Verona Council has begun discussing how a $2 billion improvement plan for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority’s system will impact borough residents financially.
In 2008, ALCOSAN became party to a consent decree issued by the Federal Court in Pittsburgh on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department.
Consent decrees have been issued to municipalities across the nation, including Verona and Plum boroughs, to comply with objectives set by the federal Clean Water Act and Combined Sewer Overflow Control Policy. Eighty three municipalities and boroughs in Allegheny County will be affected by the project.
The ALCOSAN consent decree was the result of seven years of negotiations and compromise. The Wet Weather Plan, which identifies wastewater infrastructure needs through 2046, is part of improvements mandated with a deadline of Sept. 30, 2026.
On Tuesday, Verona engineer Larry Seiler said that a non-binding feasability study through 3 Rivers Wet Weather, a nonprofit environmental organization, presents eight options regarding Verona's responsibility within the project. Seiler said options range from $843,000 to $3 million to replace 2,900 lineal feet of 20-inch pipe through Diamond Alley to the pump station.
"This is going to be a major hit to Verona," Seiler said.
He suggested borough officials begin to look into the project and set up a sewer committee to stay abreast of developments because a more binding agreement will be presented in 2013.
"It's coming and it's going to be a major cost to the community," Seiler said. "ALCOSAN will have their own cost, and they'll pass that on to the rate payers."
The Wet Weather Plan can be viewed here. The plan provides a blueprint for the region to address federal regulations for sewer overflows. It represents the largest capital infrastructure project in Allegheny County history.
It will be the subject of public meetings scheduled throughout the region.
The local meeting to address ALCOSAN’s draft Wet Weather Plan is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Doubletree Hotel, 101 Mall Boulevard in Monroeville. No registration is required. Those with special needs who plan to attend can call 412-734-8733 to make arrangements.
Comments will be accepted in writing and orally. They also can be submitted electronically through the ALCOSAN WWP eComment Form.