Plumbing the Future: Sewage Infrastructure and Sustainability in Western Pennsylvania (Environmental Law Institute, 1999)

At the request of the Heinz Endowments, the Environmental Law Institute studied the relationship between sewage infrastructure decisions in western Pennsylvania and the effects of those decisions on urban, suburban, and rural landscapes of the region. The report examines ways in which the laws and policies affecting sewage infrastructure investment can be utilized to repair problems with aging infrastructure without increasing pressure for sprawl. It also seeks to assure regional decision makers that new development supported by sewage infrastructure investments is sustainable and consistent with regional goals. The report focuses on the demographic, environmental, and technical issues affecting current infrastructure; identifies the legal and institutional issues affecting decision makers; examines financial alternatives and opportunities for infrastructure improvements or replacements; and identifies promising new approaches including new uses for existing laws.

Draft Combined Sewer Overflow Program Phase I Activity Report: Regional Long Term Wet Weather Control Concept Plan (ALCOSAN, 1999)

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) operates under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit (see also Box 1-1) which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). Under this permit, ALCOSAN was required to prepare a long term control plan (LTCP) for combined sewer systems—although ALCOSAN also incorporated sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) planning into its wet weather planning efforts—and published this report in March of 1999. This draft plan advocates the use of a “presumption approach” as allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (see Chapter 5 for further information) to address Allegheny County’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) problem. The LTCP calls for the elimination of SSOs by providing for secondary treatment of flow equivalent to the flow from separate sewered areas.

Third Party Review of the ALCOSAN Regional Long Term Wet Weather Control Concept Plan (TPRC, 2002)

This report is an independent review of ALCOSAN’s 1999 LTCP (summarized above) and was conducted by the Third Party Review Committee (TPRC). The TPRC held information gathering meetings and completed limited water quality modeling based on existing data. The report provides data, observations, and findings relevant to the continued refinement and development of a cost-effective LTCP for ALCOSAN.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Citizens’ Vision for Smart Growth: Strengthening Communities and Regional Economy (Sustainable Pittsburgh, 2003)

This report is the result of dialogue among concerned citizens and organizations of the Pittsburgh area regarding regional planning efforts and the application of “smart-growth”

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