Pittsburgh, Pa – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) held a press conference earlier today with PWSA Chairman Dan Deasy and City Councilman Bill Peduto to announce the submittal of PWSA’s Wet Weather Feasibility Study to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD).
The Feasibility Study includes a strong commitment to exploring the use of Green Infrastructure (GI) with ideas that arose in large part from the series of green Charrettes held earlier this year by PWSA.
Councilman Bill Peduto stated that the City of Pittsburgh and the PWSA are poised to become leaders of green initiatives and infrastructure in dealing with combined sewer overflows. “The decisions we make today will shape our future for the next 100 years.” Green Infrastructure benefits are twofold: beautifying neighborhoods while addressing the problem of overflows.
Chairman Dan Deasy announced that PWSA’s Wet Weather Feasibility Study was completed as required and in full compliance with, a Consent Order and Agreement with the PADEP and the ACHD, as well as the Clean Water Act to reduce combined sewer overflows and improve water quality.
If implemented as submitted, PWSA’s Wet Weather Feasibility Study is projected to reduce the volume and frequency of overflows by 95%. PWSA proposes implementing gray investments which average about $3.8 Million per year over the first 12 years. These are the investments in facilities PWSA will need to make regardless of the PWSA’s overall emphasis on Gray or Green Infrastructure. At the same time, PWSA will invest about $2.5 Million per year for the next 4 years in Green Infrastructure. The information gathered from the green investment will help determine the level and focus of additional investments, which could be as much as $120 Million.
Deasy said, “PWSA intends to provide the most environmental benefit per dollar spent. Green Infrastructure will create jobs, clean rivers, beautify neighborhoods and increase property values. PWSA will work with regulators, community groups, local governments, the County and ALCOSAN, to reach a mutually agreeable, innovative and affordable way to improve and protect our region’s water and quality of life.”
Chairman Deasy also announced selection of members to The Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Committee (GITAC). These professionals will provide objective, expert advice to PWSA on incorporating Green Infrastructure and policies into its feasibility plan, planning and design standards.