Welcome to PennFuture's monthly newsletter, PennFuture Citizen, in which you will learn the latest from all aspects of the organization, including our policy work in Harrisburg, advocacy work on the ground with citizens like you, and legal work in which we hold big polluters accountable, protecting public health and safeguarding our land. Enjoy and be sure to join us on Facebook and Twitter as we continue these important conversations!

Nominations Being Accepted for Celebrating Women in Conservation, Tickets on Sale

PennFuture is now accepting nominations for its Fourth Annual Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards, which will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 per person and are now on sale. Each year, PennFuture honors the accomplishments of five exceptional women conservationists in Pennsylvania.  The 2018 Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards are designed to encourage continuing excellence in conservation and to forge a stronger network of exceptional women working to protect Pennsylvania’s environment. 
“I am thrilled to join the many individuals who will come together this April to shine a light on the women leading the way in conservation and the environment across our great Commonwealth,” said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “Women play a critical role in fighting for our clean air, pure water, and paving a path to a clean energy future for all, and we look forward to celebrating this year’s trailblazers who are making a difference in Southeast Pennsylvania.” READ MORE.

False Choices: Why PA Doesn’t Need to Sell Out Health for Dirty Energy Jobs

By Jacquelyn Bonomo, President and CEO, PennFuture

Since its founding 20 years ago, PennFuture has occupied a unique space in the state, from brokering the most significant policy victories advancing clean energy, to prevailing in legal cases we’ve brought on behalf of communities and individuals fighting for their rights to clean air and pure water. This element of accountability has been a common thread weaving through PennFuture’s lifespan, and it extends to elected officials, state and federal agencies, and corporate interests whose actions stymy our work on behalf of our constituents, and our mission to protect the environment. In our view, the environment is not a special interest, it is everyone’s interest. We have been compelled to extend that accountability to officials in Harrisburg and question why the environment continues to be an almost invisible issue among so many of them. READ MORE.

Take the Power Back: Make the Switch to a Clean Energy Supplier  

Feb. 15, 2018 (HARRISBURG, Pa.) – PennFuture launched the “Take the Power Back” initiative this week, a new campaign giving high school and college aged students the tools they need to start conversations with their parents and caregivers about switching to a clean energy supplier for electricity. The goal is to get as many families across the state as possible to visit and take the steps to switch to a clean energy provider for electric service in their homes. The Take the Power Back initiative provides students and families with a digital kit that includes conversation starters, along with a step-by-step guide for parents to use after they visit to help them as they choose a clean energy provider. The kit also includes a social media graphic to share with friends, and an email header graphic to use while sending messages to spread the word. The digital kit and more information can be found at MORE.

PennFuture Opposes Trump Administration’s Delay of the Clean Water Rule

Feb. 1, 2018 (Mt. Pocono, PA) - PennFuture opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s delay of the implementation of the Clean Water Rule by two years, taking away critical oversight and diminishing the federal government’s protection of small waterways across the nation. The Trump administration has actively been working to repeal the Clean Water Rule, which protects sensitive, smaller water critical to safeguarding water quality and wildlife throughout Pennsylvania. READ MORE.

Environmental Groups Urge PA DEP to Implement Strong Water Quality Standards

Feb. 13, 2018 (Harrisburg, PA) – Environmental groups are urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to strengthen water quality standards as part of its triennial review process to protect Pennsylvania’s water. Every three years, PADEP is required to review its water quality standards, with opportunity for public comment.  The entire state water quality standards system is up for analysis, debate and revision during this time.  Environmental groups are urging PADEP to use this opportunity to enhance protections for Pennsylvania’s water. They are asking PADEP to set standards for bacteria, nutrients, and chloride, which will protect Pennsylvania streams from impacts like brine gas drilling wastewater and road salt applications in the winter. The groups are also urging PADEP to add PFA (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances) to the 11 proposed toxins considered for addition to PADEP’s list of pollutants to be regulated. READ MORE.

PennFuture Director of Policy Ezra P. Thrush joined John Arway, Executive Director of the PA Fish & Boat Commission, earlier this month to talk about the importance of clean water and conservation with sportsmen, hunters, anglers, and paddlers at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg for the Sportsmen’s Forum.

A New Role as Policy Director

By Ezra P. Thrush, Director of Policy, PennFuture

For years, I’ve lived, worked, and organized in rural Pennsylvania to support organizations and causes that impact our everyday lives, including the Boy Scouts, prison reform, and clean water. Recently, I moved into a new role at PennFuture as Director of Policy. I’m excited to continue advocating for communities around the Commonwealth that want a clean environment and strong ecology for themselves, as well as their children, friends, and family. READ MORE.

PennFuture Joins Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic in Partnership

Feb. 14, 2018 (Philadelphia, Pa.) – PennFuture and Vermont Law School’s Environment and Natural Resources Law Clinic have entered into a partnership that will enhance citizens’ ability to protect Pennsylvania’s waters by enforcing  state and federal laws and holding polluters accountable. 
“The primary goal of the partnership is to empower citizens participating in enforcement cases in Pennsylvania, and to further PennFuture’s mission of protecting Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers,” said PennFuture Vice President of Legal Affairs George Jugovic, Jr. “We’re very excited to establish this relationship with one of the nation’s top environmental law schools.  It will enhance our ability to protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources while providing invaluable real-world training to the next generation of environmental attorneys.” READ MORE.

Air Quality Expo Educates Citizens

By Annie Regan, Western PA Outreach Coordinator, PennFuture

PennFuture and Clean Water Action hosted the Third Annual Air Quality Expo at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library this month to educate East End Pittsburgh residents about the steady stream of air pollution from the Mon Valley - pointing out that this pollution travels and impacts their lives. The event kicked off with VICE media’s documentary, “Steam Valley,” in which PennFuture member, Cheryl Hurt, as well as other Clairton residents discuss their day-to-day routines, how they can smell benzene in the air, and how they have learned to master the technique of “breathing while running” in order to participate in local sports. Residents also discussed dealing with the alarming rates of childhood asthma in the area. READ MORE.

Public Engagement is Key to Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Goals

By Ezra P. Thrush, Director of Policy, PennFuture

A year from this month, the final draft of Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final review, approval, and enactment. Before that happens, though, a lot of work is set to take place in the coming months. As important as this document is, and its next steps for making sure Pennsylvania meets its pollution reduction goals by 2025, none of this can happen without you. READ MORE.

Coalition Hosts Press Conference on Path to Equitable Climate Solutions

(Feb. 13) Philadelphia, PA – PennFuture, in collaboration with Clean Air Council and PennEnvironment, hosted clean energy and public health leaders from the Philadelphia-area to highlight the latest resources, research, training, and progress that citizens can draw upon to move toward a future that relies on clean energy and energy efficiency technologies during a discussion. READ MORE.

Upcoming Events

Water Politics: Emerging Challenges & Needs in Defending Clean Water

7 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, Historic Illick’s Mill, 100 Illick’s Mill Rd., Bethlehem

Learn about the current water politics and share your story about why you cherish clean water in our rivers and lakes with our distinguished partners who will be taking your “water stories” to Washington, D.C. to advocate for clean water. PennFuture Director of Policy Ezra P. Thrush is among the speakers. RSVP by emailing

Finding PA's Solar Future Stakeholder Meeting

9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday, March 8, Energy Innovation Center, Pittsburgh

As a group we’ll discuss the draft Pennsylvania Solar Future Plan. We’ll review feedback already submitted by stakeholders and committed partners and invite any further feedback you have. We will then review how the draft plan will be updated, as well as next steps for the Pennsylvania’s Solar Future project. Click here to register.

Lehigh Valley Watershed Listening Session

5 p.m. - 7 p.m., March 12, Bethlehem, Pa.

Please join PennFuture as we host the second regional listening session, focusing on your concerns about pressing watershed issues in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. We want to hear from you about the critical environmental and water quality issues central to your organization’s mission. Click here for more information and to register today.

Fracking in Our Future?

7 p.m., Saturday, March 24, 1688 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh

Join us for a stimulating lecture and conversation with PennFuture President Emeritus Larry Schweiger, a leading voice in the environmental movement nationally and in Pennsylvania. Larry will address the changes sweeping our region, which include fracking, pipelines, the petrochemical plant under development in Beaver County, and the other proposed plants down the Ohio River, and what they mean for us and our children. Register today.

PennFuture's Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards

6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19, Philadelphia

PennFuture is accepting nominations for its Fourth Annual Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards, which will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 per person and are now on sale. Each year, PennFuture honors the accomplishments of five exceptional women conservationists in Pennsylvania. The 2018 Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards are designed to encourage continuing excellence in conservation and to forge a stronger network of exceptional women working to protect Pennsylvania’s environment.


Click here for more information on upcoming PennFuture events.

Work at PennFuture

PennFuture seeks a Campaign Manager to lead high impact campaigns around water issues affecting Pennsylvania’s environment and communities in the Susquehanna River watershed. The Campaign Manager will develop and lead bold, sophisticated, and integrated campaigns that generate citizen action to create and improve policies that protect Pennsylvania’s local waters and public health. The Campaign Manager will be responsible for communicating watershed issues to PennFuture constituents, the general public, and decision makers. He or she will also interpret the science for public consumption, advocate for effective watershed policies, and work with PennFuture’s legal staff to advance legal action, when appropriate. APPLY TODAY.

PennFuture's Vice President and Chief of Staff Matt Stepp enjoyed the Super Bowl Champions Eagles Parade in Philadelphia on Feb. 8 with his wife Heidi, and their daughter, Emelia.

PennFuture in the News

Feb. 21: PCN-TV and NPR StateImpact, Harrisburg – President Emeritus Larry J. Schweiger discusses natural gas severance tax during PCN call-in program.

Feb. 21: GRID Magazine, Philadelphia PennFuture’s Fourth Annual Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards

Feb. 20: University City Review, Philadelphia - Pennsylvania Coalition hosts press conference on Path to Equitable Climate Solutions: Evolving Energy Policy and Strategies

Feb. 20: University City Review, Philadelphia - PennFuture accepting nominations for annual Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards

Feb. 20: WESA FM – NPR, Pittsburgh - Judge Says Department Of Energy Must Enact Efficiency Standards For Some Appliances

Feb. 18: Bay Journal, Seven Valleys, Pa. - PA’s Environmental Rights Amendment grows some teeth

Feb. 15: Sierra Magazine - Pennsylvania Coal Plants Dump Toxic Pollution Under Expired Permits

Feb. 13: PA Environment Daily - Environmental Groups Urge DEP To Implement Strong Water Quality Standards In Triennial Review

Feb. 13: PA Environment Daily - Coalition Hosts Discussion Of Path To Equitable Climate Solutions With Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency Feb. 20 In Philadelphia

Feb. 13: PennLive / Patriot-News, Harrisburg - Gov. Wolf's budget missed the chance to stand up for the environment | Opinion


Feb. 9: PA Environment Daily - 22 Groups Express Opposition To So-Called Regulatory Reform Bills By House Republicans

Feb. 7: EnvironmentGuru - The Delaware: Four States and One Great River

Feb. 6: - Senator Yudichak Legislation on Performance Review of Environmental Permitting Programs Approved by Senate

Feb. 6: PA Environment Daily - Nominations Now Being Accepted For Celebrating Women In Conservation Awards

Feb. 2: PA Environment Daily - PA Environmental Defense Foundation, PennFuture Urge Gov. Wolf Not To Lift State Forest Drilling Moratorium

Feb. 1: Water Online - PennFuture Opposes Trump Administration's Delay Of The Clean Water Rule

Jan. 31: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Environmental groups seek more time to review Shell Falcon pipeline impact


Contact Us

610 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Pennsylvania's watchdog for clean air, pure water, and a healthy climate.