Rivers are at the heart of the Pittsburgh region. The area’s economic and environmental revival is closely tied to its rivers, but unfortunately its aging and poorly designed sewer system is creating a crisis. As little as one-tenth of an inch of rain can cause raw sewage and other contaminants to overflow into local rivers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Monday granted Pittsburgh and 79 municipalities an 18-month deadline extension to come up with a plan to reduce stormwater flowing into the sewer system, but DEP officials told them that “green” infrastructure must be part of their plans.
The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) announced on Thursday the creation of a subcommittee tasked with developing a Customer Assistance Program, just days after activists from Action United and the Clean Rivers Campaign held a rally in Market Square warning of steady rate increases.