What is a Green Amendment & Why Do We Need Them?
Green Amendments are self-executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and a healthy environment. Read more about why Green Amendments are important here.
An Emmy Nominated Show
Here’s The Story, an Emmy nominated show that premiered in 2011 and is produced by acclaimed journalist Steve Rogers, is now featuring a multi-part series featuring the Green Amendment movement. The show joins Maya as she explores the history of the Green Amendment movement and meets with environmental, political and legal leaders key to the movements past, present and future. Among those interviewed is NJ Governor Phil Murphy, PA Senator Franklin Kury who originally conceived of the idea for PA, and the chief justice who wrote the iconic opinion that helped launch the movement.
You can watch the show, see Facebook live chats with some of the key players, and see the full interviews that were conducted as part of the show here: Here’s the Story: The Green Amendment
The Book That Started a Movement
The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment, written by Green Amendments For the Generations Founder Maya van Rossum, lays out an inspiring new agenda for environmental advocacy, one that will finally empower people, level the playing field, and provide real hope for communities everywhere. The Green Amendment was selected as the 2018 Living Now Evergreen Awards GOLD Winner in the Nature Conservation category. The book also received an honorable mention from the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year awards in the category ecology and environment.
Free Resources for Educators
Working with experienced scientists and lawyers as well as classroom teachers and a curriculum specialist, GAFTG developed a free downloadable Teacher’s Guide which complements the book, The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment. This curriculum is designed to engage and challenge students both with class work and community involvement.
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Learn More Below
Information Guides / Materials
- The Green Amendment, Securing Our Rights to a Healthy Environment—The Book
- Fact Sheet: What is a Green Amendment
- Radio Show: Maya K. Van Rossum on the Richard Eeds Show, KTRC Santa Fe
- Green Amendment Frequently Asked Questions & Their Answers
- Fact Sheet: Demanding and Defending Your Rights to Clean Air, Clean Water, & a Healthy Environment
- Fact Sheet: How To Implement & Apply a Green Amendment
- Fact Sheet: Protections Offered with Trust Language in a Green Amendment
- Fact Sheet: Using Green Amendments to Strengthen Environmental Justice
- Green Amendment Checklist: Essential Elements of an Effective Environmental Rights Amendment
- Benefits of a Constitutional Provision Protecting Environmental Rights
- Webinar: The Impact of Pennsylvania Green Amendments on Decisionmaking in Pennsylvania
- Webinar: Pennsylvania's Environmental Rights Amendment in Practice
- Guide of Decisions Using PA Green Amendment Since Dec 2013 Revival
- For The Generations Brochure
- Constitutional Environmental Rights Worldwide, A Research Paper
- Green Amendments, Properly Placed and Written, Are A Restraint On Governmental Authority - Article By Team of Attorneys that Successfully Argued PA Case
- THE GREEN AMENDMENT: An Idea Whose Time It Has Always Been, by Gerald J. Williams, Esq.
- Video: Here’s the Story: Rivers — PBS/NJTV
Resources for Teachers/Educators
- Green Amendment Teacher Guide (Print | Screen)
- Student Guide and more available
- Virtual Canoe Race - Online educational adventure game that teaches Geography, History, and Science in a trivia contest format
- Article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change — & Why You Have To
Good Models To Help Guide Your Green Amendment Effort
- New Jersey Green Amendment proposed
- Model Resolution Supporting Green Amendment to the NJ State Constitution
- Model Resolution Supporting Green Amendment to the NY State Constitution
- Sample Letter of Support for a NY Green Amendment
- New Jersey Green Amendment Petition
- Response to Business Opposition to a Green Amendment for New York 4.23.18
How Green Amendments Are Helping in PA & MT
- Robinson Twp, Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. Commonwealth - pro-fracking law defeated as unconstitutional
- PEDF v. Commonwealth - misappropriation of environmental funds secured through fracking leases on public lands a constitutional concern
- Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. PADEP -- failure of state to act to address decades of high level site contamination is a constitutional concern
- Marple Township Commissioners rely on Article 1 Section 27 to reject damaging development that would have devastated treasured woodland, the Don Guanella Woods
- Center Coalfield Justice v. PADEP - longwall coal mining permit revision unlawful as constitutional violation
- Friends of Lackawanna v. PADEP - landfill renewal permit ordered modified to address historic groundwater contamination
- PA Attorney General Empanels Grand Jury to investigate systemic failures of government regards to the environmental and community impacts fracking
- PA Attorney General is routinely using the PA Green Amendment to support environmental protection efforts
- Gov Wolf Vetoes law that prohibited communities from instituting plastic ban protections
- MEIC v. Montana DEQ -- industrial gold mining permit rescinded for failure to consider and protect natural resources
- Cape France Enterprises v. Estate of Peed - court rejected ordering specific performance of a drilling contract that could have contaminated groundwater supply
- Park Cty Envtl Council & Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. MT DEA & Lucky Minerals - gold mining exploration license vacated and state law deemed unconstitutional for exempting activities from essential environmental reviews.
- Robinson Township, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania., PA Sup. Ct. Dec. 19, 2013 - Plurality Opinion
- PEDF v. Commonwealth, PA Sup Ct., June 20, 2017
- Montana Environmental Info Ctr V. Dept of Envtl Quality, MT Sup Ct, 1999
- Park County Envtl Comm'n & Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. MT DEQ & Lucky Minerals, MT Sup. Ct., Dec 8 2020