Do We Need A Green Amendment?

July 24, 2018

Is the right to a clean environment as important as the right to free speech, freedom of religion, or the right to own private property?

Maya K. Van Rossum is leading the charge to add something new to the arsenal of those working for environmental causes.She suggests that an amendment be added to the Bill of Rights at the state level all over the country, making clean water, air, and a healthy environment an inalienable right.

Right now, she says we don't have laws to protect the environment, we have laws that allow polluters to pollute. And she says that needs to change, in her book The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right To A Healthy Environment.

Van Rossum is a veteran environmentalist and serves as the Delaware Riverkeeper, championing the rights of over 17 million people to a free flowing and clean Delaware River. She's also an attorney, who used her state's Environmental Rights Amendment in a major court case to protect people's right to clean water, air, and a healthy environment.

In an interview, she acknowledged that getting such a constitutional amendment passed may be difficult, considering our current political climate, but the first step is to vote for and elect candidates who make environmental protection a priority.

Find out more about this initiative and Van Rossum's book here.