State DEP secretary wants PWSA to look toward future

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Between massive debt and failing infrastructure, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is facing a long list of problems that have the attention of the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

On Tuesday, DEP secretary Patrick McDonnell spoke only with Channel 11 about what his department is doing to help fix the PWSA and hold it accountable.

"The thing I've talked with the authority and others about has been being forward-looking and how do we fix this?" he said.


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That includes a $2.4 million fine last month for violating water regulations.

The PWSA is allowed to use 75 percent of that fine to help low-income residents replace lead water lines going into their homes.

"I think it was important to have a fine that recognize exactly what happened, but we're also trying to leverage that money to make sure we're solving the problem,” McDonnell said.

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Plenty of questions remain, including what the PWSA will look like in the future. McDonnell is confident all sides are moving in the right direction.

"There's no switch you throw that fixes everything tomorrow, so I think making sure we're clear about what the problems are and having a good plan to fix them is exactly where our focus needs to be right now,” he said.


 

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