation heritage documentaries by WITF.


Cusick: Watch Now: The Story Of Environmental Rights In Pennsylvania

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[Posted: Oct. 25, 2018]


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