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Pennsylvania is asserting the legal right to clean air and water. In doing so, it’s challenging the foundation of U.S. environmental law.In 2012, Grant Township became a destination for fracking waste. Oil and gas producer Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) applied for a permit to pump wastewater from drilling operations into an injection well beneath the community. Residents were alarmed. Injections can induce earthquakes, and wells can leak, contaminating water supplies. The chemicals used in fracking have been linked to cancer, infertility, and birth defects.“Water is life, and without water, you don’t have a life.”“We live in an area that doesn’t have public water. We all live off springs and private wells,” said Judy Wanchism, a 74-year-old native of Grant Township. “You ruin our water, our home is no good anymore. Nothing. You have to have water in order to live, to water your plants, to drink, to bathe, everything… I don’t know how else to say it. Water is life, and without water, you don’t have a life.”During the permitting process, Wanchism and her neighbors shared their concerns with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to no avail. Regulators must listen to the public, but they don’t have to take those concerns into account. The EPA issued the permit to ...