In his Post-Gazette article, Nick DeIuliis of Consol Energy and the Allegheny Conference Board, correctly explains the need for our region to act now to fix the decades old sewer overflow problem that makes our rivers polluted and unsafe. The urgency is driven by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rightful legal action against ALCOSAN and Pittsburgh (as well as the consent orders that state regulators have with the 82 surrounding municipalities) regarding operating antiquated sewer and stormwater systems that, when overwhelmed by cloudbursts and heavy rainfall, are designed to discharge the excessive stormwater mixed with raw sewage into the rivers. Occurring most often during the summer recreation season, this amounts to over 9.6 billion gallons of sewage annually flowing into our waters.
Sustainable Pittsburgh echoes Mr. DeIluiis’ call on the region’s leaders to expedite a solution. Importantly however is the type of solution utilized to as soon as possible clean our rivers and comply with the law.