PWSA waives hearing on 161 criminal charges over replacing lead lines |

PWSA waives hearing on 161 criminal charges over replacing lead lines

Bob Bauder
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, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.