Bill to put PWSA under PUC control pushes forward while the water authority temporarily halts its partial lead line replacement program

Bill to put PWSA under PUC control pushes forward while the water authority temporarily halts its partial lead line replacement program

The House Consumer Affairs Committee Monday advanced a proposal—House Bill 1490 introduced by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-McCandless) and Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Baldwin)—to place the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) under the oversight of the Public Utility Commission (PUC).

Citing the many issues facing the authority, including multi-million dollar debt, unmetered accounts, incorrect billing, system leaks, noncompliance with federal water quality mandates, and unidentified lead-contaminated water service lines, the lawmakers say those issues call into serious question the sustainability of PWSA and the health and safety of those served by the system. 

Monday, June 5, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Pennsylvania state and city officials react to US withdrawal from Paris climate accord

Pennsylvania state and city officials react to US withdrawal from Paris climate accord

Since President Donald Trump’s Thursday afternoon announcement that the United States will be withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, Pennsylvania officials have voiced their concerns as to what the decision could mean for the state and its cities. 

Friday, June 2, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Rep. DeLuca calls for PDE oversight of troubled Penn Hills School District

Rep. DeLuca calls for PDE oversight of troubled Penn Hills School District

In light of a number of different issues facing the Penn Hills School District, Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Penn Hills) has asked the state Department of Education to place the district into the state’s financial recovery program and to appoint a qualified chief financial recovery officer to oversee the district.

In a letter to the Executive Secretary David Volkman, DeLuca expressed concern regarding how the appointment of a new school board member was handled following the recent resignation of a board member.

“This is a District desperately in need of fresh insight and oversight,” wrote DeLuca. “I once again implore you to take action for the betterment of this District before it’s too late. I feel strongly the financial situation will not, nor cannot, improve without the intervention of the Commonwealth. Each action the Board takes confirms my belief.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Sen. Costa introduces PWSA oversight co-sponsorship memo, Pittsburgh City Council members voice their concerns

Sen. Costa introduces PWSA oversight co-sponsorship memo, Pittsburgh City Council members voice their concerns

On the heels of legislation introduced in the state House last week to put the embattled Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority under the watch of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Senate Minority Chairman Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) filed a co-sponsorship memorandum Wednesday to do the same in the Senate.

“The PWSA’s mismanagement has touched nearly every aspect of its operations,” wrote Costa in the memo. “Management and consultant debacles; endless board turnover; lead contamination that is amongst the worst in the country; drinking water concerns necessitating boil alerts; illegal chemical treatments and infrastructure failures.” 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
As SCI Pittsburgh comes to a close, plans for development and prison closure reform ramp up

As SCI Pittsburgh comes to a close, plans for development and prison closure reform ramp up

Things are quietly winding down as the state correctional institution in Pittsburgh gets ready to permanently close its doors on June 30th. 

 

As of May 19th, there are zero inmates in the facility that once housed 1,921 convicted individuals, and only a few employees remain to finish out the closure process. Those remaining employees will begin their new assignments at surrounding facilities on May 21, according to the Department of Corrections (DOC). 

Friday, May 26, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
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