Lawsuit claims Westmoreland water in danger
Executives with a local company filed a lawsuit against the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County claiming that the drinking water it sells is in danger of contamination.
John H. Schwartz of New Stanton and Louis Robare of Greensburg, officials with Cross Connection Control Management Inc. in New Stanton, claim the authority failed to enforce its own rules requiring customers to ensure its water remains separate from waste, chemicals and other potential contaminants.
Their company is hired to inspect and repair cross connection control issues for customers.
Schwartz and Robare contend the authority is violating the Safe Drinking Water Act by failing to implement its current plan to enforce a cross-connection control program.
The authority's plan requires that customers have separate lines, one to carry drinking water and another to take backflow of contaminated water.
"It's not that we think the water system is unsafe, it's just that it is exposed to risk," said David Millstein, Schwartz and Robare's attorney. "We're not aware of any back flow of chemicals getting into the water supply, but water could become sucked back into the system in a disaster such as a tornado. "
According to the lawsuit, the authority has implemented its protection plan on less than 1 percent of the water agency's 123,000 customers. The plan has not been implemented for any of the authority's new customers since 1994, the suit said.
Millstein said his clients want the cross-connection program fully implemented to protect the water supply from contamination that could result from a natural disaster.
His clients want a Westmoreland County judge to order the authority to implement its plan and require all of its customers to comply with its provisions.
Authority Solicitor Ken Burkley said he has not reviewed the lawsuit and could not comment on its specific allegations.
"We have no problems or issues with the water quality at the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County," Burkley said.
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.
- Mental health facility won’t take Franklin Regional stabbing suspect as patient
- Attorney seeks dismissal of charge in Salem wreck that killed mother, unborn child
- Fundraising under way for Indiana County newborn struck by stray bullet
- Police: Jeannette woman tried to steal family’s safe
- Greensburg artist follows unusual path to creative career
- No relief in sight for Westmoreland transit passengers
- Thousands attend Mt. Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival
- ‘Pest activity’ found in Excela facility
- Hribal will be transferred to Allegheny County psychiatric facility
- Motorcyclist hospitalized after Derry Twp. crash
- 3 face charges for drugs, weapons after arrest in North Huntingdon