McNees attorney Claudia Shank recently authored a series of blog posts on the McNees Land Use Blog on the Supreme Court’s revival of the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. The Environmental Rights Amendment provides in pertinent part:
Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of the people.
The Court’s revival of the Environmental Rights Amendment has repercussions for municipalities, as the Commonwealth’s trustee obligations “are not vested exclusively in any single branch of Pennsylvania’s government”; rather, “all agencies and entities of the Commonwealth government, both statewide and local, have a fiduciary duty to act toward the corpus with prudence, loyalty, and impartiality.”