Alcosan seeks more time to come up with green proposal to control overflow into sewer
By Rick Wills
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority is asking federal authorities for 18 months so it can consider adding “green” infrastructure into a plan to eliminate wet weather overflows from sanitary sewers.
The agency on Tuesday submitted a $2 billion sewer upgrade proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency, a day before the deadline. It includes adding capacity to the Woods Run treatment plant and installing underground transmission tunnels.
Members of Congress, area municipal officials and members of the public asked Alcosan to add green infrastructure to bring down the cost.
“Based on feedback received at our public meetings last fall, we need to study the potential for green infrastructure — locations, methods, responsible party, cost and most importantly the ability to meet regulatory compliance across the service area,” Alcosan Executive Director Arletta Scott Williams said in a prepared statement.
Six months ago, Alcosan announced the $2 billion plan to modernize aging sewers, but full compliance with federal clean water requirements would cost $3.6 billion, the authority said.
But at $3.6 billion, the plan does not meet the EPA‘s standards for affordability. In August, the EPA said it would be willing to consider changes.
Since then, many elected officials — including Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and county Controller Chelsa Wagner — have urged Alcosan to adopt green infrastructure.
In October, a letter by Reps. Mike Doyle, Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Tim Murphy urged Shawn Garvin, the EPA's regional administrator, to work with Alcosan to change parts of the plan.
“Both Philadelphia and Indianapolis have recently implemented green infrastructure into their sewer system overhauls resulting in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars,” their letter said.
In the past, officials at Alcosan have said they do not have the authority to force the 83 communities they serve to install green technology, which makes use of rain gardens, porous pavement, green roofs and wetlands to stop large amounts of runoff water from entering sanitary systems.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Patients nationwide die waiting as 1 in 5 kidneys rejected by doctors
- Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget
- Officials identify Chartiers shooting victim as Wilkinsburg man
- Pope Francis inspires incredible optimism
- Bethel Park man to receive degree from Pitt he earned 64 years ago
- Castle Shannon man accused of crashing way down Pittsburgh street
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting at Chartiers party
- Newsmaker: Rosalind Ross
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying