The PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center is the research arm of PennEnvironment, a left-of-center environmentalist organization. PennEnvironment is the Pennsylvania state affiliate of the Environment America Research and Policy Center, an environmentalist network that is also a part of the left-of-center Public Interest Network. 
PennEnvironment and the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center were created in 2002 as state affiliates of Environment America and the Environment America Research and Policy Center. The organizations have developed state-specific environmentalist affiliates in 29 states. 
In 2019, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center received $901,330 in grants and contributions, as well as $28,507 in investment income.  The organization reported $929,837 in total revenue, $940,224 in expenses, and $1,029,355 in net assets. 
In 2019, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center received funding from multiple left-of-center, environmentalist grantmaking organizations. PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center received $62,500 from the Energy Foundation, $27,500 from the New Jersey Research and Policy Center, and $10,867 from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. 
Research on Microplastics
In 2021, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center tested 53 waterways across Pennsylvania for microplastics. The study found that all 53 sampled waterways have some amount of microplastics present in the water.  PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center has used this information to advocate for a federal ban on plastic products, supporting left-of-center legislation like the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act.  The bill would halt the production of new plastic facilities in the United States and place a blanket ban on the sale of many single-use plastic products, such as bottled water. 
David Masur is the executive director of PennEnvironment. Masur also oversees the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG) and other organizations within the Public Interest Network that are active in Pennsylvania. Masur worked as an environmental advisor on Gov. Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney (D)’s transition teams.