Article I, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution
Sec. 27. Natural Resources and the Public Estate
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.
This amendment, which was adopted in 1972, encompasses two basic principles. First, Pennsylvanians have a right to a decent environment, and second, Pennsylvania government has a trusteeship responsibility to protect that environment on behalf of future generations.
The statute that creates the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as the statutes that the Department is charged with administering, implement this amendment.