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Press Releases

Press Release: CELDF Announces Board of Advisors
April 2nd, 2014
CELDF today announced the launch of its Board of Advisors. The Board is comprised of well-known and visionary environmentalists, filmmakers, writers, entrepreneurs, and attorneys who have dedicated their lives to preserve Earth’s communities through environmental and social justice.
Press Release: Town Meeting: New Hampshire Communities Advance Community Rights
March 11th, 2014
Three New Hampshire communities adopt CELDF-drafted Community Bills of Rights Ordinances at Town Meeting. The Ordinances assert rights to local self-governance and ban unsustainable energy projects.
Press Release: Cambridge, Maine Voters Regroup after Vote on Community Bill of Rights
by CELDF
March 1st, 2014
Cambridge, ME supporters of a Community Bill of Rights look to next steps after today's Town Meeting.
Press Release: Colorado Community Rights Network Files Constitutional Amendment To Secure the Right to Community Self-Government Free from State Preemption
CELDF
January 21st, 2014
The COCRN has submitted a CELDF-drafted state constitutional amendment that, if adopted, will "codify in law the right to local self-government, enabling local governments to define fundamental rights and prohibit activities that violate those rights.”
Press Release: Statement on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Ruling that Parts of Act 13 are Unconstitutional
December 19th, 2013
“This ruling, while welcome, does not stop fracking of Pennsylvania’s communities, nor does it recognize the right of the people of Pennsylvania to govern their own communities without state or corporate interference.” - Thomas Linzey, Esq., Executive Director
Press Release: Voters in Charleston “Pass Over” the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance
by CELDF
December 14th, 2013
Charleston, ME, residents pass over voting on a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning unsustainable infrastructure projects as they pursue "further study and education" to move forward.
Press Release: East Boulder County United statement on COGA's lawsuit against Lafayette's Community Rights initiative
East Boulder County United
December 4th, 2013
East Boulder County United is the community group supporting Lafayette, CO's, Community Rights initiative banning fracking - adopted by 60% of the voters this fall. They take a stand against the oil and gas industry as a lawsuit is filed to overturn the will of the people to protect their air and water.
Press Release: Ohio Community Rights Network Launched
by CELDF
November 18th, 2013
Residents from 11 Counties attended a statewide meeting calling upon communities across the state to join together in a Community Rights movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature, above the claimed "rights" of corporations.
Press Release: Ohio and Colorado Voters Adopt Community Bills of Rights
CELDF
November 7th, 2013
Ohio and Colorado voters adopt Community Bills of Rights. Lafayette, CO, is first in the state to do so, despite pro-fracking interests outspending Community Rights efforts by wide margins in both states.
Press Release: Community Rights Organizer Sets Sights on Fracking in Southern Illinois
by Natalie LongCELDF
October 18th, 2013
CELDF's Illinois affiliate Community Rights Organizer Natalie Long moves forward to assist southern Illinois communities to protect themselves from shale gas drilling and fracking through Community Bills of Rights.
ORCRN: Local Community Rights Efforts Undeterred By the Passage of SB 863
Oregon Community Rights Network
October 5th, 2013
The Oregon State Legislature recently adopted SB 863, eliminating local control over seed, including GMOs. Despite this usurpation, the ORCRN and local Community Rights groups remain committed to bringing a Food Bill of Rights to residents to protect them from corporate agricultural, including GM seed.
Press Release: Sangerville, Maine, Adopts Community Bill of Rights Ordinance to Reject Transportation and Distribution Corridors
by CELDF
September 19th, 2013
Voters in Sangerville, ME, adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance to protect their municipality from a private transportation corridor.
Press Release: Oregon Communities Launch Statewide Network for Community Rights
by CELDF
September 16th, 2013
On September 12th, community members from eight Oregon counties gathered in Corvallis, Oregon, to launch the Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN).
Press Release: Attempt to Block Community Bills of Rights from Voters
by CELDF
September 12th, 2013
A well orchestrated attempt is taking place by backers of toxin-laden frack drilling and poison injection wells to block citizens from deciding for themselves whether Ohio State-permitted poisons will be allowed to be pumped and dumped in their communities.
Press Release: Niles, Ohio City Council Adopts Community Bill of Rights
by CELDF
August 22nd, 2013
By a vote of 6-0 the Niles, Ohio City Council enacted an emergency Community Bill of Rights Ordinance that secures the rights of city residents and the natural environment to fresh water, freedom from chemical trespass, a sustainable energy future, and local self-governing authority.
Press Release: CELDF Launches Community Rights State Law Center
by CELDF
August 1st, 2013
Library of Model State Legislation and Constitutional Amendments Recognizing Right to Local Self-Government, the Rights of Nature, and Eliminating Corporate “Rights”
PRESS RELEASE: Residents in Lafayette, CO, Conclude Petition Drive for a Community Rights City Charter Amendment to Ban Fracking
by CELDF
July 5th, 2013
East Boulder County United, a citizen group from Lafayette, CO, submits double the number of signatures required to place a Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment banning fracking on the ballot in November.
Press Release: Pennsylvania Community Rights Network (PCRN) Seats Founding Board of Directors
by CELDF
June 21st, 2013
Declaring that the legitimate foundation of government is the right to local self-governance, the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network reviewed bylaws and officially launched the organization on Monday in Bowmanstown, Carbon County.
Press Release: Benton County Community Group Files Petition for the Right to a Local, Sustainable Food System
by CELDF
June 6th, 2013
Members of What’s In Our Future Benton County resubmitted a Sustainable Food System ordinance to the Benton County Clerk for approval to circulate a petition to county voters. Benton County residents are claiming their right to a local, sustainable food system free of GM-seeds and harmful agricultural practices.
Press Release: New Hampshire Community Rights Network Signs the Barnstead Declaration
May 19th, 2013
The New Hampshire Community Rights Network signs the Barnstead Declaration, stating their intention to provide education for a statewide call for legislative and constitutional changes recognizing the right to local self-government and the Rights of Nature.
CELDF Statement: A New Civil Rights Movement: Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control
May 6th, 2013
A Pennsylvania Judge Holds That Corporations Are Not “Persons” Under the Pennsylvania Constitution.
First County in U.S. Bans Fracking - Mora County NM
May 2nd, 2013
CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey, Esq., explained, “Existing state and federal oil and gas laws force fracking and other extraction activities into communities, overriding concerns of residents. Today’s vote in Mora County is a clear rejection of this structure of law which elevates corporate rights over community rights, which protects industry over people and the natural environment.”
Press Release: Thornton, New Hampshire Rejects Community Bill of Rights To Ban Land Acquisition for Unsustainable Energy Systems
by CELDF
March 16th, 2013
Saturday, residents at Town Meeting in Thornton, New Hampshire (Population 1,800) rejected an ordinance to establish a Community Bill of Rights and prohibit corporations from engaging “in land acquisition necessary for the siting or construction of unsustainable energy systems” by a vote of 57:21. The ordinance would have recognized rights to pure water, clean air, a sustainable energy future, a “fundamental and inalienable right to protect and preserve the scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the town,” and that the people of Thornton at all times enjoy and retain “an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.”...The Thornton selectmen were advised not to support the ordinance by the town lawyer.
Press Release: Grafton, NH Adopts Community Bill of Rights That Bans Land Acquisition for Unsustainable Energy Systems
by CELDF
March 13th, 2013
(March 12, 2013) Tuesday night residents at Town Meeting in Grafton, New Hampshire adopted an ordinance that establishes a community Bill of Rights and prohibits corporations “to engage in land acquisition necessary for the siting or construction of unsustainable energy systems”. The vote was 255:252....When concerned Grafton residents heard about an industrial wind proposal by the Spanish company, Iberdrola, to site turbines along the Cardigan and the Orange Mountain ridgelines in Grafton County that is being called the Wild Meadows project, they called CELDF and asked for help. Alarmed by the rate at which the state was approving industrial wind projects in New Hampshire, town residents wasted no time in drafting the language for their Community Bill of Rights with help from CELDF and holding several informational meetings to educate local townspeople.
Press Release: Highland Township, PA Adopts Community Bill of Rights that Bans Toxic Injection Wells
by CELDF
January 9th, 2013
This evening, the Board of Supervisors of Highland Township in Elk County, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that establishes a community Bill of Rights, and forbids corporations “to deposit, store. ‘treat,’ inject or process waste water, ‘produced water,’ ‘frack’ water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products that have been used in the extraction of shale gas onto or into the land, air, or waters within Highland Township.” This prohibition specifically applies to disposal injection wells. The ordinance recognizes rights to pure water, clean air, a sustainable energy future, the recognition that the people of Highland at all times enjoy and retain “an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.” It also recognizes natural communities and ecosystems to have “inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within Highland Township,”...
Press Release: Pennsylvania Landowner Recognizes Rights of Nature through a First-in-the Country Deed Easement: Bans Fracking for Shale Gas
by J. Stephen Cleghorn, PhDParadise Gardens and Farm
November 12th, 2012
Paradise Community, Henderson Township, Jefferson County, PA, November 14, 2012 – J. Stephen Cleghorn, PhD, a Pennsylvania organic farmer, has become the first landowner in the United States to use a conservation easement to recognize and protect the rights of water, forest, and wild ecosystems. The easement then bans activities, like shale gas hydro-fracking, which would violate those rights, and elevates the rights of nature above the power claimed by extractive energy corporations to despoil the environment. Cleghorn is the owner of Paradise Gardens and Farm– a fifty acre organic farm that sits above the Marcellus Shale formation in Henderson Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Cleghorn established the easement in memory of his late wife, Dr. Lucinda Hart-González who died of lung cancer on November 14, 2011. In a ceremony held on May 10 of this year Ms. Hart-González's ashes were scattered on the property and the farm was declared forever inviolate and off-limits to shale gas fracking.
CELDF Press Release: Mansfield Voters Adopt Community Rights Charter Amendment That Bans Toxic Injection Wells
by CELDF
November 7th, 2012
By a vote of 62.87% in favor, the people of the City of Mansfield, seat of Richland County in north-central Ohio and home to nearly 48,000 people, adopted an amendment to their home rule charter that recognizes a community Bill of Rights, and allows for the prohibition of the injection of fracking wastewater on grounds that such prohibition is necessary to secure and protect those rights. The resolve of the citizens of Mansfield to vindicate these rights was demonstrated by a majority vote even after industry money poured in to wage an 11th hour astroturf campaign against the amendment.
CELDF Press Release: Broadview Heights Votes YES for Community Bill of Rights; Bans New Fracking, Injection Wells
by CELDF
November 7th, 2012
Today, with a presidential election and an historic City Charter Amendment (Issue 29) before them, voters in Broadview Heights, Ohio came out in record numbers to say overwhelmingly say YES to adoption a Community Bill of Rights banning corporations from conducting new shale gas drilling and related activities in the City. A similar Charter Amendment was also adopted by voters in Mansfield, Ohio by a wide margin. It also adds a Community Bill of Rights to the City Charter and prohibits injection wells without written City approval.
CELDF Press Release: Home Rule Charter Amendment Adopted by Popular Vote Elevates Community Rights over Corporate Privileges Bans Fracking, Injection Wells, Shale Gas Development in the Township
by CELDF
November 7th, 2012
Voters in Ferguson Township, Centre County Pennsylvania adopted a Community Bill of Rights guaranteeing the right to clean air, pure water, a sustainable energy future, the peaceful enjoyment of home, the right of ecosystems to exist and flourish, and the right to exercise self-government in the local community. To protect these rights, the amendment also bans corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the community.
CELDF Press Release: Yellow Springs Village Council Makes Historic Vote - First Municipality in the State of Ohio to Ban Shale Gas Drilling, Fracking, and Injection Wells, Elevating Community Rights over Corporate Rights
by CELDF
October 1st, 2012
Today, the Yellow Springs Village Council voted 3-2 to adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the village. The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) at the invitation of the community group Gas and Oil Drilling Awareness and Education, or GODAE, a group of citizens concerned about the potential effects of gas and oil drilling on the environment. Yellow Springs is the first municipality in the state of Ohio to enact a local Bill of Rights and protect those rights by prohibiting shale gas drilling and fracking and the ensuing injection wells.
Press Release: Broadview Heights, OH City Council Passes Bill of Rights going on November Ballot
MADION
September 5th, 2012
BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – After a group of concerned residents, MADION, Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, successfully circulated an initiative petition to place a Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment on the November ballot, City Council voted 6-0 to allow the Initiative to move forward to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for placement on the November ballot. Residents collected over 1700 signatures...in support of the initiative being placed on the ballot.... “This is a victory for the RIGHTS of the local community over state preemptive law, which strips citizens of local self governing rights”, stated Tish O’Dell, MADION co-founder. “It is about ending the subordination of the rights of the people to the privileges handed to corporations.”
Press Release: Washington Communities Launch Statewide Network To Advocate for Community Rights
by CELDF
August 7th, 2012
SPOKANE: In late July, citizens from Washington communities gathered in Spokane to launch the Washington Community Rights Network (WCRN). Network members released The Spokane Declaration, calling upon communities across the state to join together in a movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature above the claimed rights of corporations....The creation of the Washington Community Rights Network comes out of active community campaigns on both sides of the Cascades.
Press Release: Spokane’s Move to Amend, Occupy Spokane, Envision Spokane, and CELDF Join Together to Advance Elections Ordinance Banning Corporate Involvement in Elections and Government While Stripping Corporate “Rights”
by CELDF
July 30th, 2012
Spokane, Washington (July 26) – Four organizations focused on limiting untoward corporate involvement in the community have joined together in Spokane, Washington to ballot-qualify a “Fair and Clean Elections and Government” ordinance. That local law would ban all corporate contributions to candidates and initiatives, prohibit corporate communications with elected officials outside of public fora, and remove corporate “rights” from corporations and other business entities violating the law.
CELDF Press Release: Las Vegas, New Mexico, Adopts Community Bill of Rights; Bans Corporations from Fracking for Shale Gas
by CELDF
April 15th, 2012
(Monday, April 2, 2012- Las Vegas, NM) In front of a standing-room only crowd of residents, by a vote of 3-1, the City Council, Las Vegas, New Mexico enacted the Las Vegas Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance, drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which places into law a local Bill of Rights, including the right of all residents, natural communities and ecosystems to water from natural sources, the right of residents to unpolluted water for use in agriculture, the rights of natural ecosystems to exist and flourish, and of residents to protect their environment by enforcing these rights. Also enumerated is the right to a sustainable energy future, and the right to local self-government.
CELDF Press Release: Residents of Plymouth, New Hampshire Vote to Ban Land Acquisition for Northern Pass
by CELDF
March 17th, 2012
“The Ordinance passed!” exclaimed Peter Martin, resident of Plymouth, New Hampshire. The vote followed a several month long campaign to educate residents and elected officials who live in the college town, nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains. ”We are very relieved and extremely pleased, that Plymouth has joined the towns of Easton and Sugar Hill in adopting a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance.”
CELDF Press Release: Residents of Easton and Sugar Hill, New Hampshire Vote Unanimously to Ban Land Acquisition for Northern Pass
by CELDF
March 14th, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 ( Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - Easton and Sugar Hill, NH) A local law to establish a Bill of Rights which recognizes and secures the civil and political rights of residents, known as the Town of Easton's Right to a Sustainable Energy Future and Community Self-Government Ordinance, was enacted tonight by all voters at their annual Town Meeting. The Town of Sugar Hill followed suit about an hour later, to enact the ordinance with unanimous voter support. The rights-based Ordinance bans land acquisition necessary for the construction or siting of unsustainable energy systems by corporations - activities that would violate the community Bill of Rights.
CELDF Press Release: Statement on Activism Related to Citizens United and a Model Bill of Rights Elections Ordinance
by CELDF
January 17th, 2012
Mercersburg, PA: With the two year anniversary of the Citizens United decision upon us, today the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) released a statement examining the activism that’s emerged in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision, and declaring the need to build a broader movement. For nearly a decade, CELDF has assisted communities to adopt first-in-the-nation laws which refuse to recognize “corporate rights.” The current activism that’s emerged in the wake of Citizens United – in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that corporate First Amendment “free speech rights” were violated by federal law which limited corporate spending in elections – seeks merely to return to pre-Citizens United days. Yet, as CELDF examines in its statement, corporate “free speech rights” were around long before Citizens United.
CELDF Press Release: Pittsburgh Council Votes to Ban Upstream Poisoning of City Residents and the Environment Caused by Corporations Fracking for Shale Gas
by CELDF
December 20th, 2011
Following hours of business before the Pittsburgh City Council, a measure introduced by Councilman Doug Shields on November 14th to ban municipal and state governments from licensing and permitting corporations to dump toxins from fracking activities into the environment that result in violations of rights recognized in City law by the new ordinance and by the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning corporate gas drilling on November 16th, 2010, came to a vote today, and gained the majority. The ordinance was adopted by a 5-4 vote and now goes to the mayor.
CELDF Press Release: State College Voters Adopt Community Rights Charter Amendment That Bans Gas Drilling
by CELDF
November 8th, 2011
By a vote of 72% in favor, the people of the Borough of State College, home of Penn State University, adopted an amendment to their home rule charter that constitutionalizes a Local Bill of Rights, and protects those rights by prohibiting natural gas extraction and associated activities.
CELDF Press Release: Forest Hills Council Unanimously Adopts Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Gas Drilling
by CELDF
October 20th, 2011
By a unanimous vote, the Borough Council of Forest Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, voted to adopt a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights. The bill, titled “Forest Hills Borough’s Community Rights and Protection from Natural Gas Exploitation Ordinance” establishes specific rights for Borough residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.
CELDF Press Release: "Peters Township Citizens Prevail: Local Bill of Rights and Fracking Ban to Appear on Ballot"
by CELDF
October 4th, 2011
Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky turned down a request by Peters Township Council to bar a referendum question from appearing on the ballot in November that, if approved by the voters, would create a local Bill of Rights and ban fracking. Judge Pozonsky ruled that the court lacks jurisdiction to impose an injunction against the proposed home rule charter amendment, and that allowing the voters to approve or deny the adoption of the amendment did not create an immediate harm to the township.
CELDF Press Release: "Forest Hills Council Votes Unanimously to Advertise a Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Gas Drilling"
by CELDF
September 22nd, 2011
By a unanimous vote, the Borough Council of Forest Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, voted to advertise a Community Rights Ordinance that if adopted would enact an enforceable Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights.
CELDF Press Release: “Legal Defense Fund Prevails Over Warren County Board of Elections”
by CELDF
September 13th, 2011
By a unanimous vote, the Warren County Board of Elections today reversed their decision to prevent a petitioned Home Rule Charter Amendment from appearing on the November ballot.
CELDF Press Release: “Let the People Decide!” - Pittsburgh City Council Votes to place Community Bill of Rights and Ban on Gas Extraction on the Ballot in November
by CELDF
August 2nd, 2011
On Monday, August 1st, Pittsburgh City Council, by a vote of 6-3, approved the placing of a referendum question on the November ballot that will allow City residents to amend the Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter. The proposed amendment includes a Community Bill of Rights, and a ban on extraction of “natural” gas within the City to protect those rights. Council members voting in favor of the measure were Burgess, Harris, Kraus, Peduto, Rudiak and Shields. Voting against the measure were Dowd, Kail-Smith and Lavelle.
CELDF Press Release: Wilkinsburg Borough Council Unanimously Adopts Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Gas Drilling
by CELDF
July 21st, 2011
By a unanimous vote, the Borough Council of Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, adopted ordinance number 28-70 that enacts an enforceable Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights. The bill, titled “Wilkinsburg Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance” establishes specific rights of Borough residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.
CELDF Press Release: Baldwin, PA, Adopts Community Rights Ordinance that Bans Extraction of Natural Gas
June 22nd, 2011
The Ordinance establishes a Bill of Rights for the Baldwin community and imposes the prohibition as a protection of those rights. The law was modeled after the CELDF Ordinance adopted by the City of Pittsburgh. Similar ordinances have been enacted by Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, West Homestead PA, Licking Township PA, Wales NY and have been introduced as bills by communities in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
CELDF Press Release: Wales, NY, Adopts Community Rights Ordinance That Bans “Fracking”
June 15th, 2011
The bill was modeled after the Ordinance adopted on November 16th of last year by the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Similar ordinances have been enacted by Mountain Lake Park, MD, West Homestead, PA, Licking Township, PA, and have been introduced as bills by communities in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
CELDF Press Release: West Homestead, PA, Adopts Community Bill of Rights Ordinance That Bans Gas Drilling
The bill, titled “West Homestead Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance; establishes specific rights of West Homestead residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government. “Our council feels that we are protecting our community's right to clean air and water as guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Constitution. We are protecting the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and our right to self govern. We are very comfortable with our decision." ---Council President Dave Weir
CELDF Press Release: Town of Wales, New York, Introduces Community Rights Ordinance That Bans “Fracking”
by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
March 9th, 2011
Two key prohibitions are enacted to protect the rights enumerated. The Ordinance bans “ any individual or corporation to engage in the extraction of natural gas or oil utilizing in whole or in part the process commonly known as and herein defined as hydraulic fracturing” and also prohibits “any individual or corporation to engage in the extraction of natural gas or oil utilizing in whole or in part the process commonly known as horizontal gas well drilling,” with the exception, in each case, of gas wells installed and operating at the time of enactment of the Ordinance.
CELDF Press Release: Mountain Lake Park, Maryland Adopts Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Drilling for Natural Gas
by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
March 3rd, 2011
Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County, Maryland has joined Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in adopting unanimously a Community Bill of Rights that also “removes legal powers from gas extraction corporations within the Town.”
CELDF Press Release: Harveys Lake Council to Consider Banning Corporations from Drilling for Natural Gas
by CELDF
February 16th, 2011
This ordinance isn’t only about gas drilling. It’s about answering the question “who decides?” Community residents first approached borough council with the ordinance and a request for a hearing in August of 2010. Since then, requests for a hearing have been repeated at council meetings in November and December, to no avail, and the request was defeated by a 3-3 vote in January. Last night’s vote came following a community meeting on the measure, sponsored by borough residents and held at the Borough Hall on February 12th. During last night’s public comment period, resident Rae Dziak, a shoreline property owner and local realtor, addressed the council saying that “property values will be zero if the lake is contaminated by the fracking process.” She also objected to “the arrogance of members of Council” who refused to be guided by the will of the people and consider the community rights ordinance.
Press Release: Mayor of Mountain Lake Park, Maryland Introduces Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Drilling for Natural Gas
January 6th, 2011
(Thursday, January 6, 2011) Tonight, the Mayor of Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County, Maryland introduced Ordinance No. 2011-01 for a First Reading. The bill, titled Mountain Lake Park’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance, “establishes a Bill of Rights for Mountain Lake Park residents and removes legal powers from gas extraction corporations within the Town.” At the heart of the Ordinance is this statement of law: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of natural gas within the Town of Mountain Lake Park, with the exception of gas wells installed and operating at the time of enactment of this Ordinance.”
Press Release: Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling
November 16th, 2010
For Immediate Release: Today, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city. The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) at the invitation of Councilman Bill Peduto, and was introduced by Councilman Doug Shields.
Press Release: Licking Township Bans Corporate “Frack Water” Dumping
October 18th, 2010
The Board of Supervisors for Licking Township, Clarion County, PA, voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt an ordinance banning corporations from dumping “fracking” wastewater in the township. The Licking Township Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance is the first ordinance of its kind adopted in Pennsylvania to confront the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling. At the heart of the ordinance is this statement of law: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation, or any director, officer, owner, or manager of a corporation to use a corporation, to deposit waste water, “produced” water, “frack” water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products of natural gas extraction, into the land, air or waters within Licking Township.”
MT. Shasta Citizens Claim County Obstructs Voting Rights; Group Files Election Complaint to Reinstate Water Initiative On November Ballot
by Mount Shasta Community Rights ProjectGlobal Exchange
August 23rd, 2010
On Friday, August 20, the Mt. Shasta Community Rights Project filed an elections complaint to restore Measure A to the 2010 general election ballot. Siskiyou County Clerk Colleen Setzer is denying Mt. Shasta voters the right to vote on “Measure A”, which was stripped from the city’s ballot earlier this week. The Measure, which would prohibit outside corporations from bulk water extraction and corporate cloud seeding, is the first ordinance of its kind in California because it is designed to assert the rights of residents over the rights of corporations.
Press Release: Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields to introduce CELDF-drafted Ordinance Banning Natural Gas Drilling
by Ben Price, Projects Director
August 17th, 2010
Today, Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields announced that he is introducing an ordinance drafted by CELDF which would ban corporations from natural gas drilling within the city. Shields stated: “Many people think that this is only about gas drilling. It’s not – it’s about our authority as a municipal community to say “no” to corporations that will cause damage to our community. It’s about our right to community, local self-government.”
Press Release: We the People of Cheltenham file Petitions to Simplify Initiative and Referendum in their Home Rule Community
by John DunphyWe the People of Cheltenham
August 5th, 2010
We the People of Cheltenham (WtPoC) announces that the 2010 Petition Campaign to amend thee Home Rule Charter and simplify the initiative and referendum process for residents of Cheltenham, has come to a successful close. Specifically, this amendment would make it easier for citizens of Cheltenham, through the petitioning process, to propose new ordinances and for registered voters to either accept or reject them, and it would make it easier for citizens of Cheltenham, through the petitioning process, to require the Board of Commissioners to review and change an existing ordinance, or if they refuse to change it, to allow the voters to decide if it should be changed.
Press Release: Local Law declares “corporate rights” cannot compete with the rights of living people.
June 17th, 2010
The practical implications of the law are significant. The Town Select Board and the people at Town Meeting can adopt laws that promote sustainable practices and development based on the aspirations of the community, rather than bowing to the claims of corporate lawyers that local laws may not “interfere” with corporate priorities. In addition, corporate representatives cannot claim to have “legal standing” that obliges the Town to allow them equal rights to testify and influence local decision-making. The new law recognizes the people as the source of governing authority and that corporations are “creatures of the state,” created with the people’s blessing, without unalienable rights. As such, their activities are subject to governance by the community in which they operate.
Press Release: Packer Township enacts law to enforce environmental standards the State says are too strong; Municipality rejects State preemption.
May 5th, 2010
The new Ordinance asserts that the “The people of Packer Township declare that the building of a sustainable Packer Township requires not only the outright nullification of the doctrine of preemption when it prohibits the people of Packer Township from adopting higher standards than those set forth in state law, but also requires the people of Packer Township to refuse to recognize the authority of the Attorney General or the courts, when those entities attempt to enforce the legislature’s illegitimate acts.”
Press Release: Packer Township to enforce environmental standards the State says are too strong: Municipality rejects State preemption
by Ben Price
April 6th, 2010
The new Ordinance under consideration asserts that the “Pennsylvania legislature has repeatedly violated the right of Packer Township residents to govern their own municipality” and calls for “the outright nullification of the doctrine of preemption when it prohibits the people of Packer Township from adopting higher standards than those set forth in state law, but also requires the people of Packer Township to refuse to recognize the authority of the Attorney General or the courts, when those entities attempt to enforce the legislature’s illegitimate acts.”
Press Release: Rural Pennsylvania Township Wins First Round of Sludge Fight Against Attorney General
March 17th, 2010
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled today against the State’s Attorney General and in favor of Packer Township - a rural Carbon County Township which has banned corporate sewage sludge spreading within their municipality.
Press Release: Shrewsbury Takes Stand for Community Self-Government Against Sludgers and the Attorney General
September 4th, 2008
Bans Corporate Sewage Sludge Dumping; Becomes Fourth Community in Nation to Ban Chemical Bodily Trespass; Denies Claim that Constitutional Rights of People belong to Corporations
Press Release: Ecuador Constitutional Assembly Votes to Approve Rights of Nature In New Constitution
July 8th, 2008
Ecuador First Nation in the World to Shift to Rights-Based Environmental Protection Using Legal Defense Fund Support
Press Release: PA Borough Strips Sludge Corporations of “Rights,” First Municipality in U.S. to Recognize the Rights of Nature
September 20th, 2006
On September 19th, the Tamaqua Borough Council in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, unanimously passed a law declaring that sludge and dredge corporations possess no constitutional “rights” within the Borough. Tamaqua thus becomes the fifth local government in the country to abolish the illegitimate “rights” and privileges claimed by corporations. The Tamaqua law also (1) bans corporations from engaging in the land application of sludge within the Borough; (2) recognizes that ecosystems in Tamaqua possess enforceable rights against corporations; (3) asserts that corporations doing business in Tamaqua will henceforth be treated as “state actors” under the law, and thus, be required to respect the rights of people and natural communities within the Borough