You know you've got problems when the Bush Administration facsimile of the Environmental Protection Agency has to crack down on you. (Don Hopey, P-G)
"This is the first time Allegheny County is approaching this wet weather issue and, while the estimate is $3 billion, I think the cost will go well above that," said Michelle Buys, a Health Department engineer. "This will be the biggest public works infrastructure project in the region in a long time."
Ms. Buys said the region's economic future depends on doing the sewer upgrades correctly because the federal government could stop new industrial, residential and commercial developments if the improvements don't correct the wet weather sewage discharges.
Systemwide, the discharges during the region's 75 wet weather events each year allow an estimated 16 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water to flow into the region's rivers, contaminating them with bacteria, pathogens and other harmful pollutants that degrade water quality, kill aquatic life and threaten public health.
The maths in this article confuse the Comet, but it appears this $3 billion figure is the bottom line (over 40 years) for getting ALCOSAN up to snuff.
Note: A billion is a thousand million.
Editorial Comment: We wonder whether UPMC executives actually flush toilets in Allegheny County, or if they only discharge rose petals?