What We Do

The strength of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council resides in its unique capabilities and experience, which are guided by Centers of Excellence.  Our offices are situated geographically to cover on-the-ground projects, but our expertise is focused on three broad sets of issues that are central to Pennsylvania's environmental well-being and quality of life: Water Resources, Sustainable Communities, and Energy & Climate.

PEC is unique in that we do both on-the-ground projects and policy development and advocacy.  This creates synergy: our work on grassroots projects feeds our work on policy, and vice versa.  We're better at both because we do both.

PEC works through partnerships, coalitions and grassroots involvement.  On policy development, we engage stakeholders to make sure our recommendations are reasoned, rational and well articulated.  And we're known for our innovative approach, both in our demonstration projects and our policy initiatives.

Our Centers of Excellence are:

Water Resources

Pennsylvania has 4,600 miles of streams impacted by coal mines that went out of business before mining regulations were passed in 1977.  When it rains, everything from antifreeze to dirt runs off every surface from urban parking lots and streets to rural farm fields, degrading habitat and water quality.  Excess nutrients and sediment causes major problems for many streams and is a tremendous problem for the unique Chesapeake Bay estuary.  Through our Center of Excellence for Water Resources, PEC has been recognized as a leader in addressing all three of these pressing issues.

Sustainable Communities

Pennsylvania was called "Penn's Woods" for good reason, and we still have the wild resources, beautiful vistas and authentic communities with which people relate.  But the livability and sustainability of our communities and landscapes are at risk every day.  The Pennsylvania Environmental Council created the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Communities to focus our experience and expertise on these pressing issues.  The Center's work focuses on three areas: smart growth and sustainable communities, land stewardship, and access to resources through parks, trails and greenways.

Energy & Climate

Foreign oil.  Soaring costs.  Global warming.  Pennsylvania emits one percent of the world's greenhouse gases - more than 105 developing nations combined.  Clearly we need better energy efficiency, more renewable energy and improved technologies.  Recognizing both the risks and opportunities these critical issues present, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council created the Center of Excellence for Energy and Climate.  The Center's three focus areas are energy efficiency, alternative energy, and climate change.