Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

Releases by this organization

Newswire article
Monday, February 15, 2021
For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings
Facing industrial threats to freshwater systems and climate disruption, residents of Nottingham popularly adopted a Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance at their 2019 town hall meeting. The ordinance secures rights of ecosystems “to naturally exist, flourish, regenerate, evolve, and be restored...
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Newswire article
Thursday, December 24, 2020
‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments
As jurisdictions across the globe advance new rights for ecosystems and human rights to a healthy environment in 2020, on December 23, the New Hampshire Supreme Court declined to allow community members to defend the Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance. The ordinance secures rights of...
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Newswire article
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Gas Company Files Federal Lawsuit To Overturn Small Pennsylvania Township’s Rights of Nature Law…Again
Last Wednesday, Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) sued Grant Township in federal court – for a second time – to overturn the community’s law banning frack waste injection wells. The law, drafted with assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), includes language...
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Newswire article
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Major Gains for Rights of Nature Movement Met With Corporate and State Backlash
So far in 2020, important developments for the global Rights of Nature movement have been made in Ecuador , French Guiana , Australia , the Nez Perce Tribe , Spain , Costa Rica , Ohio , Oregon , Pennsylvania , the Tŝilhqot’in Nation , and the Yurok Tribe, which helped win an historic agreement to...
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Newswire article
Tuesday, October 06, 2020
Censoring the Ballot: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Corporate Control Lawmaking in Ohio
Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature and corporate control ballot measures, have filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio. Plaintiffs were petitioners for initiative campaigns that involved thousands of volunteer...
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Newswire article
Friday, October 02, 2020
Court Breathes New Life into Lake Erie Bill of Rights Legal Fight
Yesterday, an Ohio court of appeals reversed a previous trial court order, ruling residents suing to enforce the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) and hold the State of Ohio accountable for its failure to protect Lake Erie have stated a legitimate claim. The court also suggested the State of Ohio...
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Newswire article
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit
On September 21, 2020, Grant Township filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP sued the township in 2017 for adopting a 2015 municipal Charter -- a local constitution -- that banned frack waste injection wells,...
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Newswire article
Friday, September 04, 2020
STATEMENTS: Democratic Party Must Not Water Down 'Rights of Nature'
This August, the Democratic National Committee Council on the Environment & Climate Crisis released an “Environmental and Climate Policy Agenda for the Democratic Party.” It recommended the formation of a presidential Rights of Nature commission. It reads: Establish a commission, similar to the...
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Newswire article
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
REPORT: Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA
Just like the 2008 financial crisis, the federal government is once again bailing out corporate interests while leaving local communities (and their budgets) left out to dry. State and municipal public finances have been thrown into chaos. Movements are focusing their attention on municipal budgets...
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Newswire article
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit
In an extraordinary reversal, last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked a permit for a frack waste injection well in Grant Township. DEP officials cited Grant Township’s Home Rule Charter banning injection wells as grounds for their reversal. Injection wells...
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