Press Release

Sep 13, 2021

Corporation Demands $40,281.50 From Town For Passing Climate Ordinance

Corporation Demands $40,281.50 From Town For Passing Climate Ordinance

As climate change brings suffering across the globe, in New Hampshire Judge Martin Honigberg has sided with a local corporate actor who seeks financial retribution against the Town of Nottingham for the popular adoption of an ordinance recognizing a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” On September 1, 2021 the sole corporate actor, Brent Tweed, of G&F Goods, LLC submitted a $40,281.50 bill to the court for attorney fees.

Read More | Community Rights, News, Press Release

Aug 10, 2021

International Agent Orange Day: Aug. 10

International Agent Orange Day: Aug. 10

Efforts by both female protagonists in ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ film have been suppressed since the award winning documentary was released.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Release

Jul 26, 2021

Tribes Enter Legal Battle Against Thacker Pass Lithium Mine

Tribes Enter Legal Battle Against Thacker Pass Lithium Mine

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and a group of Paiute and Shoshone people from the Fort McDermitt and Duck Valley reservations calling themselves Atsa koodakuh wyh Nuwu (People of Red Mountain) filed a motion in Federal District Court on Tuesday, July 20 alleging that the Bureau of Land Management violated the National Historic Preservation Act in permitting a lithium mine project at Thacker Pass.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 15, 2021

Oregon Community Rights Activists Undeterred by Court’s Validation of Timber’s Toxic Legacy

Oregon Community Rights Activists Undeterred by Court’s Validation of Timber’s Toxic Legacy

The Court of Appeals of the State of Oregon issued a one-page decision in late June upholding a trial court decision overriding the will of voters and siding with corporate timber. The court has allowed for the continued use of aerially sprayed pesticides.

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Jul 8, 2021

BREAKING: Civil Rights Leaders in One of Nation’s Poorest Cities Launch Environmental Justice, Ecosystem Rights Ballot Initiative

BREAKING: Civil Rights Leaders in One of Nation’s Poorest Cities Launch Environmental Justice, Ecosystem Rights Ballot Initiative

Petitioners in Reading, Pennsylvania have officially kicked off a campaign to amend the Reading City Charter to outlaw “toxic trespass,” the poisoning of people and the environment within the city. The ballot initiative is in response to unaddressed toxic waste and environmental racism in the post-industrial city.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Release

Jun 21, 2021

Ohio Residents Call On State Attorney General and 9 County Prosecuting Attorneys to Launch Criminal Investigations Into Radioactive Pollution in Waterways

Ohio Residents Call On State Attorney General and 9 County Prosecuting Attorneys to Launch Criminal Investigations Into Radioactive Pollution in Waterways

Under a 2002 law, introducing radioactive elements into Ohio drinking water is a felony offense.
Companies are violating this by spreading oil and gas waste ‘brine’ — proven by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to contain radioactive concentrations that exceed federal and state standards — in critical watersheds. So are state actors, residents assert.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, News, Press Release, Uncategorized

Jun 10, 2021

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

As global carbon dioxide concentrations hit their highest level in 4 million years, a New Hampshire Judge has rewarded a local corporate actor in Nottingham for opposing a democratically adopted ordinance, the Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance, that recognized a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.”

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Release

Jun 9, 2021

Clara Township Home Rule Commission Meets After Residents Vote To Consider New Government

Clara Township Home Rule Commission Meets After Residents Vote To Consider New Government

Clara Township residents voted overwhelmingly to create a Home Rule Government Study Commission made up of seven elected Township residents.

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Jun 3, 2021

Toledo Residents Give Judge Chance to Enforce Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Demand Immediate Protection for Lake Erie, Including Ban on Factory Farms

Toledo Residents Give Judge Chance to Enforce Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Demand Immediate Protection for Lake Erie, Including Ban on Factory Farms

Toledo residents in a lawsuit to enforce the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) filed a memorandum of opposition to the State of Ohio’s motion for summary judgment in their case. Last August, after the trial court granted the State of Ohio’s motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs presented oral arguments in the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to enforce LEBOR.

Read More | Corporate Agriculture, Democratic Rights, News, Press Release, Rights of Nature

Apr 27, 2021

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tish O’DellCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity OrganizerCELDF.orgtish@celdf.org440-552-6774 Oral arguments presented in civil rights appeal in the critical case for direct democracy arising from suppression of Rights of Nature and local democracy petitioning. Cincinnati, OH: Oral arguments took place last week in Beiersdorfer v. LaRose, et al. (No. 20-3557), a case that begs fundamental… Read more »

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Apr 26, 2021

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Michelle SanbornCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity Organizermichelle@celdf.org603-524-2468 Corporate ‘person’ uses constitutional rights law to justify attorney fees from the Town of Nottingham, targeting people’s use of direct democracy for climate action. NOTTINGHAM, NH: Corporate personhood “rights” are once again being weaponized to financially punish and intimidate a local community that took a… Read more »

Read More | Community Rights, Press Release

Apr 18, 2021

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Oral arguments in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio have been scheduled. Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature laws and other measures protecting local democracy from corporate special interests. Plaintiffs are petitioners for local initiative campaigns that were all successfully qualified various measures that were blocked from the ballot.

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Release

Mar 17, 2021

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township residents move forward with a Home Rule Charter initiative to protect vital waterways and assert the democratic rights of the community. Nearly half of all registered voters have signed on in support of the measure. Roulette Oil and Gas LLC (ROGC) applied for a Class II Injection Well Permit.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Issues, Press Release

Mar 3, 2021

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

Following international support for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, CELDF is honored to work in solidarity with a new French-speaking network to advance Rights of Nature in Europe.

Read More | News, Press Release, Rights of Nature

Feb 21, 2021

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

CELDF officially endorsed a proposal for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands, organized by lawyers and scientists with the Society of Wetland Scientists’ Rights of Wetlands and Climate Change and Wetlands initiatives. The group is planning to share the Declaration with the 171 signatory countries of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention), and inviting them to work with others to move toward a framework that ensures the rights of wetlands are understood, respected, and upheld.

Read More | Issues, Press Release, Rights of Nature

Feb 15, 2021

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

In 2019, Nottingham residents passed a Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance securing the rights of ecosystems and of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” Now New Hampshire courts have sided with corporations who infringe on those rights, revealing a pattern of bias embedded within the New Hampshire judiciary.

Read More | News, Press Release, Rights of Nature

Feb 1, 2021

New Book! ‘The World We Need: Highlights, Stories and Lessons From America’s Unsung Environmental Movement’

New Book! ‘The World We Need: Highlights, Stories and Lessons From America’s Unsung Environmental Movement’

The World We Need offers a vivid look at the people protecting America’s communities against environmental degradation and racism. Their strategies for saving lives, protecting land, and creating opportunities provide a model for activists everywhere.

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, In The News, News, Press Release, Resources

Dec 24, 2020

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to hear arguments on Rights of Nature and the right to a Healthy Climate. Amidst ecological catastrophe, movements for a paradigm shift in law have made global gains in 2020. Granite State judges have chosen to reject a request for a people’s defense of a municipal Rights of Nature and healthy climate law.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Release

Oct 9, 2020

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature and corporate control ballot measures, sued the Ohio Secretary of State and Boards of Election officials in trial court for repeatedly keeping binding citizen-proposed laws and charters off the ballot. Several national organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of the appeal.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 6, 2020

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Ohioans are taking a stand against evasive and oppressive tactics used by the State to suppress local ballot measures and stifle democracy. Plaintiffs from seven counties have filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 24, 2020

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Despite recognizing the Grant Townships local law to ban injection wells the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continues to sue the township. CELDF files motion to dismiss on behalf of the community.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 3, 2020

Financial Reprisal for Enacting Lake Erie Bill of Rights? Corporate Law Firm Charging Toledoans $207,500

Financial Reprisal for Enacting Lake Erie Bill of Rights? Corporate Law Firm Charging Toledoans $207,500

The international corporate law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is seeking $207,500 in attorney fees from the City of Toledo for a charter amendment approved by voters.

Read More | News, Press Release

Aug 26, 2020

New Hampshire Supreme Court Gives Group Chance to Defend Right to a Healthy Climate Law from Corporate Lawsuit

New Hampshire Supreme Court Gives Group Chance to Defend Right to a Healthy Climate Law from Corporate Lawsuit

While local electeds refused to defend Nottingham’s Healthy Climate Law, the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard the people’s voice. Now residents are able to defend their rights and this historic law while the corporation cries discrimination.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Jun 17, 2020

Lawsuit: Columbus, OH Must Take Action to Preserve Direct Democracy During the Pandemic

Lawsuit: Columbus, OH Must Take Action to Preserve Direct Democracy During the Pandemic

Press Release: Petitioners in Columbus file a lawsuit against the state of Ohio for unconstitutional limits on signature gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic in Columbus. The Columbus city charter imposes a one year time limit on signature gathering.

Read More | News, Press Release

Jun 11, 2020

Corporate Actors Challenged in Lincoln County, OR: Ecosystem, Petitioners Defend Ordinance

Corporate Actors Challenged in Lincoln County, OR: Ecosystem, Petitioners Defend Ordinance

Press Release: Petitioners in Lincoln County, OR filed a detailed appeal to a court decision that overturned a local law banning aerially sprayed pesticides as a violation of people’s right to clean air, water, and soil and natural ecosystems’ rights. The Siletz River ecosystem was denied intervention in the case.

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Jun 9, 2020

New Hampshire Supreme Court: Allow People to Defend Against Corporate Lawsuits

New Hampshire Supreme Court: Allow People to Defend Against Corporate Lawsuits

Nottingham, New Hampshire residents appeal Supreme Court to defend their Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance. Adopted in 2019, this ordinance secures the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human societies, bans all corporate activities that infringe that right, and grants residents the right to defend the law in court.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jun 1, 2020

Press Release: Columbus Protecting Democracy During a Pandemic

Press Release: Columbus Protecting Democracy During a Pandemic

Communities across the country are watching as their rights are violated in the name of Covid. Now more than ever we see people rising up to demand democracy.

Read More | News, Press Release

Mar 25, 2020

Breaking: Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit

Breaking: Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit

PRESS RELEASE: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection enforces local Rights of Nature law. Allows Grant Township to protect vital waterways in revoking permit for dangerous frack waste injection well.

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Mar 13, 2020

BREAKING: Repressive Tactics Used to Attack Rights of Nature

BREAKING: Repressive Tactics Used to Attack Rights of Nature

Press Release: Corporate plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against LEBOR show total disregard for global COVID-19 pandemic as they demand $293,750 from the City of Toledo for defending the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

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Mar 4, 2020

Press Release: Grant Township Injection Well Ban Stands, Court Denies ‘Collateral Attack’ from DEP

Press Release: Grant Township Injection Well Ban Stands, Court Denies ‘Collateral Attack’ from DEP

A decision fro a judge in Grant Township argues that local governing authority is necessary to protect the community’s constitutional rights in the face of harmful state oil and gas policies.

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Feb 28, 2020

Press Release: Judge Refuses to Acknowledge Lake Erie’s Rights

Press Release: Judge Refuses to Acknowledge Lake Erie’s Rights

In Toledo, OH, a federal judge joined a long list of enablers complicit in the destruction of the natural world by invalidating the democratically enacted Lake Erie Bill of Rights charter amendment.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Feb 6, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF NATURE ARGUED IN US FEDERAL COURT

PRESS RELEASE: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF NATURE ARGUED IN US FEDERAL COURT

A post-court update of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights. Get an in-depth look at the arguments made in federal court as the Corporate State defends its constitutional right to pollute. The City of Toledo is triumphant in defending Rights of Nature.

Read More | News, Press Release

Aug 29, 2019

Media Release: EXPOSED: Chamber of Commerce Wrote Ohio Law Banning Rights of Nature Enforcement

Media Release: EXPOSED: Chamber of Commerce Wrote Ohio Law Banning Rights of Nature Enforcement

Investigation by Ohio citizens finds the Ohio Chamber of Commerce drafted Ohio legislation language to stop Rights of Nature enforcement.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Aug 21, 2019

Press Release: Democracy Challenged in Williams County, Petitioners Appeal to Ohio Supreme Court Again

Press Release: Democracy Challenged in Williams County, Petitioners Appeal to Ohio Supreme Court Again

Williams County, Ohio, residents partner with CELDF to fight for their right to vote in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Read More | Community Wires, Democratic Rights, News, Press Release

Aug 19, 2019

TSW Media Release: Activists Defend Lawsuit Enforcing Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Rights of Toledoans

TSW Media Release: Activists Defend Lawsuit Enforcing Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Rights of Toledoans

Toledo residents file pro se lawsuit defending the people’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Aug 13, 2019

Media Statement: Lake Erie Bill of Rights Court Case Heats Up as Algae Bloom Grows

Media Statement: Lake Erie Bill of Rights Court Case Heats Up as Algae Bloom Grows

The City of Toledo takes a stand in court to defend the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 22, 2019

Press Release: Ballot Access Stymied in Ohio and Washington

Press Release: Ballot Access Stymied in Ohio and Washington

The corporate state attempts to strip democratic rights in Ohio and Washington state. CELDF supports communities as together they fight back.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 22, 2019

Lake Erie Advocates’ Media Statement: Ohio Legislature Attacks Rights of Nature, Protects Polluters in Budget Bill

Lake Erie Advocates’ Media Statement: Ohio Legislature Attacks Rights of Nature, Protects Polluters in Budget Bill

Community groups release joint statement revealing not only the Ohio legislature’s efforts to stop Rights of Nature, but also expanding protections of industrial agricultural operations.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 18, 2019

Media Release: Ohio Legislature Bans Rights of Nature Enforcement

Media Release: Ohio Legislature Bans Rights of Nature Enforcement

While Rights of Nature grows in Ohio, the state legislature tries to ban its enforcement. Undeterred, Ohio communities continue advancing laws to protect ecosystems based on rights.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 11, 2019

Media Release: Rights of Michindoh Aquifer Encounter First Hurdle

Media Release: Rights of Michindoh Aquifer Encounter First Hurdle

While efforts mount to stop Rights of Nature in Ohio, community groups press on, insisting on their right to protect the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jul 1, 2019

Press Release: Major Developments for Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Press Release: Major Developments for Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Rights of Nature is hot in Ohio, where Toledoans take action to protect the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, another community advances an initiative to recognize the rights of a water ecosystem, legal cases continue, and more.

Read More | News, Press Release

Jun 27, 2019

Toledo Residents’ Media Release: Citizens Recognize the Lake Erie Bill of Rights as the Will of the People

Toledo Residents’ Media Release: Citizens Recognize the Lake Erie Bill of Rights as the Will of the People

As the state of Ohio attempts to undermine the will of Toledo community members, residents file a pro se complaint to uphold the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release, Success Story

Jun 27, 2019

Media Release:  Anti-Rights of Nature Language Snuck into Ohio State Budget Bill

Media Release: Anti-Rights of Nature Language Snuck into Ohio State Budget Bill

State of Ohio inserts anti-Rights of Nature language in the budget bill. In an era of climate crisis and growing efforts to advance ecosystem rights, Ohio government is on the wrong side of history.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

Jun 26, 2019

Media Statement: Ohio Group Submits Signatures to Recognize Rights for Michindoh Aquifer

Media Statement: Ohio Group Submits Signatures to Recognize Rights for Michindoh Aquifer

Community Rights and Rights of Nature continue to grow in Ohio as Williams County residents submit their citizen initiative to protect themselves from corporate water withdrawals.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release, Success Story

Jun 6, 2019

Media Release: Tacoma, WA, Group Files First Amendment SCOTUS Petition to Protect Local Ballot Access

Media Release: Tacoma, WA, Group Files First Amendment SCOTUS Petition to Protect Local Ballot Access

With CELDF-supported attorneys, Tacoma, WA, residents filed a 1st Amendment petition with the Supreme Court challenging continued denial of ballot access for qualified citizen initiatives.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

May 28, 2019

Press Release: Multi-Prong Attack by State of Ohio Against Rights of Nature

Press Release: Multi-Prong Attack by State of Ohio Against Rights of Nature

Ohio Attorney General files complaint to overturn Lake Erie Bill of Rights on behalf of industry, arguing there is a right to pollute.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

May 9, 2019

Media Statement: The First State in U.S. History Has Mentioned Legal Rights of Nature

Media Statement: The First State in U.S. History Has Mentioned Legal Rights of Nature

Today, the Ohio House adopts provisions to block communities and local governments from enforcing recognized legal rights for ecosystems.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

May 8, 2019

Media Statement: A Human Right to Survive is Born in Denver

Media Statement: A Human Right to Survive is Born in Denver

“This idea of a real human right to survive in the 21st century … was born – through the determination and commitment of the people who live [in Denver].”

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release