Ferguson Township Voters Approve “Environmental Bill of Rights”

Ferguson Township is a municipal place adjacent to State College, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 US Census, it was home to 17,690 people.

Yesterday, voters there faced a ballot initiative calling for the municipality’s home rule charter to be amended to include “an environmental bill of rights.” Notably, the measure prohibits the extraction of natural gas and the installation of related infrastructure. According to a sample ballot, the measure read:

Shall the Ferguson Township Home Rule Charter be amended to add a Community Bill of Rights enumerating rights to pure water, clean air, rights of natural communities, a sustainable energy future, and local self-government, and to secure those rights by prohibiting corporations from extracting natural gas in Ferguson Township, from installing pipelines and compressor stations and from depositing, storing, or transporting waste water or other by-products of natural gas development within Ferguson Township?

This morning, the Centre Daily Times has reported that the measure was approved by a vote of 4,235 to 3,883. The group behind the ballot initiative is called Groundswell. The full text of the petition to amend the Ferguson Township Home Rule Charter is available at the Groundswell website. Last year the group succeeded in promoting a similar measure in State College Borough.

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