News and Current Policy Issues

State and Local Policy You Can Support!

(Last Updated 6/9/2021)

Our Forest, Our Future - A short pause has been achieved! But end result is not yet known. Many thanks to all who came to the demonstration on 4-16-21, and keep your messages coming to School Board members and Commissioners. Read more below.

On 4-19-2021, the LMSD withdrew it's proposal which would have clear cut 502 mature, healthy, native trees near Stoneleigh. It is hoped that serious consideration will now be given to better alternatives, in real cooperation with Lower Merion Township. We've been told that a new proposal from the school district will be presented in June. Keep your messages coming, to the School Board (communitycomments@lmsd.org) and the Commissioners! State your support for preserving our natural resources in LM, and if you have ideas for alternate siting of the proposed playing fields, include them too. Here's a sample letter (customizable). And if you haven't already, add your name to this petition. See more on Our Forest, Our Future page.

New Threat to Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - Contact your state representatives immediately Open for more details.

The opportunity for PA to join The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative(RGGI) is again under attack. RGGI has had overwhelming public support during the last public comment period, but a contingent of lawmakers in Harrisburg continue to try and block any attempt to implement this cap-and invest carbon reduction program, even after their efforts were defeated last year. This time, the anti-RGGI bill is known as House Bill 637 and Senate Bill 119, and it could come up for a vote as soon as this month.

Support Governor Wolf's New Solar Initiative - Send a Letter in Support. Open for more detail and link to template.

On March 22, 2021, Governor Wolf announced a major state initiative to purchase solar energy for about 50% of the state government's electric needs. The solar energy projects will be built in Pennsylvania, generating jobs and the cost of electricity is fixed at a rate less than what the state is currently paying. You can send a letter of support using this link.

Proposed Lower Merion Single Use Plastic Ban - Contact Your Commissioner. Open for more details.

The Lower Merion Conservancy is working with the Township to evaluate a single use plastic ban. If you support such a plastic ban in Lower Merion, please contact your commissioner and voice your approval. Contact the Lower Merion Conservancy for more information. Click here to go to a similarly named organization that focuses on schools in Lower Merion to learn about campaigns to ban plastic bags.

Gas Powered Leaf-blowers & Landscaping Equipment - Contact Your Commissioner

A group is evaluating the feasibility of regulating or eliminating highly inefficient gas powered leaf-blowers in Lower Merion. Contact to be provided.

Updates


Net Zero Carbon Emissions Resolution - Hooray! Our LM Commissioners unanimously passed the resolution on 5/19/2021!

Many thanks to everyone whose efforts over the past years, large or small, official or grassroots, contributed to making this a reality. Now a new focus to the work begins as a detailed implementation plan is developed.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - (January 2021)

The Public Comments phase of the PA DEP's process completed 1/14/2021. Lower Merion's Board of Commissioners unanimously approved to submit to DEP a statement that the Board of Commissioners' supports RGGI. Main Line Times news article here and Delco Times Article here (for subscriber-only viewing). See more about RGGI in the Commonwealth section of the Local Context page.

Local Policy Education

Earth Day Conversation: Lower Merion Environmental Roundtable - This CALM Neighbor to Neighbor Conversation has been postponed to a later date. Stay tuned for updates.

Plastic in PA: Unseen Threats & How We Solve Them - Wednesday, June 16, 6:00 PM. Stephanie Wein of PennEnvironment, speaker. Presented by Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Learn more about the life cycle of plastics and how you can work towards policy change in your community. You'll leave with resources that can be put to use immediately. Register here!

Outside In and Inside Out... What's In The Air We Breathe? Tuesday, July 13, 6:00 PM. Peter DeCarlo, PhD, speaker.

Presented by Physicians for Social Responsibility.


We spend most of our time indoors, and consequently our exposure to outdoor air pollution mainly occurs indoors. Add to that our emissions from indoor activities like cooking or cleaning plus the emissions from our indoor spaces and we can start to better understand the chemicals we are exposed to in particulates and gases in the air we breathe. Register here.

A Century of Housing Discrimination and its Legacy of Health Impacts Today - Tuesday, Aug 17, 6:00 PM. Richard Tolin, MD, speaker.

We will review the history of housing discrimination going back to the New Deal. Federally mandated segregation and racist lending requirements, as well as discriminatory zoning, taxation, and land development will be discussed. We will then explain the impact of consequent housing patterns on the health of the victims and their descendants. Finally we will then offer strategies of redress and explain the connection between mitigation of the health harms of racism and the need to end the extractive fossil fuel based economy. Register here.