Pittsburgh is one of 17 communities nationwide awarded federal money for "green infrastructure" -- tree and vegetation planting, permeable pavement and street garden installation and soil improvement -- work aimed at keeping polluted stormwater out of sewers, streams and rivers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that Pittsburgh will receive $75,000 of the $950,000 committed to initiatives to control stormwater runoff.
Pittsburgh's grant went to 3 Rivers Wet Weather and Pittsburgh United, two nonprofit organizations that have advocated for inclusion of "green infrastructure" as part of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority's federally mandated plan to reduce raw sewage overflows into Pittsburgh's rivers.
The organizations will also use the money to help evaluate the costs and benefits of the nontraditional approach to stormwater management for the city and 82 suburban municipalities in the Alcosan service area.
"It's a piece of a bigger green infrastructure strategy to get such nontraditional stormwater controls into municipal wet weather plans whenever such an approach is cost effective," said John Schombert, executive director of 3 Rivers Wet Weather.
Alcosan is working under a May 2007 federal order to end almost all of its combined sewer overflows and all of its sanitary sewer overflows into area rivers and must submit a plan to the EPA by July 31. Those overflows occur when stormwater inundates sewer lines causing them to dump their untreated contents into area rivers.
Don Hopey: email@example.com or 412-263-1983.