Letter to the editor: When reporting, look at polluters, too
Thank you for the article “Springdale awarded $5.5 million loan for water improvements.” It is great that the community is getting this help, but I have some thoughts that I think are also important to consider when reporting on local water-quality issues.
While it is wonderful that Springdale residents will be able to enjoy cleaner water, it is worth noting that a major source of pollution very close to this treatment plant, NRG's coal-fired Cheswick Generating Station, is constantly contaminating the water source. This power plant, for example, was the fourth worst in the country for lead pollution in 2015, having dumped 387 pounds of lead into the Allegheny River that year. It also releases pollutants such as bromide, manganese, selenium and hexavalent chromium (the “Erin Brockovich” chemical).
Maybe the water treatment plant wouldn't have to work so hard, maybe it would be in better shape and maybe these upgrades would last longer if it didn't have to remove so many deeply dangerous pollutants from the river — pollutants that were put there by a corporate polluter. It is a serious concern to me that taxpayer dollars are being used to help clean up the mess that a corporation created.