As the executive director of the Norway-based Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, I strongly support the Pine Tree Amendment for the simple reason that the PTA ensures that all Mainers have the right to a clean and healthy environment for generations to come.

The PTA would ensure that all legislatures, governors, laws, and permits will honor our rights to a healthy environment. Laws can be made and unmade, but Maine’s Constitution is a more effective way to protect these essential rights.

The PTA would strengthen environmental justice by ensuring all communities — regardless of race, ethnicity or income — have the same rights to clean water and air and healthy environments. It will be the duty of all government officials to protect all communities equitably.Pennsylvania, Montana and New York have already passed this kind of environmental amendment. They are being used to prevent harmful gold mining operations; advance drinking water protections from PFAS contamination; prevent state legislators from raiding environmental protection funds; require consideration of science and impacts before permitting environmentally damaging operations; secure cleanup of toxic contamination, and more.On behalf of the board and staff of CEBE, we believe we have an obligation to do our best to protect our environment as occupiers of stolen land; as farmers; as parents; as fisherpeople; as skiers; as homesteaders; as humans who are not separate from the natural environment but part of it.

I hope people urge their legislators to support this critical legislation.

Scott Vlaun, Otisfield

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