March 13, 2013
Contact: Chad Nicholson, PA Community Organizer


On Wednesday night, the Highland Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to retain theCommunity Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to assist with the township’s defense of a local ordinance that prohibits a proposed injection well by Seneca Resources. The corporation has threatened to sue the municipality in an attempt to overturn the law.

The local ordinance, known as “Highland Township’s Community Rights and Protection from Injection Wells Ordinance,” asserts the community’s right to local self-government, and elevates the rights of township residents above the claimed rights of corporations.

Chad Nicholson, Pennsylvania organizer for the Legal Defense Fund, declared that “the Legal Defense Fund is proud to assist the people of Highland Township to assert their right to local self-government, and their right to clean air and clean water.”

In addition to the retainer agreement, the supervisors voted to send a letter to Seneca reiterating that the proposed injection well is in violation of the Community Rights ordinance. The letter asserts that the permit recently issued to Seneca by the EPA is also in violation of the ordinance.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a public interest law firm assisting communities across the country in grassroots organizing to assert Community Rights to democratic local self-governance, to recognize the Rights of Nature, and to create sustainable communities through local law-making. We have assisted more than 150 communities in drafting laws that protect them from harmful corporate activities such as shale gas drilling and fracking, factory farming, and corporate water withdrawals, and eliminate corporate “rights” at the municipal level when they violate Community Rights to clean air and water, local self-governance, and the Rights of Nature.


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