In light of lead, Pittsburgh activists push for state suit against Veolia

In light of lead, Pittsburgh activists push for state suit against Veolia

As a grinch named “Veolia” tossed presents labeled “clean water” about the Allegheny County Courthouse’s courtyard Monday, Pittsburgh activists made their case for a new investigation into the French corporation blamed for many of the city’s water woes. 
 
Aly Shaw, an organizer with the Our Water Campaign, said at a holiday-themed press conference, complete with Dr. Suess’s green Christmas anti-hero and caroling, that the campaign had filed a formal complaint against Veolia with the Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office a few months ago.  
 
“They are taking it seriously and we think there is something there,” Shaw said of the complaint. She added that Our Water met with an investigator from Zappala’s office last week. 

Monday, December 18, 2017/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: Pittsburgh
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PWSA approves $44 million in pipe replacements to meet consent decree, looks back on hectic year

PWSA approves $44 million in pipe replacements to meet consent decree, looks back on hectic year

After a year of responding to boil advisories, bursting pipes and high lead levels, with infrastructure spending, raised rates, and state oversight, Tassi Bisers, of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, wants the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to leave 2017 proud of their work.

“I want you to start tooting your own horn about your own courage,” Bisers said to the chuckling PWSA board at their final meeting of the year Friday morning.

The meeting capped a busy year for the authority as it addressed numerous systemic issues, most branching from a lack of past capital investment. The authority also created programs to stop water shutoffs for low income customers and a payment assistance program for those struggling to pay their water bill.

Friday, December 15, 2017/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County state legislative delegation activity for the week of December 11

Allegheny County state legislative delegation activity for the week of December 11

The state House and Senate wrapped up its legislative agenda for 2017 this week. 

Here's how the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County delegation voted on various pieces of legislation. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
A raise in Pittsburgh's realty transfer tax gets preliminary City Council approval

A raise in Pittsburgh's realty transfer tax gets preliminary City Council approval

Pittsburgh City Council has advanced legislation that would increase the city’s realty transfer tax from 4 percent to 4.5 percent in 2018.

The money garnered from the tax is expected to go toward the affordable housing trust fund, also known as the Housing Opportunity Trust Fund, which was approved by council last December. It is also expected to supply the fund with $10 million annually for the next five years to build housing and rehabilitate older homes for those who qualify under low-income standards.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh City Council begins 2018 budget process

Pittsburgh City Council begins 2018 budget process

As 2017 winds down, Pittsburgh City Council is expected to finish up a number of initiatives and bills, including considering the 2018 city budget amendments and establishing the city’s long-term financial practices, before ringing in the new year.

Making its way through an already packed agenda Tuesday, Council passed legislation that would codify Act 47 best practices and Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority requirements in the city’s annual operating budget.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
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