Environmentalists push Alcosan for details on eliminating sewage overflows |

Environmentalists push Alcosan for details on eliminating sewage overflows

Bob Bauder

Environmentalists want to know how the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority will incorporate green infrastructure into a federally mandated plan for eliminating sewage overflows during heavy rains, but Alcosan says its plan isn’t finished.

On Wednesday, about 20 activists delivered a letter to Alcosan’s offices, asking for details under the state’s Right to Know Law.

Alcosan must comply with a federal court order to eliminate sewage overflows into creeks and rivers and has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency for an 18-month extension so it can consider green options for its $2 billion plan. It includes building large holding tunnels for rainwater.

Alcosan is in the process of formulating plans for a study of green infrastructure. It will share them with the public once they are finalized, according to spokeswoman Nancy Barylak.

But Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, campaign director for the Clean Rivers Campaign, a coalition of groups advocating for green infrastructure, said environmentalists want to be sure Alcosan is sincere.

Barylak said Alcosan intends to share its plan with Clean Rivers when it’s finished.

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