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PWSA waives hearing on 161 criminal charges over replacing lead lines | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

PWSA waives hearing on 161 criminal charges over replacing lead lines

Bob Bauder
| Wednesday, March 6, 2019 1:30 a.m
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Tribune-Review
The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority drinking water treatment facility is along Freeport Road near Aspinwall.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday on charges that it violated Pennsylvania’s Safe Drinking Water Act during a lead line replacement program in 2016 and 2017.

PWSA faces 161 criminal counts and fines ranging from $201,250 to $2 million.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office last month charged the authority with endangering the health of 161 households by failing to provide residents with notice that it was replacing lead lines and failing to collect water samples within 72 hours of new pipes being installed. Replacing aging lead pipes can potentially cause a significant lead level increase in drinking water, according to Shapiro’s office.

Downtown attorney Allen M. Lopus, who represented PWSA Wednesday, declined comment.

Authority board Chairman Paul Leger has said the charges amount to double jeopardy because PWSA previously paid the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection a civil penalty of $2.4 million for the same issues.

Attorneys are scheduled to appear in the Allegheny County Court of Common Please on April 23 for formal arraignment.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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