About Us

Gillian Graber is the Executive Director and a founding member of Protect PT which started organizing in December 2014 when neighbors from Trafford and Penn Township came together to resist an unconventional natural gas well pad near their homes. As a mother of two, Gillian is passionate about keeping her children safe from the impacts of fracking. After an experience dealing with air pollution issues in her own home and concerns being ignored by the PA DEP, she knew she had to do something when she found out about a new unconventional natural gas well pad 1/2 mile from her home. So she took action to rally her neighbors and help form what is now a nonprofit well known for protecting the economic, environmental, and legal rights of the community. 

Ann LeCuyer is our Project and Outreach Coordinator. She has been with Protect PT since 2017. She is a mother of four, a long time birth doula, musician, and ardent environmentalist. Having moved to the Penn-Trafford school district in 2016 and learning about the potential onslaught of gas development Ann was motivated to support Protect PT as a member and was delighted when she offered an opportunity to join the team. 

Mary Obringer started as our Media and PR intern in summer 2018 and continued working with Protect PT while she finished her B.S. in Journalism at Liberty University in Virginia. She is now our full-time Outreach Assistant. Her background in writing and editing help with newsletters, emails, flyers and other materials.

Kathleen Brosseau is our Environmental Scientist with a background in geology. She has a Masters of Science from Duquesne University in Environmental Science and Management, and several years of consulting experience. She has been with Protect PT since January 2019 and heads our Environmental Monitoring programs.

Tam Swanson, our bookkeeper since October 2019, brings more than 25 years of administrative, financial, and project management experience to the Protect PT team.  Passionate about environmental protection and conservation from an early age, Tam studied botany, anthropology, environmental studies, and sustainable living at Connecticut College.

Our Mission
 
Protect PT (Penn-Trafford) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring residents' safety, security, and quality of life by engaging in education and advocacy to protect the economic, environmental, and legal rights of the people in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. 

 

Protect PT’s Position On UNGD

 

Unconventional Natural Gas Development (UNDG) is a heavy industrial activity and, as such, should be restricted to industrial zones to ensure the status quo is maintained within residential and agricultural zones. While some critics say that UNDG is compatible with agriculture, we would argue that since UNDG creates a tremendous amount of dust, light, and noise, as well as taking up valuable land that could be used for farming, this industrial process is not compatible with agriculture.

Even in industrial zones, local conditions must be evaluated to ensure that nearby residents are not harmed by the activity. As Pennsylvanians, under Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we have the 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."

While municipalities do have the power to use zoning laws to regulate the gas industry, they must apply those laws in a way that is constitutional and follow established legal precedent on zoning laws. Allowing a single type of industrial use, natural gas development, in otherwise non-industrial zones is unconstitutional. By allowing residents to suffer from air, light, noise, and water pollution, local and state governments prioritize a boom and bust industry using precious resources (water) to extract a finite resource for private gain over the life and health of residents who depend on these natural resources and ecosystems to survive.

Our Financial Supporters

Our financial supporters include community member contributions as well as the organizations below that fiscally support our work in a variety of ways.

 

2018

The Heinz Endowments

11th Hour Project The Schmidt Family Foundation

Center for Health, Environment & Justice

PennFuture

Mountain Watershed Association

 

Protect PT Members who volunteer & help fundraise: Click here to learn how you can help

 

2019

The Heinz Endowments

11th Hour Project The Schmidt Family Foundation

PennFuture

Mentorship
Pollution is a detriment to our quality of life as humans and knows no boundaries. We strive to help individuals and other communities who are facing similar issues by providing educational support, sharing of resources, and mentorship to ensure that others maintain or obtain clean and health communities. 
We strive to be of service to other communities in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region to help them better protect themselves from unconventional gas development and its associated infrastructure.
In order to serve other communities, we are offering mentorship and guidance to individuals or groups that want to work toward social change in their community.
 
We can discuss with other community members how to organize groups, participate in the local process and educate, engage, and empower their own communities for social change. We will also direct groups to other organizations in our network that can help them achieve their goals. ​
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PO Box 137, 3344 Route 130,

Suite D, Harrison City, PA 15636, USA

Tel: 724-392-7023

Email:  info@protecpt.org