(Original letter appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – http://triblive.com/opinion/letters/9545604-74/alcosan-green-infrastructure)

The article “Alcosan’s Wet Weather Plan draws criticism” quotes an Alcosan representative as saying that we cannot fix our sewer overflow problem with rain barrels alone. That statement completely misrepresents the concept of green infrastructure — which can include green roofs, bio-swales and large-scale rain gardens — and highlights the fact that Alcosan has never undertaken a regional study on the potential for green infrastructure.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office, the Heinz Endowments, Bike Pittsburgh and other organizations are calling for an approach that first fixes existing infrastructure, then maximizes investment in green infrastructures before strategically building gray infrastructure. That approach could give us a less costly, more effective solution for our sewer overflow problem.

A united front of community, government, and philanthropic organizations are standing together to call for Alcosan to not just talk about green infrastructure, but to actually invest in our communities. It’s about time Alcosan listens.

Alex Wallach Hanson
Highland Park