We celebrated the City of Philadelphia’s efforts to help preserve 88 vulnerable garden parcels by acquiring U.S. Bank Liens.

On June 20, 2023, we were proud to join a broad coalition of community gardeners and Philadelphia elected officials to announce that the City of Philadelphia will soon acquire U.S. Bank liens on dozens of community gardens, assuring that these lots are protected from being sold at sheriff’s sale. Our staff attorney Sari Bernstein spoke […]

Opportunity: Philadelphia is seeking a Community Resilience Grants admin

November 16, 2021 – Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability is seeking proposals from applicants to administer their new community resilience grants program. The community resilience grants program, directed by the city’s Environmental Justice Advisory Commission (EJAC), will distribute small grants to community groups undertaking projects to advance environmental justice in Philadelphia–including, but not limited to, urban […]

Our amicus brief was cited in a federal court decision affirming the right of communities to stand up to polluting industry

July 13, 2020 — Last year, Robin and Dexter Baptiste sued the Bethlehem Landfill Company on behalf of themselves and other residents of Freemansburg, PA, which had faced uncontained noxious odors from a landfill site. They asserted claims of public nuisance, private nuisance, and negligence. The District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed […]

Our testimony on Community Benefit Agreements

On December 4, Philadelphia City Council introduced a bill that would require developers of large projects to negotiate Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) with neighborhoods where those projects will be completed. Our staff attorney Ebony Griffin shared testimony suggesting ways that City Council can ensure that this proposed bill promotes agreements that provide a meaningful voice for communities.

Our testimony on US Bank liens and displacement in Philadelphia

November 25, 2019 Dear Housing Committee: My name is Ebony Griffin and I am a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center focusing on environmental justice and the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Thank you for allowing me to testify today about an issue which very deeply effects my practice and the preservation […]

What does Philadelphia’s new public land policy mean for community gardeners?

On October 31, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill overhauling the city’s process for selling and distributing publicly owned land. Learn what these changes mean for community gardeners and others seeking to turn vacant land into green space.

Our testimony on environmental justice and climate change

August 13, 2019 Dear Representative Kenyatta: My name is Ebony Griffin and I am a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center focusing on environmental justice and the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak before you today about an issue I feel so passionately about. […]

Comments on the Philadelphia Land Bank’s draft 2019 strategic plan

We shared our comments of the Land Bank’s draft strategic plan, looking forward to further partnership.

City Council Testimony on Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Racism in Philadelphia

At a December 12 hearing of the Health and Human Services Committee of Philadelphia City Council, Executive Director Jennifer Clarke delivered testimony prepared by Staff Attorney Ebony Griffin on the disparate health impacts of air pollution on low-income and minority neighborhoods in Philadelphia, using Nicetown as a case study, and proposes changes to the process by which polluting facilities are approved.

Pennsylvania’s DEP Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy Should be Strengthened

September 12, 2018 – Earlier this year, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a revised draft of its Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy. This policy provides guidelines for the DEP’s approach to the permit review process in Environmental Justice Areas–communities where 20 percent of residents live below the federal poverty line and/or 30 percent […]