Securing the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate
for all present and future generations

Pennsylvania

Legal Updates

August 19, 2014

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – At a public hearing this morning, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted not to move forward with 20-year-old Ashley Funk’s climate change petition. Ashley, a Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania native, filed her petition for rulemaking last September to the EQB and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to strictly limit and regulate fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and to establish an emissions reduction strategy in line with achieving 350 parts per million atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2100. OUR CHILDREN'S TRUST is consulting with Ashley Funk and local counsel about next steps following the denial of Ashley's petition for rulemaking. Based on Pennsylvania's Environmental Rights Amendment, Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we are pursuing additional legal avenues for enforcing the youth's constitutional rights to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate in Pennsylvania.

Read the full press release.

May 30, 2014

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- Today, 20-year-old Ashley Funk's attorney, Kenneth Kristl from Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, submitted comments in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Report on Ashley's climate change petition.

Read the full press release here.

April 15, 2014

The Pennsylvania DEP issued a written Report on Ashley's climate change petition. Ashley's attorneys will submit comments on the Report next month.

November 19, 2013

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Today, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board voted to accept Ashley Funk’s climate change petition for rulemaking. Ashley, a 20-year-old from Mount Pleasant, PA, filed her revised climate change petition in September to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to strictly limit and regulate fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and to establish an emissions reduction strategy that will achieve safe atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by 2100. In October, the DEP determined that the petition met its petition policies. Today, Ashley’s attorney, Kenneth Kristl from Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, made a five-minute presentation on the petition to the Board before they put the petition to vote.

Read the press release and check out the petition for rulemaking!

January 18, 2013

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection filed Preliminary Objections in the Commonwealth Court.

December 19, 2012

Ashley Funk appealed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality's Nov. 16th denial of her petition for rulemaking. Because of a complicated jurisdictional question, Ashley filed a Petition for Review of Final Agency Action in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at the same time that she filed a Notice of Appeal with the Environmental Hearing Board, an administrative appeals board.

October 2, 2012

Ashley Funk submitted a revised petition for rulemaking after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection denied her previous petition.

July 23, 2012

Youth filed a new petition for rulemaking with five Pennsylvania agencies asking them to adopt rules to reduce the state's carbon dioxide emissions by 6% per year starting in 2013, in line with our nation's best science on climate recovery. Pennsylvania ranks among the top 4 states in the nation for carbon emissions. And it is ground zero for hydro-fracking and coal.

On the same day, Petitioner Ashley Funk sent her story TRUST Pennsylvania to over 200 state and federal decision-makers along with her personal letter calling for action on emissions reductions. Ashley will continue her work against fracking and climate change as she goes off to college this fall. We look forward to the day when Ashley will be making our nation's policies!

May 4, 2011

A petition for rule making was filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on behalf of Pennsylvania youth.

Climate Change Impacts in Pennsylvania

The following points are taken from the petition filed May of 2011. Click on each topic below for more information.

1. Pennsylvania's Changing Climate

2. Climate Change and Pennsylvania Water Supply

3. Threats to Pennsylvania Plants and Wildlife

4. Climate Change impacts on Human Health

5. Threats to Pennsylvania Economy