“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.”
Article 1 Section 27 PA Constitution Environmental Rights Amendment
Pennsylvania’s forests and mountains, lakes and streams, parks and trails provide countless opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. But the very existence of these healthy ecosystems is a testament to hard fought – and won – public and private battles that previous generations of Pennsylvanians waged. These citizen advocates understood the important role that conservation and environmental protection play in maintaining these special places. PennFuture continues this work today.

Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

The Environmental Rights Amendment guarantees Pennsylvanians an enforceable right to ensure their government acts in a manner that protects our right to a healthy environment, and it imposes an obligation on the government to manage our public resources in a manner that conserves them for current and future generations. PennFuture advocates and takes legal actions to ensure that all levels of government are fulfilling their constitutional duty to protect these fundamental rights.

Focus Areas

Enough is Enough.
For more than a century, Pennsylvania’s extractive industries have created a legacy that continues to threaten our natural resources and beautiful places.

Help PennFuture fight this fight

Are Your Representatives Protecting Your Health and the Environment?
Find out here in Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard:

Challenges: What We're Up Against

  • 3,000 Miles

    Over 3,000 miles of streams and rivers are polluted with acid mine drainage from coal mining--ruining aquatic ecosystems, impacting drinking water, and leaving many waterways colored orange.
  • 30%

    The public owns 30% of PA’s forest land. But with the development of shale gas, state government quickly moved to capitalize by leasing out hundreds of thousands of acres of mineral rights beneath our state forest and game lands. 
  • 50 Years

    It’s been over 50 years since some of our infrastructure has been built. Many communities are dealing with corrosion and Combined Sewer Overflow that can lead to lead, mercury, bacteria and other toxins leaching into our drinking water.



PennFuture works to create and strengthen laws and policies through advocacy and voicing the importance of resource protection to municipal, state, and federal agencies. Once protective measures are in place, our legal team ensures polluters comply with the law. 

PennFuture recognizes that government regulators have a difficult job ensuring all people and industries comply with environmental laws intended to protect the environment and public health. That’s why we pay close attention to permitting decisions made by state and federal agencies. We provide oral and written comments and testimony to ensure all relevant environmental impacts are considered. If necessary we hold them accountable, through appeals and lawsuits to ensure compliance and protection.

Take Action

Renewed Government Investment

PennFuture is working to restore Pennsylvania’s public investment in environmental protection and conservation through renewed funding for Growing Greener programs and budget increases for DCNR, DEP, and state wildlife agencies. 

Support Our Work

YOU Can Be a Watchdog

Report pollution and help bring problems to the attention of PennFuture and regulators.  

As you walk in the woods, paddle down a river, or pass by an industrial area you may see signs of pollution from illegal discharges or activities. 

REPORT these to the Department of Environmental Protection for investigation. 

Report a Violation