The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is set to remove thousands of lead water pipes within the next six years in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city’s drinking water and protect residents’ health.
“During this global pandemic more than ever, it’s critical that PWSA provide safe drinking water to all city residents, that residents in Pittsburgh continue to have significant say over how ratepayer dollars are spent, and that we do everything we can to take care of the most vulnerable people in our communities,” said Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, executive director of Pittsburg United, a coalition of labour, faith and environmental groups.
Under the agreement, which was recently approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, PWSA must prioritise replacement for residents in high-risk neighbourhoods.
“The aggressive steps to get the lead out of Pittsburgh outlined in the settlement are necessary to protect the health of children and families,” said Natural resources Defence Council attorney Pete DeMarco.
“The burdens of lead-contaminated water fall most heavily on low-income families and communities of colour, which is why it is so important to prioritize lead service line replacements in those neighbourhoods where residents are at greatest risk.”
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