Despite existing environmental laws, communities across the United States are still exposed to dangerous environmental conditions. This can range from water contamination, air pollution, toxic levels of exposure to hazardous substances, the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and extreme weather events, and more. These harmful environmental impacts can have devastating effects on public health, particularly in marginalized communities.
One emerging legal mechanism to address these issues are Green Amendments: self-executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a state constitution. These amendments recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and a healthy environment. Currently, thirteen states have put forth Green Amendment proposals, including Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
Can Green Amendments help secure stronger environmental protection? Do they provide additional strength for the environmental justice movement? What are the practical opportunities and challenges states are likely to face in advancing, implementing and enforcing these amendments? Join the Environmental Law Institute, Green Amendments for the Generations, and leading panelists from across the country to explore the potential for Green Amendments to secure the constitutional recognition and protection of the right to a healthy environment and to provide a new path to help secure true Environmental Justice for all.
Samuel L. Brown, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Moderator
Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action, and Founder, South Ward Environmental Alliance
Artemisio Romero y Carver, Board Director, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action
Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, New Mexico State Senate and former Professor, University of New Mexico School of Law
Terry A. Sloan, Director, Southwest Native Cultures, and Intergovernmental Tribal Liaison, City of Albuquerque
Maya K. van Rossum, Founder, National Green Amendment Movement, and Founder, Green Amendments for the Generations