The McConway & Torley foundry fight: Eco-wackos & hipsters vs. jobs
McConway & Torley LLC sounds like the name of one of those law firms that remind “there’s no charge unless we get money for you.” It’s not. It’s a 147-year-old foundry in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood that suddenly finds itself under legal fire from environmental extremists who have convinced the Allegheny County Health Department to cut off its nose to spite the face.
The company, in operation since Andrew Johnson was president in 1868, is one of those manufacturing gems. It makes 60 percent of America’s railroad car couplers and employs more than 400 people. Lawrenceville these days is billed by tourism types as the city’s “hippest neighborhood.”
Egged on by the eco-wackos and those self-anointed hipsters, the health department, claiming pollution problems that don’t appear to exist, wants McConway & Torley to cut production by 77 percent. That likely would put the company out of business and its employees out of work.
Rachel Filippini, head rabble-rouser for GASP, the Group Against Smog and Pollution, laments that “In 2015, you would never allow a foundry to locate in Lawrenceville.” Well, who was there first? And then she slips and reveals the bogus nature of her argument when she admits — GASP! — “A lot of people don’t know that this foundry is tucked back on 48th Street.”
McConway & Torley has been a good neighbor. We’re not so sure we can say the same of those who have invaded its neighborhood.