Del. Bill Proposes “Green Amendment” In State Constitution


Delawareans would have a constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment, under legislation introduced in the Delaware General Assembly.
The constitutional Green Amendment would add language to the Delaware Constitution to conserve, protect and maintain the state’s natural resources.
House Bill 220 would represent the first leg of a constitutional Green Amendment. A two-thirds majority would be required in each chamber in two consecutive general assemblies.

“When we talk about the inherent rights that each of us enjoy, we sometimes distill things down to the Declaration of Independence’s ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Our ability to enjoy life in Delaware in large part is tied to our enjoyment and use of our natural resources, including our state parks, national wildlife refuges, rivers, lakes and streams, and the beaches along the coastline,” State Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton, D-Newark, Bear said. “That’s why we need a Green Amendment in Delaware. We need to enshrine these rights in our constitution because for too long these rights have been trampled on. Today, there are Delawareans who woke up in a home where the water that flows from their pipes is too dangerous to drink or take a shower in. Other Delawareans woke up in a neighborhood where the air is making them and their families sick. I’m excited that this year we are taking a step in the right direction, and I’m excited to be working with so many dedicated community advocates on this.”

“Our natural environment is not separate and apart from our society,” State Senator Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown, chair of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee said. “Rather, the health, safety and welfare of our society is inextricably linked to the health, safety and welfare of the fragile ecosystems, biodiversity and climate that make up the world around us. You simply cannot have one without the other. The rights of future generations to enjoy Delaware’s natural heritage is already spelled out in the oath of office dictated by our state Constitution. The legislation Rep. Wilson-Anton and I have introduced seeks to make those rights more than words that elected officials recite every couple of years. It will make the right to a clean and healthy environment something we all share as Delawareans.”